Galveston, Texas: A Bird-Watcher's Delight

Birdwatchers will travel almost any place in the world they can afford to see different types of birds. The enjoyment of seeing an uncommon bird is what moves them to do what they do. And one excellent place to bird-watch and see lots of varieties and breeds is Galveston, Texas.

Galveston Island is a central assembly point for birds flying both north and south. For the northern migratory birds, it is a rest stop on their way to Mexico for the winter and on their way back in the spring. Three hundred distinct varieties of birds have been counted on the island at various times of the year.

Also, several waterfowl have made a permanent home on the island, and there's a variety of nesting types and varieties to be observed. Guided tours are arranged throughout the year to see the birds in their mating, nesting, and migratory seasons. Half or full day tours on water or on land go out often to see the birds. Some locations offer special classes to teach visitors on the particular birds' backgrounds and histories. One special facility offers classes on bird photography, discussing methodology, equipment requirements and photo editing to bring out the best in your pictures.

Hurricane Ike, which hit the area many years ago, devastated Galveston Island and its bird population. Like most things in nature, though, the area has rapidly recovered, and virtually all of the varieties existing on the island prior to the storm have returned to nest again. Boat tours to the islands Anahuac and Bolivar offer an opportunity to see some of the rarer birds that have returned to the area.

In the springtime, Galveston holds a special bird-watching festival referred to as the Galveston Featherfest. Birdwatchers from around the country flock to the site during this time to get in on the three-day festival. Over 100 various tours are held during Featherfest, as well as plenty of activities and special events. It's a place where birdwatchers can all get with each other to swap stories and pictures, and see new and various varieties of birds they may never have observed before.

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