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 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.
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.
The is of the spoonbill family, as in the name. Roseate Spoonbill 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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
Pintails- A brown duck that receives its name from the male’s two long black tail feathers.
Redheads-A grey colored duck with the male’s
having a red head and a blue bill, the Redhead is a medium sized diving
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
The Yellow-crowned Night Heron is a fairly small heron. It is gray with a white crown and back.
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 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, 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.
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.