Migration season brings millions of bird through our area, allowing us to see many species that we normally couldn't. Here are some resources to help you plan for a day of migration birding.
BirdCast has created a Migration Tools webpage that includes migration maps and local alerts. These maps allow you to see bird migration density in real-time. When planning your birding, you might want to pick a day when your chosen area has a high Migration Traffic Rate. Click here to see today's forecast map.
Along with the migration forecast, it is important to check the weather forecast. You can use Accuweather or other weather tracking sites to make sure that you choose the right day with good conditions.
In general, in the Spring, if the winds are from the North it drives birds down to shelter along the Texas upper coast. In the fall, a South wind day isn’t good for birding. You want to bird on the day of a cold front because that north wind brings birds to the coast where they settle down for a bit. The Gulf blocks them from continuing and they want to fuel up before continuing. Heavy rain and thunderstorms can also cause birds to land, especially during spring migration if it’s raining along the coast or the near shore waters of the gulf. Heavy north winds can often push birds back in their arrival times during spring, and birds that normally arrive in late morning arrives in late afternoon or evening.
Thousands upon thousands of birds drown in the gulf each season during bad weather. Remember that a “fall out” (when birds are literally dropping from the sky to find cover along the coast) is great for bird watching, but the birds are totally exhausted, at times at the brink of death, so please do not add to the stress. Give ample room and no disturbance.