Winter Birding on the Upper Texas Coast
Winter on the Upper Texas Coast is an exceptional time of year for birding, full of exciting opportunities. Gulls, hawks, sparrows and other wintering landbirds are favorite targets. For beginning birders, it's a great time of year to get started with fewer leaves on the trees to obscure sightings. Many birders participate in the numerous Christmas Bird Counts which are held throughout the region from December 14 to January 5.
The Katy Prairie is a favorite destination in winter for winter geese, ducks, Sandhill Cranes, hawks (including Bald Eagles), sparrows, and other winter specialties. Visit the Coastal Prairie Conservancy website for more information and maps. The Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR on the Katy Prairie also offers excellent birding opportunities.
Among the many other excellent coastal locations for winter shorebirds and gulls are Bolivar Flats, Galveston's East Beach, and Quintana.
Although hummingbirds are not common in Houston, often the ones that are here are unusual species.
Purple Martins and Chimney Swifts
The first Purple Martin scouts arrive in January. December is a great time to prepare Purple Martin houses.