birding sites in

south texas

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A collection of several top sites and experiences. The Convention Center boardwalk is great for getting views of wildfowl, herons, waders and crakes and the center itself is one of several passerine migrant traps on the island. Scarlet Colley’s boat trips get you closer to the waders and give you a chance of seeing Mangrove Warbler

All the sites in this section are treated, in detail and with precise maps and directions, in my book ‘Finding Birds in South Texas’

If you have any information which you feel would help to update the book, please email me at and I’ll add your observations to these pages

To view more sites in South Texas click here

South Padre Island

The Convention Center boardwalk takes you out into the Laguna Madre. At high tide you can see how close the wildfowl come; at low tide the shelter overlooks mudflats full of waders and herons.

Looking inland from the boardwalk this shows not only the wader habitat but also the new World Birding Center

Many of the herons, waders and rails in the DVD were filmed from here without the need for a hide

The southern tip of the island is the best spot for looking for rare terns, gulls and frigatebirds

The Convention Center itself provides great habitat. The stones beyond the fence mark a water feature, great for migrants, which can be viewed from outside the Women’s toilets.

Another great spot for migrants is at the Valley Land Fund lots on Sheepshead Street

This site (number 8 in my book) is in Port Isabel, before you reach the island, but it’s a regular haunt of Tropical Kingbird. I’ve had them here, sitting on the wires on each of my last two visits.

Scarlet and George Colley run unmissable boat trips to look for the birds of  South Bay. That’s South Padre Island in the background.

In Scarlet’s boat you can glide quietly up to flocks of birds throughout the bay

And you can get close enough to the newly-developing mangroves to see the Mangrove Warbler, a recent addition to the list of US breeding birds

Scarlet will also introduce you to several of her friends, the dolphins in the bay.