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Herons and Spoonbills

Bolivar Flats Bird Cam

Bolivar Flats birdcam location

The bird cam is located near the southern tip of Bolivar Peninsula.

What You See

You are looking at a shallow salt water lagoon surrounded by marshes which is adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico. When the water level is low, mud flats rich in invertebrates are exposed and are used by many species of birds.

Beyond the lagoon is the marsh, and there are a several channels where salt water flows in and out. On the lagoon side of the channels are deltas that are built up by incoming sediment. Birds often congregate in these areas for feeding and roosting. In the far distance are the beach and the Gulf of Mexico.

The North Jetty is to the right. The Bolivar Roads is beyond the Jetty and include the Houston Ship Channel and anchorages. On the far side of the Roads is the port city of Galveston.

Preset Views

There are preset views that you can select when you have control of the camera. The views going from left to right (east to south) are as follows:

  • 1 – Marsh edge - where birds feed when water levels are low.
  • 2 – Marsh edge 2 - where birds feed when water levels are low.
  • 3 – One of the channels - channels bring gulf water into the lagoon. Sometimes the water is full of food and lots of birds will be feeding here.
  • 4 – Channel mouth - where many birds often feed and roost (in winter white pelicans and avocets in great numbers). This is not a bad place to start looking!
  • 5 – Channel mouth 2 - where many birds feed and roost. To the right is the North Jetty and ship anchorage. 
  • 6 – Base of the North Jetty - showing Galveston County boat ramp, ship anchorage and channel, with Galveston in the distance.
  • 7 – Marsh edge 3 - when water levels are low oyster reefs are exposed and herons, oystercatchers and ducks like to feed here.
  • HOME – Center - a broad look at the center of the camera viewing area. This is a good view at many sunrises.

Camera Operating Instructions

  • View is live for 6 minutes

    Refresh the page to restart the live view after 6 minutes.

  • Take control of the camera
    Take control of the camera

    Click the button to take control. Only one person can have control at a time. After waiting your turn, you can point the camera and zoom in. You will retain control for 30 seconds.

  • Shows time remaining in control
    Shows time remaining in control
  • You have lost control - click to get it back
    You have lost control - click to get it back
  • Zoom the view

    You will see the zoom bar when you have control. It is a vertical bar on the right side of the view. It takes about 10 seconds for the camera to respond after you change the zoom.

  • Point the camera

    Click on the view when you have control. There will be a square visible on Chrome and Firefox showing where you are aiming. The camera will move towards the point where you clicked. It will take 10-20 seconds to respond.

  • Select a preset view

    Choose a preset view when you have control by selecting an item in the dropdown list under the middle, above the viewer count, where it says Select View.

  • Best viewing experience is on desktop browser

    Use landscape orientation for viewing on a smartphone.

  • Use this link to get a still image. This is a better quality image than a screen shot. The image is updated every 5 minutes.

  • There is no sound

    You can ignore the audio icon because the camera is not recording sound.

Home View

This shows the Home view of the camera. Notice that the current viewer is in control. The zoom bar is on the right side of the view.

Common Birds

These are the most common and easiest to identify birds that you are likely to see from the camera. Click the links to read more about them in our Bird Gallery. See the Bolivar Naturally link below for more information about birds and plant life on the Bolivar Peninsula.

Details

  • The camera is located on Bolivar Flats, Texas. This is across the channel northeast of Galveston. It is near Houston Audubon's Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary.

  • Nature guides for the Bolivar Peninsula. Includes grasses & sedges, trees & shrubs, wildflowers, landbirds and waterbirds.

  • Common waterbirds seen on the Bolivar Peninsula.

  • Camera

    Axis P5635-E MK II with pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) capability.

Links

  • Hear the commotion of thousands of birds on Texas's Bolivar Peninsula. Thanks to BirdNote and National Audubon Society for this 1.5 minute audio story about the birds that visit our Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary.

  • See the birds that visit the feeders outside the historic log cabin in the Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary.

  • A collection of webcams showing scenery on the Bolivar Peninsula, Texas. Operated by the Bolivar Peninsula Tourism and Visitors Center.

  • Help support this camera by making a donation to Houston Audubon.

  • Join Houston Audubon by becoming a member. Membership dues support the mission of the organization including the operation of this webcam.

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