04/12/2014 (12:00 am)
High Island Bird Sanctuaries
High Island, Texas
The oak-laden bird sanctuaries of High Island, in particular Houston Audubon’s Boy Scout Woods and Smith Oaks Sanctuaries are celebrated as the premier hotspots on the Gulf Coast. In this area, birders can dizzy themselves with well over 100 dazzling species far before it’s time to break out lunch. Yet the birding is so fast-paced that you’ll be occupied with feasting your eyes on a kaleidoscope of colors. Over two dozen species of brilliantly-clad warblers, a host of vireos, flycatchers, thrushes, glittering buntings, tanagers, and grosbeaks descend upon the Island in astonishing numbers during the spring. The woods are bursting with near-daunting amounts of movement, as skulking Swainson’s and Worm-eating Warblers creep through the tangles, treetops glow with Blackburnian Warblers and Northern Parulas, and sunlit edges explode with frenzies of thrashers, catbirds, sparrows, and buntings.
The workshops are held at Boy Scout Woods and cost $10 a person per workshop. You can sign up online until noon of the Friday prior to the workshop or at High Island on the day of the workshop. High Island birding workshops are conducted by Tropical Birding, Inc. guides and Houston Audubon staff. Proceeds benefit Houston Audubon sanctuaries. Workshop participants are encouraged to participate in the free field trips that follow the workshops and use their new identification skills.