Top 5 Reasons to Bird in the Winter

Galveston is one of the top locations for birding in the United States.

With year-round birding, the Island is a central location for novice and expert birders offering a wide variety of species. Here are the top five reasons to bird in Galveston this winter:

pictured: Birding in Galveston

1. Winter Migrants

Winter migration is in full effect, and this is the only time of year you can see some of the exciting migrants currently overwintering in our area – species such as Sandhill Cranes, American Kestrels, Belted Kingfishers, Red-breasted Mergansers, Common Loons, Vermilion Flycatchers, and too many others to mention.

2. Visibility

If you’ve ever tried to focus binoculars on a warbler flitting around in the top of a tree during spring, you know how challenging foliage can make it to get a clear view of a bird, much less identify it. With many of our trees completely bare right now, it’s easy to spot birds perched in them. There’s also less vegetation around ponds, making it easier to see birds on the water as well.

Red-shouldered Hawk, Photo by Kristine Rivers

East end lagoon nature park and preserve
Birding in Galveston
3. Less Crowds

It can be difficult to enjoy birding when parks and public beaches are crowded and full of activities that startle or otherwise interfere with birds. With less people out during winter months, there is less disturbance, and you can often get much closer to observe and photograph them.

4. Free Cost

Places like the Galveston Island pocket parks only charge access fees during the busier months of March through October, so it’s free to visit them right now.

5. Pleasant Weather

Although we do have some frigid days now and then, our weather is quite lovely most of the time during the winter months. Not only that but there tend to be fewer mosquitoes, which is always a good thing!

Vermilion Flycatcher, Photo by Bobby Rivers

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Kristine Rivers Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council

Kristine Rivers has been an avid birder since childhood. As an adult, she loves sharing her passion for nature with people of all ages, encouraging them to slow down and have fun as they observe the world around them. She founded Birding for Fun in 2015, providing guided tours and workshops that embrace her philosophy that birding should be accessible to everyone.