Texas Birds: Pictures, Video, Tips


Texas does everything big, including Texas birds. Even casual birders come to quickly learn that Texas ranks number one in the number of bird species found in a state.

The numbers change from time to time. To date, over 650 have been documented on the Texas bird checklist. That number represents roughly two-thirds of the total number of North American bird species.

Visitors to Texas will find a very friendly birding community. Almost every city and park district is happy to hand out a brochure or bird checklist of the local birds and their seasonal availability. Better yet, arrive at many parks during migration and discover that bird identification is as easy as asking one of the many expert birders present.

A centralized location along two migratory flyways accounts for most of Texas bird diversity. Eight separate ecoregions also mean the state has habitat to accommodate many different types of birds. Populations of Texas Woodpeckers, for example, change depending on the ecoregion.

Highlighting the south, the video shows a nice sample of birds commonly on the average birder’s must see list. They either live full time or migrate through the area. For example, there are close to two dozen flycatcher species that make their way through the Lower Rio Grande Valley and South Texas during migration.

The video starts with four members of the family:

  • Kingbird
  • Great kiskadee
  • Vermilion flycatcher
  • Scissor-tailed flycatcher

The back end of the video includes species from a variety of bird families:

  • Green Jay
  • Altamira Oriole
  • Black-bellied whistling duck
  • Golden cheeked warbler
  • Black-crested titmouse
  • Plain Chachalaca

Texas Beach Birds

picture of a Piping Plover or a Black-bellied Plover
Having miles of shoreline along the Gulf Coast also means Texas supports a healthy population of beach birds. A multitude of waterbirds, wading birds, gulls, terns and shorebirds are abundant along the Texas coast every season of the year.

picture of a Golden plover along the Texas beach
Check along the coast during the winter, for example, to catch a peek at the ten plover species. Wintering plover populations such as the Wilson’s Plovers and American Golden Plovers (pictured) exhibit a calm enough demeanor to allow for easy photography opportunities.

The Texas north coastal area is a great place during migration. It’s front and center of the Central Flyway, along with being a land intersection for birds who follow the Gulf Coast on the way to and from the Atlantic Flyway.

Hawk migration picks up steam a bit south of the intersection in Corpus Christi. It’s one of the premier hawk watch destinations in the country, where upward to one million hawks have been counted during the fly by on their way to their southern winter grounds.