• Aerial View of Padre Island National Seashore

    Padre Island

    National Seashore Texas

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  • Park Phone issues

    The visitor center main phone line and fax line are not working. To reach the park visitor center, call (361) 949-8069. Fax to (361) 949-7091, Attention: Visitor Center. We apologize for the inconvenience.

  • Bird Island Basin Campground rehabilitation starts August 18, 2014

    The second part of a project to repair facilities and rebuild eroded shoreline at Bird Island Basin Campground begins August 18. Minor disruptions of activities in the immediate area may occur. None of the work should affect use of the boat ramp.

Mudflat Fiddler Crab

Mudflat Fiddler Crab

Smithsonian Institute

Fiddler Crabs can be found from the Gulf of Mexico to South America. These crabs are found most often in soft sand or mudflats, near salt marshes. They will feed on algae, bacteria, fungus and detritus (dead and decaying plant and animal matter). The male has one large and one small claw, but the size of the female claws are equal. The male uses this enlarged claw in an unusual mating ritual during which he positions himself beside a small burrow that he has dug, and moves the claw back and forth (in a fiddling motion) to attract a female. If a female comes close by, the male will then tap the ground with his claw. If receptive, the female will then enter the burrow where they will mate. Their burrows also provide shelter from predators such as herons, egrets and raccoons.

Did You Know?

The National Park Service arrowhead contains a white buffalo, an animal sacred to many native Americans.

Although Padre Nicolas Balli established the first permanent settlement on the island, the island was previously owned by his father and his grandfather, who obtained the original grant from the Spanish crown. More...