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For Birders

Summer Birding on the Upper Texas Coast

Beginning in mid-May most of the spring migrants have moved through the Upper Texas Coast and we settle into a summer pattern. But this does not last very long, as shorebird fall migration begins as early as July. In May and June our resident birds are busy with nesting activities. The breeding season for some species begins in March and lasts through the fall.

Smith Oaks Rookery

Sunset is a magical time at the Rookery in summer, with potentially thousands of birds coming to roost on the island in Claybottom Pond. This show starts about an hour before sunset when the first birds trickle in, soon it is small flocks, then big flocks, then they pour in from all directions.

Hawks

Within the city limits Mississippi Kites are often seen flying overhead. Red-shouldered Hawks and Cooper's Hawks are common in wooded parks and suburbs.

Hummingbirds

Hummingbird migration ends in mid-May. Numbers of hummingbirds breeding within Houston's city limits are relatively low.

Purple Martins and Chimney Swifts

Peak numbers for Purple Martins are in July and August. Chimney Swifts are also prominent in Houston's skies in summer. Swifts Over Houston is a Houston Audubon project to monitor Chimney Swifts. Weekly counts are held May through October.

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