Take Flight in Port Aransas, Texas
Right now is peak birding time down on the Texas coast. Between the famed Whooping Cranes, striking Crested Caracaras, and imposing White Pelicans, there’s enough birding activity in Port A to keep even the most avid birder entertained.
Winter birds in Port Aransas are a varied bunch, and the Port Aransas Nature Preserve is a great place to start when you want to start checking off your birding bucket list! If you’re looking for a bit more guidance, though, check out the stacked list of birding tours taking place in Port Aransas during Whooping Crane Festival, February 24–27!
Whooping Crane Boat Tours go to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. The lowest impact way to see these birds is from the water looking onto the Refuge, and there is no better way to see them than in the comfort of Port Aransas Fisherman's Wharf's Wharf Cat or Scat Cat.
Birding & Nature Boat Tours navigate the local waterways. You will see dolphins, many different species of birds, and great shorelines, including the Lydia Ann Lighthouse. Guides will be there to help identify what's flying high! This trip also includes a "trawl" which brings sea life to a touch-tank on the boat.
Sunset Wine, Birding, & Dolphin Tours head out from the Scarlet Lady at Deep Sea Headquarters in Port Aransas for a 90-minute tour of the channel and bay. Get ready for a fun-filled cruise with sightseeing, dolphins, and birds as the sun sets. Wine and cheese will be provided and a cash bar is available.
On the Photography & Birdwatching Boat Trip, you will join Scott Holt and Kathy Adams Clark for a cruise on the Mustang along the waters surrounding Port Aransas. This will be a slow cruise in the shallows of Humble Basin and Inner Basin that then rounds through the canals past the Port Aransas Nature Preserve. Scott and Kathy will direct the Captain of the boat toward birds of interest.
The Fennessey Ranch Birding & Nature Tour is a bus trip to Fennessey Ranch, which is in the heart of the Central Flyway and provides world class birding opportunities. More than 420 species of resident and migratory birds have been recorded on the Ranch, including painted buntings, green jays, swallow-tailed kites, white-tailed hawks, crested caracara, great kiskadees, and bald eagles, just to name a few. The Ranch has several custom-built birding and photography blinds.
A Shorebird Field Trip will be led by expert guide Gary Clark, who will share his knowledge on this one-of-a-kind field trip! Join him on the beach and learn how he spots and identifies the countless species of birds that call Port A home!
Birds & Brews tackles the kind of bird watching and identification you can do while holding your beer. That implies not using your binoculars. What clues and details are observable with the naked eye? These might be things more subtle or fleeting than you’re used to noticing, and maybe that’s where having a beer or two might help you loosen up a bit and start thinking about birding in a new way.
Tickets to these tours and so much more can be found at https://port-aransas-tourism-welcome-center.myshopify.com.
Can’t make it to Whooping Crane Festival? Not to worry! There’s a guided birding tour, “Birding on the Boardwalk,” that takes place every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. free of charge so you can get your bird on all year long.
Weekly guided birding tours are offered free of charge on Wednesdays at 9 a.m. at Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center.
So, with all these birds just waiting to take flight…what are you waiting for? Grab your binoculars and go!