Birds of Galveston Island
Galveston is one of the top locations for birding in the United States.The Island is a central location for novice and expert birders offering a wide variety of species. Water and shore birds are common on the Island throughout the year while rare species are spotted during Fall and Spring Migration. Water and shore birds from other coasts also travel to the Island during migration.
Galveston's "mid-Island" area includes examples of the ridges and sloughs that run along the island, remnants of ancient dunes systems. The structure provides for shallow inter-tidal marshes, tidal creeks, oyster reefs, mud flats, brackish and fresh water ponds; upland pastures and woods on the highest points. Lafitte’s Cove is a 32 acre preserve with an excellent oak mott and fruiting trees and bushes, an excellent place for migrating songbirds in spring and fall.
Don't forget to ride the Bolivar Ferry from Galveston to Port Bolivar - one of the best ways to view Bottlenose dolphin, brown pelicans, and magnificent frigate birds. The 15-minute, free ride is a great place for viewing wildlife, feeding birds off the stern of the ship, or just enjoying the scenery as the ferry crosses into the Bolivar Peninsula, the pass between the Gulf of Mexico and Galveston Bay.
When you reach the large wetland area just south of the Seawall, there are cormorants, egrets, herons, ibis, ducks, etc. This beach area is a favorite resting area for black skimmers, gulls, terns, etc. Check the tidal ponds for a variety of other species. Explore the East Lagoon Nature Trail to witness the natural tidal marsh environment. Here, visitors enjoy bird watching, natures study, walking, and fishing. The tidal creek and pond are prime locations for birding.
Lafitte's Cove is a 20-acre oak moat preserve and is an excellent place to find migrating songbirds in spring and fall. At least 137 species were recorded in the preserve during the spring migration of 1997. Go west on Stewart Road, past 11 Mile Road, and turn right into the Lafitte’s Cove subdivision and follow signs to parking area.