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 official bird of Galveston Island is the Reddish Egret, a rare bird which can only be found in a few areas along the Gulf Coast. With the Reddish Egret in declining numbers, Galveston Island is one of the few places to catch sight of this beautiful creature.
The list of bird species which either call Galveston Island home or use Galveston Bay as a stop along their migratory route is much too extensive to include here, but suffice to say the Galveston Bay Estuary is the largest and most frequently visited on the Gulf Coast. Bird watchers come from all over North America to enjoy bird watching—and even many foreign visitors—include Galveston Island as a vital part of their activities.
The most common birds on Galveston Island are the Laughing Seagulls and the Brown Pelicans, which can be found in abundance along the Galveston Seawall, the causeway, and during a free ride on the Galveston ferry from the east end of Galveston Island to Bolivar Peninsula. Riding the ferry is also a prime way to catch sight of the Bottlenose Dolphins which make their home in the waters around Galveston Island.
Each spring, Galveston Island kicks off FeatherFest, a four day extravaganza of bird watching and nature photography which attracts visitors from all over the world. Coinciding with the springtime migration of over 200 species of birds, FeatherFest features more than a hundred tours, workshops, and family-friendly events designed for both enjoyment and education.