If you’re looking for the best Texas birding spots, look no further. Texas has long been a haven for birders, offering incredible opportunities to observe diverse species in their natural habitats. From dense forests and wetlands to shorelines, Texas offers something for every type of birder. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned veteran, you can find great locations all across the state where you can witness the beauty of nature. With such an impressive array of birds and habitats, it’s no surprise that Texas continues to attract birders from around the world!
Birding is one of the most universal outdoor activities in existence. Birders, once called birdwatchers, are young and old alike and appeal to a variety of individuals from doctors, lawyers, teachers, truck drivers, executives, to even young students. They can be intense to very casual. Some travel miles to see a species never seen to those who enjoy their backyard species at the feeders. In our list below you can learn more about where to bird, activities, and events.
The following are my favorite birding spots in Texas.
Big Thicket National Preserve
Big Thicket National Preserve is considered a “Globally Important Bird Area” with 300 species confirmed present or flown through. A total of 74 of these species are known to breed in the area and 60 are common to the area. They consist of three categories: passerines (including many neotropical songbirds), raptors, and waterfowl. You will enjoy hiking trails and waterways which wander through nine different natural areas, from longleaf pine forests to cypress-lined bayous.
South Llano River State Park
South Llano River State Park is filled with bird viewing blinds that are well maintained with comfortable seating, a log book for you to record your sightings, as well as, a bird identification book. My favorite park visitor is the beautiful Painted Bunting which returns to the park every spring. More rare and endangered species like the Golden Cheeked Warbler and the Black Capped Vireo. Another constant visitor to the park is the hummingbird in many different varieties. These mini birds will visit you in your campsite if you put out a feeder for them.
Rio Grande Valley
Within this area encompassing 140 miles you will encounter 11 different habitats, such as, bay, tidal marshes, grasslands, the Gulf, brushlands, and woods. It truly is one of the best Texas birding spots in the entire state. Throughout the years varieties such as brown male red-naped sapsucker (a western species), a chimney swift Gred-crowned parrot, and cactus wrens. With birding the adventure changes constantly. BentsenRio Grande Valley State Park is the headquarters of the World Birding Center and over 360 bird species have been sighted in the palm-lined resacas and riverside woodlands of the birding center.
South Padre Island
This area has rich habitats such as dune meadows, salt marsh and intertidal flats and native shrubs and trees. Migrating birds from Southern Mexico and Central America love to stop over on the coast. You may be lucky to see endangered species such as the Brown Pelican, Piping Plover and Peregrine Falcon. Visit Padre Island National Seashore, in Corpus Christi, which is the nesting ground for Kemp’s ridley sea turtles and home to some 380 species of birds.
The trails at the 5,000 acre Brazos Bend State Park provide access to Elm Lake and a variety of birds. Pilant Slough Trail is one of these fantastic birding trails. Expect to see coots, blue-winged teal, common gallinules, grebes and more were spotted on this 1.7 mile loop. The area in the park has bottomland and upland coastal prairie.
Grab your binoculars, lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails to find some beautiful birds. From Big Thicket to Brazos Bend, Texas has plenty of natural sites perfect for bird watching. The Big Thicket is known for its dense forest and diverse wildlife. South Llano offers access to a rich array of birds. In the Rio Grande Valley you can find astounding numbers of colorful songbirds. South Padre Island is a paradise for shorebirds and other beach-nesting species. Finally, Brazos Bend State Park offers stunning views of wetlands teeming with waterfowl and wading birds. With so many incredible locations, it’s easy to see why Texas is an ideal place for birders from all over the world!