The Binocular Site

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, Texas

Originally formed by President Roosevelt back in 1937, the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge can be found  to the southwest of San Antonio Bay along the Gulf of Mexico and also incorporates part of Matagorda Island.

This unique area of wetlands is home to a wide array of Texas wildlife, and also provides nesting grounds for many migratory birds.

The area attracts over 392 species of birds in total, including pelicans, herons, egrets, spoonbills, ibises, shorebirds, ducks, and geese.

The Aransas National Wildlife Refuge's brackish tidal waters are celebrated worldwide for hosting the largest flock of endangered Whooping Cranes during the winter.

The Whooping Crane is one of the rarest birds in North America, with a population reported as low as 15 in 1941. Thanks to conservation efforts these numbers are now on the rise and as many as 266 whooping cranes made the migration to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in 2007.

The state bird of Texas is the Northern Mockingbird and you can find a checklist for birding in Texas here.

Photo credit to StuSeeger, used with permission under the creative commons license. You can learn more about the habitat and wildlife at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and find a birding checklist for the refuge here.

If you've visited the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, please take the time to share your experience and any tips or insight you have about this Texas bird watching location below.

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Average User Rating 

  • Jeff

    Aransas NWR is usually a great site but is currently (April 2009) not so great because of the drought Texas has been having for a couple of years. At present, you might do better to head up to San Bernard NWR, 90 minutes sw of Houston.
    You can find photos and trip reports for San Bernard at my blog:

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