10 Birdwatching Destinations in the Coastal Bend - The Bend Magazine

10 Birdwatching Destinations in the Coastal Bend

We’ve feathered through an expansive list of the top birding areas to explore in the Coastal Bend

By: Kirby Conda & Kylie Cooper   Photography By: John Najvar 

With hundreds of recorded species of resident and migratory birds, the Coastal Bend is the richest birding region in North America. So, where to start? 

We’ve feathered through an expansive list of the top birding areas to explore. 
  • Bird Island – Padre Island National Seashore – From endangered Northern Aplomado Falcons and Black-capped Vireos to colorful Painted Buntings and White-tailed Hawks, at least 380 species of birds have been documented here. At more than 130,000 acres of wetlands, grasslands, and sandy beaches, PINS is the longest stretch of a barrier island in the world. 20301 Park Rd. 22

  • Blucher Park – Blucher Park is a few acres large with a small stream and select vegetation
    Indigo Bunting

      for wildlife. It’s located in the heart of downtown and is extremely attractive to migratory land birds. Blucher Park is also the site for large migrant fallouts during spring migration, and a major stopover for migrating passerines and hummingbirds. 209 S Tancahua St.

  • Packery Channel – The Packery Channel Oak Motte is actually a sanctuary for birds overseen by the Audubon Outdoor Club of Corpus Christi. Situated on an island along the Gulf of Mexico, this is a natural spot for neotropical migrants. The area has a history as one of the best places on the central Texas coast to see passerines during migration. 14220 S. Padre Island Dr.

  • Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve – Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve has the perfect mix of mesquite upland, limited prairies, and wetland habitat. On a year-round basis, periodic sightings include the Groove-billed Ani and Olive Sparrows. On the trails near the building, you’ll find Spring Warblers and the water features contain Painted Buntings in the summer months. 2446 N. Oso Pkwy.

  • South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center – This spot boasts impressive South Texas habitats. The nature trails offer a glimpse of South Texas scrub birding, with spotted species such as the Groove-billed Ani, Long-billed Thrasher, and Olive Sparrow. Near the water features you’ll find the Least Grebe and Couch’s Kingbird. The Hummingbird Garden is also a must when visiting. 8545 S. Staples St. 

  • Laguna Madre – The Laguna Madre region is considered one of the best places on earth for recreational birding. It’s one of the six hypersaline bodies of water in the world, making it ideal for waterfowl such as White-fronted Geese, Redhead Ducks, and Northern Pintails. Common shorebirds seen during winter or migratory periods include the Reddish Egret and the Piping and Snowy Plover. South Texas Gulf Coast

  • Hazel Bazemore – Hazel Bazemore County Park has a boardwalk perfect for the popular hawk watches. Fun fact: Corpus Christi is the only hawk watch in North America where you have a chance of seeing Swallow-tailed Kites, White-tailed Kites, Mississippi Kites, Zone-tailed Hawks, Ferruginous Hawks, White-tailed Hawks, and Harris’s Hawks. County Park Farm Rd. 624 & County Rd. 69

  • Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center – Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center is a stop on the Great Texas Birding Trail. You’ll find a close-up look at life in a wetland and panoramic views of the marsh. Birds found here include Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Herons, Egrets, and Roseate Spoonbills. 1356 Ross Ave.

  • Aransas National Wildlife Refuge – Aransas National Wildlife Refuge spans several hundred acres and is divided into five sections between Aransas, Refugio, and Calhoun counties. Bird life includes Ducks, Herons, Egrets, Ibises, Roseate Spoonbills, and the endangered Whooping Crane. 1 Wildlife Cir.

  • Ivy Lane – The Ivy Lane site has benches, a hard packed trail, a primitive trail, and water drips on the site. This 28-acre woodland was preserved by the city of Rockport and often has sightings of the Northern Cardinal, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Warblers, and Orchard Orioles. 499 Ivy Ln.

Did you know? 

As the Birdiest City in America, it would only be fitting to host The Birdiest Festival in America! In April of each year, the Coastal Bend is host to the five-day birdfest complete with field trips throughout South Texas for some of the best bird sightings in the nation. Getting the chance to experience the birding scene in Corpus Christi, the heart of the Coastal Bend of Texas, is often a bucket list item for avid birders.