For lovers of bird watching, Galveston Island is one of the top spots in North America. Experts and novices alike can spend hours enjoying the 500-plus species of birds which make Galveston their permanent or temporary home.
The most common birds on Galveston Island are the Laughing Seagulls and the Brown Pelicans. These can be found in abundance along the Galveston Seawall, the causeway, and during a free ride on the Galveston Ferry. The ferry will take you from the east end of the island to Bolivar Peninsula, and it is also a prime way to catch sight of the Bottle-nose Dolphins which make their home around the island.
The list of bird species that call Galveston home or use Galveston Bay as a stop along their migratory route is much too extensive to include here. It is no surprise that the Galveston Bay Estuary is the largest and most frequently visited on the Gulf Coast. Bird enthusiasts come from all over North America and even across the globe to include Galveston Island as a vital part of their activities. Whether you’re an extreme hobbyist or a casual beach-goer, you’re sure to see some interesting birds.
The official bird of Galveston Island is the Reddish Egret. This is a magnificent, rare bird which can only be found in several areas along the Gulf Coast. With the Reddish Egret’s population in decline, Galveston Island is one of the few places to catch sight of this beautiful creature.
Bird Watching Events
Each spring over 200 species of birds migrate to or through Galveston Island. During this time a four day extravaganza of bird watching and nature photography takes flight: FeatherFest. With more than a hundred tours, workshops, and family-friendly events, it attracts watchers from around the world. Come visit during FeatherFest for a fun learning experience while enjoying the variety of birds.
If you can’t make it then, Galveston Island State Park is known for excellent bird sightings and is open daily. Moody Gardens also offers exciting, educational classes to learn more about these cute coastal creatures.