Over 380 species of birds may inhabit Padre Island National Seashore during each year. This is nearly half of all bird species that have been documented in North America! The National Seashore is a fabulous place for birds and bird-lovers because it is located on the Central Flyway, a major migration route on which birds travel during their migration to and from North, Central, and South America.
FWS Photo by Joel Reynolds
Its range of habitats makes Padre Island an essential stop-over point for migrating and resident birds that are seeking out grounds for rest, food, nesting, and breeding. As such, the island has been designated as a Globally Important Bird Area by the American Bird Conservancy and a Site of International Importance by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network.
Occurring within the park, there are 13 threatened and endangered bird species, making Padre Island National Seashore an even more important location to these creatures' fragile existence. Based on the Texas Colonial Waterbird Survey, bird counts show decreasing numbers of waterbird species on the spoil islands within the park's boundaries, but participants in the waterbird survey provide varied explanations to suggest why the decrease is occurring. Explanations include habitat loss, disappearance of nesting grounds, marine debris, depletion of food sources, windmills impeding flight, and light pollution affecting migratory patterns.
Many information sources and partners of the park, including you, are critical to continuing education on birds and promoting worldwide bird and bird habitat conservation. If you are interested in becoming a part of a team committed to restoring bird populations and bird habitat, please contact the park's volunteer coordinator to find out how you can get involved.
Did You Know?
The white-tailed deer on the island are not considered the island's largest native mammal because they are believed to come across the Laguna Madre from the mainland. Coyotes are considered the island's largest native mammal. More...