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Birding

Mustang Island boasts one of the highest bird counts on the Gulf Coast.  Port Aransas has numerous birding sites including the Wetland Park, Joan & Scott Holt Paradise Pond, the Leona Belle Turnbull Birding Center and the South Jetty, all of which are on the Great Texas Birding Trail.  They were created to give birders an “up close” adventure to observe hundreds of permanent and visiting species in their natural and wintering habitats.

From the natural wetlands, inlets and miles of beaches and dunes, to the rock jetties, piers and boats, the island offers dozens of perfect vantage points to view all the birds that call Port Aransas and Mustang Island “The Nest of Texas.”  In addition, daily boat trips are available to experience the uniqueness of observing offshore, pelagic birds on islands surrounding Port ‘A.’

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The Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce and the City of Port Aransas are birder friendly, providing information about birding sites, lectures on birding and a Birding Check List for Port Aransas and Mustang Island.  The Parks and Recreation Department offers weekly guided birding walks at the Leona Belle Turnbull Birding Center and monthly beach walks to educate visitors on Port Aransas’ ecosystem.

Winter and spring migrating birds know a good rest stop when they see it.  Located in the heart of the spring and fall migration routes on the Central Flyway, our tiny island boasts a number of significant birding sites and events you won’t want to miss.  The Celebration of Whooping Cranes and Other Birds held the last weekend in February is our most popular event which features world renowned speakers, exhibits, bus and boat tours, workshops and demonstrations.  Regardless of the time of year, you’ll find Port Aransas as relaxing a rest stop as the birds do.

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Birding Links

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge
Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program
Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail
Great Texas Wildlife Trails/Suggested Itineraries
Gulf Coast Bird Observatory
Laguna Madre
Mollie Beattie Coastal Habitat Community

National Estuarine Research Reserve
Port Aransas Parks and Recreation
Science & The Sea
Shamrock Island Management Complex
State of the Birds Report
Texas Nature Tourism
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
The University of Texas Marine Science Institute
Wetlands Education Center