birding

Flock to Brazos State Park for Birdwatching this Fall

October 11, 2023 | By Melissa Gaskill

The Texas State Parks system marks its 100th anniversary this year. With 89 parks, natural areas, and historic sites to choose from, visitors can experience all kinds of outdoor activities.

Bird Blinds Offer State Park Visitors and Migratory Birds a Tranquil Escape

May 2, 2023 | By Melissa Gaskill

With Spring Migration Underway, Now’s the Time to Start Your Urban Birding Adventures

April 7, 2023 | By Kirk Walsh

The spring migration is upon us with millions of birds flying overhead nightly as they travel tremendous distances, south to north, to reach their respective breeding grounds.

Head to South Texas for Hawk Watching at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park

March 10, 2023 | By Melissa Gaskill

The Texas State Parks system marks its 100th anniversary this year. With 89 parks, natural areas, and historic sites to choose from, visitors can experience all kinds of outdoor activities.

Rio Grande Valley Birder Tiffany Kersten Set a ‘Big Year’ Record

August 25, 2022 | By S. Kirk Walsh

A warm breeze rustled the fronds of sabal palm trees as Tiffany Kersten pulled into the parking lot of Estero Llano Grande State Park in Weslaco.

Keep Your Eyes on the Skies: Hawk Watch at Smith Point Gets Underway

August 19, 2022 | By Natalia Gonzalez Blanco Serrano

Every fall, tens of thousands of birds migrate south through Texas in search of warmer climates for the winter.

Where to See Bald Eagles in Texas this Fall and Winter

September 21, 2021 | By Melissa Gaskill

In early August, a staff member at Canyon of the Eagles Nature Park and Resort on Lake Buchanan near Burnet reported the area’s first bald eagle of the season.

An Austin Birdwatcher Chronicles Her Quest for Winged Creatures in Cemeteries and Parking Lots

October 27, 2020 | By Dan Oko

It may come as a surprise that guidebook author Jennifer L. Bristol, a former park ranger and erstwhile coordinator of the Texas Children in Nature program, is not a lifelong birder.

How to Become a Backyard Birder to Enliven Life at Home

April 10, 2020 | By Heather Brand

Why the Bolivar Peninsula is One of the Best Birding Spots in the World

March 26, 2020 | By S. Kirk Walsh

A Beginner’s Guide to Birding in Texas

March 26, 2020 | By Robyn Ross

My Hometown: A Weslaco Native on the Bicultural Beauty of His Rio Grande Valley Burg

July 10, 2019 | By Cynthia J. Drake

A stroll through downtown Weslaco feels like a visit to a bygone era, when
department stores and hardware shops in Spanish colonial buildings lined the streets. Founded in 1919, Weslaco grew into a farming hub, famous as the home of the ruby red grapefruit and 1015 onion. The same mild climate that attracted farmers makes Weslaco a hotspot today for winter Texans—typically retirees from cold climates—and birders, who come to see Rio Grande Valley specialties like the green jay. When the town slows down in the summer, locals refresh with icy raspas and beach trips to nearby South Padre Island.

Escape to the Mother Lagoon for a Quiet Coastal Getaway

May 30, 2019 | By Joe Nick Patoski

There are few places in and around Texas where the visible fish—plus dolphins, peregrine falcons, and brilliant-pink roseate spoonbills—outnumber the people viewing them. The Laguna Madre is one of those places, the only body of water in the state that truly qualifies as extreme.

A Tropical Winter Weekend Getaway in Harlingen

January 28, 2019 | By Daniel Blue Tyx

The business loop of US 77 running through Harlingen is called Sunshine Strip, and the name couldn’t be more accurate. Harlingen boasts February highs of around 73 degrees and an average of only three days of rain for the entire month. For decades, snowbirds from across the United States and Canada have made the city a winter home; the airport even has seasonal direct flights from Minneapolis, Chicago, and Denver.

Frank X. Tolbert 2 Interprets ‘Incredible Creations of Nature’ in the Texas Bird Project

August 27, 2018 | By Gene Fowler

The art aficionados at the opening of Frank X. Tolbert 2’s Texas Bird Project exhibition in Austin were clearly enamored with the artist’s prints, paintings, and drawings of the state’s winged and feathered beings. But the birdwatchers who came to meet the Houston artist were absolutely rapt.

