Love birds? The Brazosport area, some 50 miles south of Houston, has an abundance of quality locations to go birding. Whether you’re a seasoned birder or just starting out in this hobby, offers many opportunities to get out and see birds in their natural habitat along the Texas Gulf Coast.
Thanks to its location in the Central Flyway, Brazosport is home to birds that migrate across the Gulf of Mexico and the coastal migrants that fly around the western edge of the gulf. The area also sits on a coastal plain characterized by prairies, riparian hardwood forests, and an abundance of marshes, lakes, bays, and the shoreline. This combination of varied habitats, mild climate and species diversity make it an excellent birding location year round, though the best times to visit are spring and winter.
Another plus is that Texas is the top birding state in the United States with more species documented than any other, and Brazoria County, where Brazosport is located, is among the counties with the highest species counts in the state. More than 320 species of birds are common in proper habitat and season. And there are at least 100 more that are rarer and not so readily located.
Ready to visit? Here are the top places for birding in the area.
The Brazoria and the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuges both have excellent driving loops, many wooded trails and wetlands that are ideal for birding. The Gulf Coast Bird Observatory (GCBO) has trails, an observation tower, a wetland area and several gardens landscaped for birds. Another great option is the Quintana Neotropic Bird Sanctuary. It is open year around but spring and fall are the best times to see birds there. During the month of April, the GCBO runs a host station at Quintana and leads bird walks once or twice a day.
The Brazosport Area also has numerous sites on the Upper Texas Coast portion of the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail (GTCBT). To help birders, each location has a brown GTCBT sign along with a site number that corresponds with the GTCBT map. Maps are available at the Brazosport Area Chamber of Commerce.
The Brazosport Birders, a local birding organization, also produces a great checklist for birders visiting the area. Available at the GCBO and the Quintana Neotropic Bird Sanctuary, the checklist includes locations on a map, driving directions, most common types of birds seen, and facilities available.
Before you go, remember this is the Gulf Coast, so bring lots of drinking water and always include sunscreen and insect repellent in your gear.
For more information about birding sites in the Brazosport Area please go to www.VisitBrazosport.com.