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High Island

Visitor Information

Our High Island sanctuaries are a haven for birds and visitors, especially during spring migration! We welcome visitors from all 50 states and over 20 countries who flock to the Upper Texas Coast for the best birdwatching. Our sanctuaries are critical habitat for migrating birds and there have been nearly 400 species documented on our properties, including several species never before seen in the United States. We invite you to visit us on the coast this spring! 

The four sanctuaries at High Island–Boy Scout Woods, Smith Oaks, Eubanks Woods, and Gast Red Bay–are open 365 days a year, dawn to dusk.

Spring Migration 2023

Kiosk Dates:

Smith Oaks: March 11 - May 7, May 13-14, May 20-21, 2023
Boy Scout Woods: March 24 - April 30, 2023


Purchase a patch for unlimited access to all High Island sanctuaries for the entire year! Patches are $30 and can be purchased in advance online or on-site. Day passes are sold on-site for $10/person. Free admission for children, students, and High Island residents. (Houston Audubon membership does not include access to the High Island sanctuaries. We appreciate your support.)

Events & Bird Walks

We will be hosting weekly guided bird walks, free birding classes at the field station, and Flock Talks at the Rookery, in addition to virtual birding opportunities and special events.



Destination: High Island


Your High Island patch/day pass is also valid for admission to Hooks Woods in High Island, owned by the Texas Ornithological Society (TOS) and managed by Houston Audubon.


Peak spring migration season is from mid-March to mid-May. Numbers are highest during a "fallout", which sometimes occurs with a fast-moving cold front. During fall migration, late September to mid-October usually produce the best results. Be sure to check eBird for the latest bird sightings at the sanctuaries!

Please be considerate of our neighbors! Birds can be found almost anywhere on High Island, including our neighbors' yards. Please do not enter their yards and be careful when you aim your binoculars, as some people get the idea that birders are looking in their windows and invading their privacy.

Questions? Contact Pete Deichmann, Land Director