Best Birding Sites in Rockport-Fulton in Aransas County
The Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail runs through the Rockport-Fulton area in Aransas County, home to several of the top birding spots in the nation. The county is also the winter home of the only remaining flock of wild whooping cranes, large migrating birds that were once almost extinct.
Here are some of the best places to see hundreds of coastal birds and wildlife year-round, not to mention whooping cranes, which winter in the area from November through April.
ARANSAS NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
1 Wildlife Circle
At 115,000 acres, the refuge was voted the No. 1 birding spot and the No. 5 National Wildlife Refuge in the nation by readers participating in a USA Today poll. More than 400 species of birds either migrate through or live in and around the refuge, along with myriads of other creatures.
The refuge is open 6:45 a.m.-7:30 p.m. seven days a week. For more information, call 361-349-1181.
202 S. Palmetto St.
Habitats mixed with hiking trails, paved roads, bird feeding stations, birdbaths, shoreline, and a pier make this a perfect place for both birds and birders. Pay the $5 entrance fee (ages 12 and younger get in free) and receive a free checklist of birds you will most likely spot according to season.
The park is open 8 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. Make reservations for camping by phone at 512-389-8900. For more information, call 361-729-2858.
210 Seabreeze Drive
Take a walk along the shoreline for herons, shorebirds, gulls, and terns. Islands in nearby Little Bay provide a nesting ground for coastal birds. The park features an observation deck as well as a large protected area where all types of birds thrive.
The beach is open 6 a.m.-11 p.m. daily. For more information, call 361-729-6661.
4333/4351 Texas 35
Look for the Great Texas Birding Trail sign pointing the way to this freshwater marsh and live oak uplands. Enjoy the windmill, walking trails, and an observation deck. The site features an observation platform over a feeding wonderland for migrants birds needing a place to renew their strength.
The 140-acre woods is open 24 hours a day. For more information, call 361-729-6445 or 800-242-0071.
More sites are available in Aransas County, including the popular Aransas Pathways sites, which include the Linda S. Castro Nature Sanctuary, the Pathways Center Pavilion and Bridge, Tule Marsh East, and Ivy Lane.
“Most folks are aware of the great offerings in Rockport, our fantastic fishing, water activities, beautiful Blue Wave Beach, and many other attractions like the Texas Maritime Museum, Fulton Mansion (Historic Home), and all the great restaurants,” Rockport Mayor Pat Rios said. “What you may not know are the great improvements and additions to our Aransas Pathways Sites. (We have) so many birding sites that you will need extra days on your next visit to take them all in.”
For information about boat birding trips, visit rockport-fulton.org or call the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce at 361-729-6445.
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