Spending the Day at the Birding Center
By Priscilla Hedlin
This blog post is part of the Texas Travel Blogger take over of South Padre Island.
I’ve been in a wheelchair for almost 18 years, so when my family and I travel, accessibility is at the top of our list when it comes to seeking out activities.
That’s not to say we don’t have fun if something is not accessible. My husband is capable of helping me over certain barriers and up multiple flights of stairs.
When we find a place that is perfectly accessible and I can be 100% independent, as I am in my daily life, it’s a huge bonus.
The Birding Center in South Padre Island (SPI) definitely succeeded in allowing me to keep my independence, while simultaneously entertaining my family. I have 3 boys, ages, 6, 9, and 12, so finding something they all like is no easy task. The SPI Birding Center succeeded!!
What more could a mom as for!
The Accessible parking was close to the front and I had plenty of room to get my chair out of the vehicle. There were no steps into the building and all doors were relatively light, so I was able to open them.
There was not a single step that I had to worry about throughout our one mile tour. The boardwalk decking was flawless, without any bumps or loose boards.
There were several stops with a bench and shade so if your or your little ones tire easily, this makes the tour much easier.
There was so much to see. Butterflies and birds. Many different types if fish. Alligators, turtles and so many different types of plants. It was incredible to watch all these animals in their natural environment and how they interact with one another. We even got an eduction in how the food chain works, which the kids definitely though was cool.
The Birding Center even provided everyone with binoculars so we could see far away. There is an additional fee to rent the binoculars so if you happen to have your own, definitely bring them with you.
The tour guides are local residents and mostly volunteers. They are extremely knowledgeable about everything. Don’t be shy. Ask questions! My kids surely did.
Here are Three fun things that I learned from our tour guides:
The Osprey is a bird and he has evolved to be able to turn his prey so he becomes more aerodynamic! How cool is that?! I wasn’t able to get an Osprey picture, but I did see a cute little turtle!
The Mangrove is a tree frequently found near water and the sticks are like a snorkel. The tree can still breathe when tide comes in!
SURVIVAL TIP! Cat tale only grows in freshwater and in certain times of year you can eat every single part of it. This is good information to have for outdoor people.
When you head out for your Bird Center tour, make sure you pack water, sunscreen and your camera. You will be in direct sunlight for quite a while so you will want to stay hydrated and protect your skin. You can use your camera phone but you won’t get nearly as many pictures as you will with a better camera.
Priscilla is mom to 3 boys and wife to Charlie. She blogs about her every day ordinary life on wheels so she can show the world that life doesn’t have to stop just because it was turned upside down! You can read her blog at The Wheelchair Mommy.