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Texas birding

Texas is home to a variety of beautiful native birds, as well as many other feathered friends who grant us a splash of color and magic as they pass through each year. On our birding page, you can find birding magazine articles, birding videos, birding checklists and more.


2017-18 Birding Calendar

Our resident birds and migrating birds make Texas a prime spot to watch for feathered friends. Find a bird-watching event to suit every taste in our online-only 2017-18 Birding Calendar.

From Our Pages: Birding Articles

Birding the Corners

Texas’ eight border-turns offer habitat diversity and birds galore. read more

Sky Island Hummingbirds

Fort Davis opens gates to hummer heaven every fall. read more

Searching for the Rainbow Flyer

Treasured male painted buntings sport riotous plumage. read more

Gruesome Gliders

Hold your nose and offer up praise for the much-maligned but most worthy vulture. read more

Safe on the Shore

Beach-nesting birds need our help to protect their young. read more

Under Our Wing

Celebrating avian protection on the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Convention. read more

How to Fledge a Birder

The pleasures of passing along a passion for birds. read more

The Family That Birds Together ...

Birding Classic road trip unites family members in a quest for togetherness and a bunch of birds. read more

Skills: What's That Bird?

Field guides and apps enrich any birder's outing, no matter the skill level. read more

Name That Tune

The top 10 bird songs in Texas. read more | Bonus: Listen to the bird songs.

The 12 Most Beautiful Birds in Texas

There are plenty of lovely avian contenders for the list. read more

12 Birds Every Texan Should Know

A short starter list for those who long to put a name with a beak. read more

3 Days in the Field: Lifted Up

Birding on the coast with experts proves transformational for two rookies. read more

Purple Martin Majesty

Unlocking the secrets of a songbird’s amazing journey. read more

First Lady of Texas Birders

Connie Hagar pioneered scientific observation in "birdy" Rockport. read more

The 8,000-Bird Club

Two Texas birders find high adventure in their quests to see most of the world’s avian species. read more

Bird Lady of Corpus Christi

Longtime columnist Phyllis Yochem carries on newspaper’s birding legacy. read more

Unexpected Guests

Delighting birders, rare ‘star’ vagrants travel through Texas each year. read more

Hawk Watch

Keeping eyes on the sky in Corpus Christi. read more

Birds by the Numbers

The Great Texas Birding Classic goes statewide this year. read more

Skill Builder: Come Hither, Hummers

Careful planting will entice hummingbirds to hang out at your house. read more

Birdiest Cities

It’s no secret that feather-friendly Texas, where more than 600 bird species have been recorded, boasts a plethora of productive birding destinations. But two coastal cities rank crown and scapulars above the nation’s other birding hotbeds, earning titles of “America’s Birdiest City.” read more

Wrens: Not-So-Plain Janes

Don’t be fooled by their drab looks — wrens boast busybody energy and beautiful songs. read more

Strange Year for Whoopers

Endangered cranes found winter homes outside Aransas refuge and left Texas earlier than usual. read more

Skill Builder: Backyard Bird Buffet

Customize a feast for your feathered friends with a variety of feeders. read more

A Treasure Chest of Birds

Serious birders know High Island and Bolivar Flats. Instead of those standbys, recapture the feeling of discovery with these other, lesser-known hot spots along the upper Texas coast. read more

Whooping Cranes: The Birds With the Right Stuff

With grace, stamina and charisma, this endangered species has shown an extraordinary ability to survive. read more

Vulnerable Nursery: Water Birds Need Protection

Colonies of coastal birds face many threats, and Audubon volunteers have been standing guard. read more

Turning Kids into Birders

If you lead them in the right direction and make it fun, they may soon know their warblers and waxwings. read more

Freeport Bird Count Attracts Sharp-Eyed Spotters

As I head out in the pre-dawn darkness of a cool December morning on the Gulf Coast, I’m grateful that the wind has died down, and the temperature has held above 60 degrees. I’m on my way to join a team of birders participating in the annual Freeport Christmas Bird Count, and I’ve been warned that it will be a long, demanding day, particularly if the weather doesn’t cooperate. read more

A Birder Like No Other

Birders often refer to each other as the particular birds they’ve become identified with over the years. So if you were a legendary birder, perhaps the world’s best-known birder, you might expect a nom de plume, so to speak, that suggests a noble, rare or exotic bird. Golden eagle, perhaps. Or, say, the resplendent quetzal, a famous dazzler. But Victor Emanuel, who doesn’t really want to declare a favorite bird, says that he doesn’t mind his moniker as the hooded warbler. read more

A Birder is Born

There are all manner of ways in which one can get lured into being a birdwatcher. Perhaps you were bit by the birding bug while sitting in your own backyard or while watching a documentary on public television. Maybe you got it from a friend or family member whose addiction, er, um, hobby, was just too big to ignore. read more

Birding by Boat

There is a magical moment at the start of a kayak trip when you sit down and launch into a new adventure. We use open cockpit, sit-on-top kayaks that are very stable. To get started, you straddle it, sit down and push off. After a stroke or two, the kayak glides forward, needing only a few inches of water in which to float. And I promise you this vessel will transform your view of the Texas coast. read more

Bird by Bird: a look at Texas bird species

Brown thrasher

Bald eagle

Burrowing owl

Red-crowned parrot

House finch


Ruby-throated hummingbird

Great-tailed grackle

Loggerhead shrike

Black skimmer

Mississippi kite

Whooping crane

Mottled duck

Greater roadrunner


Buff-bellied hummingbird

Pileated woodpecker

Scissor-tailed flycatcher

Crested caracara

Cedar waxwing

Northern cardinal

Purple martin

Brown pelican

White-winged dove

Black-bellied whistling duck


Elf owl

See more bird profiles at the TPWD Wildlife Fact Sheets page

Birding on TPWD video

Basics of Birding

With more species than any other state, Texas has birds that are as varied and colorful as its people. We'll show you where to see them.

Guarding the Nest

When birds are nesting on islands along the Texas coast, people need to keep their distance and avoid disturbing them.

Lesser Prairie-Chicken

Lesser prairie-chicken populations have steadily declined. Wildlife biologists are counting on private landowners for help.

Whooping Cranes

Wintering whooping cranes on the Texas coast, foraging and whooping.

Watch more videos on the TPWD YouTube channel

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