Wildlife Watch at Big Bend Ranch State Park

September 20, 2017 | By Amanda Ogle

With cooler temps, crisp air and beautiful colors, autumn is a great time to visit Big Bend Ranch State Park. It’s also a great time to watch for wildlife. More than 48 mammal species and more than 300 bird species have been spotted in the park. While some species migrate to the park during the autumn season, others are there year-round. Here, Park Superintendent Nathanael Gold gives us some insider tips on what to watch for in the park, along with some safety tips in case you run into a slightly feistier species.

10 Epic Summer Travel Adventures

April 19, 2017 | By Clayton Maxwell

Get even more summertime adventure ideas.

Hello summertime! We know it can get hot out there, but that’s no excuse to stay inside: Cool outdoor adventures in Texas abound.

The Alamo Inn B&B Welcomes Birders Flocking to the Rio Grande Valley

April 17, 2017 | By Daniel Blue Tyx

On the historic Alamo town square—bordered by a shaded plaza with a bandstand—we found the round sign with a picture of a golden-fronted woodpecker that marks the Inn’s entrance. Innkeeper Keith Hackland greeted us warmly. White-haired and soft-spoken, Keith dressed the part of a birder in hiking boots, cargo pants, and a long-sleeved camp shirt. His accent from his native South Africa made me wonder how he ended up in the Valley—a story he’d share later. For now, he led us through the lobby to a literature rack nearly as high as the ceiling. “We offer our guests information as far as birding goes,” Keith said modestly as he assembled a voluminous sheath of brochures, maps, and checklists.

Natural Galveston

April 17, 2017 | By Melissa Gaskill

Head east down Seawall Boulevard in Galveston, past the lights and activity of Historic Pleasure Pier, beyond the elegant Hotel Galvez and Stewart Beach Park’s broad expanse of sand dotted with blue umbrellas and beach toys, through tangles of grasses and mangroves on either side and, just past a tranquil lagoon before the pavement dead ends at water, turn right onto Boddeker Drive.

National Audubon Society’s Annual Christmas Bird Count

November 7, 2016 | By

 
The holiday season includes a multitude of traditional activities, but one that some people may not be familiar with is the National Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count.

The Early Bird’s Reward

October 14, 2016 | By Daniel Blue Tyx

When nature enthusiasts think of the Rio Grande Valley, they most often picture the glimmering resacas and moss-hung forests of destinations like the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge.

HummerBird Celebration

August 1, 2016 | By

Coinciding with the ruby-throated hummingbirds’ fall migration, Rockport-Fulton’s 28th annual event features birding tours, speakers, vendors, and artists.

Birding Basics

March 21, 2016 | By Lois Rodriguez

She’s been at the helm of the Great Texas Birding Classic for 18 of its 20 years, but the passion behind it all has not waned for Shelly Plante, Nature Tourism Manager for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Of Feathers and Hope

March 21, 2016 | By Gary Clark

“‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers,” wrote 19th-Century American poet Emily Dickinson in the opening line of her poem of the same name.

Silver Wings

August 14, 2015 | By Gene Fowler

Sara Beesley, director of the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center in San Antonio, thought she might have fallen prey to some strange trick when she first started working at the center two years ago and didn’t see any American white pelicans for a few weeks.

The Smallest Gifts

April 12, 2015 | By Daniel Blue Tyx

The 10-minute drive from our house in McAllen to Quinta Mazatlan, one of the most popular sites in the Rio Grande Valley’s World Birding Center network, takes us past historic downtown, the airport, and the shopping mall—not exactly what you’d expect for a trip to a lush nature center.

A New Dawn in the Davis Mountains

April 13, 2014 | By E. Dan Klepper

Dawn has just broken above the new Davis Mountains State Park wildlife-viewing station, an L-shaped timber and stucco structure with peek-a-boo portals overlooking a water feature, and birds are everywhere.

Whirring Dervishes

August 3, 2010 | By Clifford E. Shackelford, Madge M. Lindsay, and C. Mark Klym

Hummingbirds are among the most fascinating creatures in the natural world. Although some other species of birds are able to hover, none do it with the masterful ability of a hummingbird.

Great Texas Birding Classic: Birding’s Super Bowl

February 1, 2009 | By Melissa Gaskill

Somewhere in the Piney Woods north of Beaumont, a 12-passenger van barrels down the road. Mud splatters cover its windshield and dirt cakes its sides.

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