In my opinion, Galveston Island is one of the prettiest beaches on earth. I love the waves of the Gulf, the soft brown beaches, just about everything about it. The warm Gulf beach water is a nice treat, too. As far as bird watching is concerned, the island is an incredible place to indulge yourself in this hobby. Below are some of the interesting birds you may see while bird watching on the beach in Galveston, Texas.
Cattle Egret. This bird breeds on islands and in swamps, but can more frequently be seen in Galveston, Texas following cattle and tractors. It eats the insects that get stirred up. The Cattle Egret is a beautiful white heron with fantastic plumes on its head and a yellow bill. A native of Africa and Asia, it came to the Americas in the late 1800s. By the 1960s it was one of the most abundant herons here, and is found in nearly all the states, even Alaska.
Roseate Spoonbill. You’ll easily identify this bird while bird watching on the beach in Galveston, Texas – it’s pink! It also has a long, flat spoon shaped bill (hence its name) and reddish legs. It uses that bill to strain food out of the water. Some bird watchers think it is a flamingo on first sighting, due to its bright pink feathers.
Double Crested Cormorant. This is a large dark water bird with a blunt, hooked bill. It is one of the most common cormorants in North America, and can be seen inland as well as on the beach. Look for this species of Cormorant while bird watching in Galveston, Texas – you can sometimes spot its nest by the fact that it uses trash to make it, including plastic debris, rope, and even dead birds (yuck).
White Ibis. This white bird of Galveston, Texas can be identified when bird watching on the beach by its long red legs, all white body, and black wing tips. A very beautiful bird, it has a long, curved bill, and can often be spotted on residents’ lawns looking for bugs when not probing the shoreline.
Ruddy Turnstone. While bird watching on the beach at Galveston island in Texas, be sure to watch for this stocky bird with a short dark bill and short orange legs. It has a sweet, bright brown and white pattern on its face. It is named for the fact that you will spot it flipping over stones around rocky shores, looking for food.
Caspian Tern. This is the largest tern in the world, as big as a large seagull. While bird watching on the beach in Galveston, Texas, you’ll recognize it by its black cap and large red bill. During breeding season, keep your distance, as this tern has been known to attack people aggressively when defending its territory.
Sanderling. If you’ve been to the beach you’ve seen this funny little bird, as it is found on all temperate and tropical sandy beaches in the world. This is the one that runs after the waves, chasing them, then turns and runs away when the waves return. Look for this small sandpiper with a white wingstripe while bird watching the beaches of Galveston, Texas.
Black-bellied Plover. This is a very large shorebird, with a short neck and bill, and a large head. You will easily recognize this striking black and white bird while bird watching on the beach on Galveston Island in Texas. It is the largest plover in North America, and the only one with a hind toe on its foot.
Sandhill Crane. You will know this very large bird if you see it while bird watching on the beach in Galveston, Texas. Its grey body is sometimes tinged with red, and it has a red forehead and white cheeks. This tall crane likes open grassland, meadows and wetlands.