For birds crossing the Gulf of Mexico, South Padre Island is a well needed pit-stop. The natural marshes, dune meadows and intertidal flats combine to make a unique habitat that draws wildlife of all kinds. This unique habitat also gives us the opportunity to see some rare creatures in their natural habitat.
The South Padre Island Birding Center provides close-up encounters with the beautiful wildlife. Boardwalks over the marshes provide picture perfect angles. There are also 5 bird blinds and a 5-story tower with spectacular views.
Birds of all kinds call the South Padre Island home, but you’ll have the chance to see other animals as well. American alligators lurk in the marshes. Turtles and fish swim in the brackish water and butterflies flutter around the thick growth of plants.
There is no shortage of birds. The White Ibis, Great Ergret, Great Blue Heron, Little Blue Heron, endangered Brown Pelican and many more species call SPI home year-round.
Around the end of April, there is a “fallout” of birds. A fallout is when bad weather forces migratory birds to pause their migration and seek shelter. In late spring, you’ll see a lot of warblers, including Yellow Warblers, hooded Warblers, Black and White Warblers and more. Other birds during this time of year include: Redstarts, Purple Gallinules, Painted and Indigo Buntings, Orioles and numerous Hummingbirds.
Fall is also a great time to look for birds. Migratory birds start showing up on the island in October and continues until January.
Finally, don’t miss the droves of monarchs that visit the island in October. Monarch butterflies migrate from North America to Mexico and some of those butterflies make a pit stop on South Padre Island in October.
Hours of Operation:
Open daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. September through January and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. February through August. The Birding Center is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, but boardwalks are always open.
$6 for adults
$5 for students 13-18 and Seniors 55+
$3 for children 4-12 years
Under 4 is free with paid adult
$3 Binocular rentals
Complimentary wheelchairs and strollers
6801 Padre Boulevard, South Padre Island, TX 78597