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Bird
Wildlife Information

Matagorda County lies along the migratory path, the Central Flyway Zone, of hundreds of species of birds, which makes it a leader in the Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count for having the most species of birds in North America.  The birds that migrate through Matagorda County range from predatory birds, herons, pelicans, ducks, and geese.


Black Skimmer
Black Skimmer
The Black Skimmer has a white underside with a black to gray covering its head and wings. The beak is black and red, with the lower mandible extending out beyond the upper.

Snowy Egret
Snowy Egret

The Snowy Egret is a white heron.  It has black legs and yellow feet.  It is a wade fisher, often dragging its feet to stir up prey.


Roseate Spoonbill
Roseate Spoonbill

The Roseate Spoonbill is of the spoonbill family, as in the name.  Its body is of a deep pink color.  It has spatulate bills, which are long and flat, and it feeds by wading and dragging its beak through the water. 


Northern Harrier
Northern Harrier

The Northern Harrier is a bird of prey in North America.  The male and female harriers differ in plumage, the male’s being darker, and the female tends to be larger than the male.


Snow Geese
Snow Geese
The Snow Goose is also known as a Blue Goose.  The two names derive from the color morphs that occur in the bird.  White Snow geese are all white with the exception of black wing tips, where as the blue geese have bluish grey plumage, except for the head, which remains white

Sandhill Crane
Sandhill Crane

The Sandhill Crane is a gray bird with long dark legs which trail behind it during flight.  Male and female sandhill cranes are very similar in color.  These birds are often mistaken for Great Blue Herons.


Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Herons are the largest of the North American herons, usually a gray color with a flat yellow bill. 


White Pelican
Pelicans
White and Brown Pelicans are found along the coastline.  The Brown Pelicans differing from the white not only in color, but in its fishing habits: diving into the water after fish as opposed to co-operative fishing from the surface.

DUCKS-Many different types of ducks fly through Matagorda County on their migration paths.  Here is a list of a few of the types.


Mallard Ducks
Mallard Ducks
Mallards- One of the most recognizable ducks, the Mallard is defined by the male, with a bright green head, the female’s being light brown. 

Pintail Ducks
Pintail Ducks

Pintails- A brown duck that receives its name from the male’s two long black tail feathers.


Redhead Duck
Redhead Duck
Redheads-A grey colored duck with the male’s having a red head and a blue bill, the Redhead is a medium sized diving duck. 

Along with the above birds that are fairly common, the Central Flyway Zone brings in birds that rare to the area. 


Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Yellow-crowned Night Heron

The Yellow-crowned Night Heron is a fairly small heron.  It is gray with a white crown and back. 

 


Purple Gallinule
Purple Gallinule

Purple Gallinule is a medium sized rail.  It has large yellow feet, a purple and blue plumage, with green back and wings.  Also has a small patch of light blue feathers on its forehead, and white feathers under its tail.  It nest in a floating structure usually in marshes.

 


Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated hummingbirds are solitary birds that only come together for mating.  They are defensive of their feeding territories due to their need to gorge before migration, a 500 mile flight across the Gulf of Mexico. 


Golden-fronted Woodpecker
Golden-fronted Woodpecker

Golden-fronted Woodpecker, much like the more common red bellied woodpecker, nest in large trees.  The bird has a black and white patterned back, white head with yellow highlights, and a white underbelly.


Horned Lark
Horned Lark

The Horned Lark is a distinct lark due to its black and yellow face pattern.  This particular species of lark also is a ground bird.  During the summer months, the male has a pattern of black horns, giving it its American name. 


For more information on all the species of birds that occur in Matagorda County, please see the Matagorda County Birding Nature Center.

 

For a complete list of bird species please go here: Species List




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