Galveston Island is one of the top locations in the country for birding. It has a rich variety of habitats - beaches, wetlands, grasslands, woods, ponds, and bays - in a small area that are home to many common year-round species, as well as numerous others that visit briefly or for part of the year.
Birds visit en-route from and to Central and South America, north in the spring, south in the fall. Most pass on through after stopping for food and rest, but some spend their summers on the Island and breed locally. Galveston in fact sits astride the 95th meridian, the dead center of the trans-Gulf migration route, and is just at the point in the circum-Gulf route where many birds veer northward.
The Island is also an important wintering ground for numerous species that spend most of the year farther north.
The Nature Tourism Council, in partnership with the Park Board, developed a guide to the area’s top birding locations. Different birding habitats such as beaches and bays, bay marshes and wetlands, coastal prairies and upland wood motts are described in detail. A map and seasonal checklist of birds sighted are also included. Click here to download a PDF of the Great Birding guide, or pick one up from tourism brochure racks throughout southeast Texas.
From the Blogs
3 Reasons Why Galveston.com & Company is Bracing for the Coolest Winter Ever
Published: Tuesday, January 21, 2020
The team of programmers, designers, and editors at Galveston.com & Company is gearing up for what it believes will be the coolest winter it’s ever experienced. And we’re not talking temperatures. Read more.
Our Sandhill Cranes Are Back!
Published: Monday, November 4, 2019
Our Sandhill Cranes have begun arriving in small flocks over the last week or so. Soon we’ll have a few hundred of these elegant birds over-wintering with us, taking advantage of our milder climate and plentiful food resources. Read more.
Fall Migration Has Begun!
Published: Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Despite the fact it still feels like summer is here, the birds know it’s fall and migration has already begun! It’s a great time to go birding, as both the variety of species and numbers of birds are increasing on a daily basis. Read more.
Now's The Time To Sharpen Your ID Skills
Published: Tuesday, August 20, 2019
With fall migration fast approaching, thousands of birds of many different species will soon be descending upon Galveston Island as they reach their wintering grounds here or travel through on their way further south. Read more.
Top 5 Early Birds
Published: Monday, August 5, 2019
Some fall bird migrants are already beginning to appear! Read more.