When you visit Matagorda County, you'll never run out of things to do... that is, unless you want to. you'll find miles of world-class beaches, amazing nature and
wildlife, museums, historic sites, unique shopping and great dining. Wherever you go, you're sure to encounter nature at its best and Texas hospitality at its warmest.
Bird-Watching Sites in Matagorda County
What travelers will notice first while visiting Matagorda County is that everywhere they go, an unusually large number of birds are there to observe. Along highways, red-tailed hawks and other birds of prey can be seen perched on poles; down on the beach, white and brown pelicans and other shore birds fish for a meal; in the coastal marshes, great blue heron, roseate spoonbills and other wading birds step gingerly through the tall grass; on the Colorado River, anhinga and cormorants bask in the sun to dry their wings; and in the fields and woods throughout the county, colorful warblers flit from tree to tree. The people of Matagorda County are appreciative that they live in a place so special that it attracts birders from all over the world, and have compiled a list of favorite birding spots for visitors.
Matagorda County Birding Nature Center - 35-acre site which includes many of the native habitats found in Matagorda County, including river, timber, prairie and wetlands.
LeTulle Park - located adjacent to the Matagorda County Birding Nature Center, this site is frequented by waterfowl and migrating warblers in the spring and fall.
River Oaks and Rolling Woods - bordering the Colorado, these subdivisions offer both timber and riverside birding opportunities.
Ashwood Area - 10 miles east of Bay City on County Road 126, the Ashwood area is lush timber habitat.
Allenhurst Road - traversing the Columbia Bottomlands Habitat, this is an undeveloped wooded area prime for woodpeckers and native songbirds.
San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge - encompasses salt marshes and coastline, with no development.
Sargent & Sargent Beach - natural beach with well established dune system.
Big Boggy National Wildlife Refuge - tours available by appointment, this refuge is filled with wildlife.
Riverside Park - southeast of Bay City and adjacent to Rio Colorado Golf Course, this is a beautiful wooded area in which to hike and bird watch for native species.
Selkirk Island - created by the Colorado River, this is a good spot for river and wetland species.
Matagorda and area - the woodlots within the city of Matagorda have been planted with a variety of exotic trees and shrubs that attract neotropical migrants in spring and fall. This area is also an important part of the nationally renowned Mad Island Marsh Christmas Bird Count.
Mobile Street Hummingbird Trail - small walking trail lined with fragrant flowers which attract native hummingbird species.
East and West Matagorda Bays - teeming with fish which attracts numerous bird species, the bay is an excellent spot to view plovers, gulls and other wetland species.
Matagorda Beach - public beach on the Gulf of Mexico, the most impressive birds here are white pelicans. With a wingspan of up to eight feet, these huge birds dwarf their close cousins, the brown pelican.
Wadsworth Park - adjacent to prairies and woodlands, this public park provides a quiet respite for bird watchers.
South Texas Plant Area - the South Texas Project consists of a large constructed freshwater wetlands area, open to the public, in partnership with Ducks Unlimited.
Mad Island Marsh Preserve - managed by the Nature Conservancy of Texas, this area of Matagorda County is perhaps where species and habitats are most concentrated. Currently tours and visits are available by appointment through the Nature Conservancy of Texas.
Oyster Lake Road - travels through an extensive salt marsh, and in winter many species may be abundant along the roadside. The rice fields that border the northern section of the road may be packed full in spring with migrant shorebirds. At the end of the road, park and search the bay for loons, grebes and ducks. This road is sometimes impassable in inclement weather, so be cautions during heavy rains.
Trull Marsh - with convenient birding platforms, this area near Palacios affords a comfortable spot to view marsh and wetland species.
East Bayshore Drive - parallel to Tres Palacios Bay, this drive offers an opportunity to inspect the bay and bordering marshes for a variety of waterbirds.
Texas Baptist Encampment - situated on Hamilton's Point in south Palacios, this area is perfect for scanning Tres Palacios Bay for loons, grebes, pelicans, ducks, gulls and terns.
Tres Palacios Bay - this beautiful body of water can be viewed from a number of parking areas along the streets that border the bay.
Texas State Marine Education Center Trail - nature trail that winds along Tres Palacios Bay.
Cash's Creek - the fields in this region attract thousands of cranes, geese and ducks each winter. Cliff swallows nest under the bridge in the summer, and search the grasslands for raptors, including white-tailed hawk.
Wilson Creek - north of Palacios, this sedate tree lined waterway is home to many waterfowl and native songbirds.
Tres Palacios River - large flights of swallows as well as wading birds are viewed from the bridge located west of Bay City on Farm Road 521.