Bird-Friendly Port Arthur
We know why birds love us. Coastal views and good eating attract them, too. Port Arthur is on both the Central and Mississippi Flyway migratory paths. We’re a hot spot, and we want to continue improving our area for the birds. Join in our steps to build a bird-friendly community. We want to enjoy them while they are here, and ensure their save passage along the way. #birdportarthur
Spring and Fall Migration Peaks
In Port Arthur, we are birdy all year. Spring and fall migrations draw even more varieties birders from all over flock to view. Internationally-famous Sabine Woods, Sea Rim State Park, Pleasure Island, area refuges, community gardens and back yards attract warblers, shore birds and more. Here are peak seasons for our area:
Spring Migration: March 1-June 15; Peak: April 19-May 7
Fall Migration: August 15-November 30; September 5-October 29
This is For the Birds!
Whereas our Upper Texas Gulf Coast offers beautiful vistas, and whereas our spring and fall migrations are off the charts, and whereas our shore birds are yet another reason to enjoy Sea Rim State Park, Port Arthur officially loves the birds and the birders who come to see them. We’re working hard to protect those birds.
We’ve been connecting to the community on bird-friendly practices and we pledge to continue efforts to educate and promote native plantings and other best-practices for our feathered friends. Keep checking this site for garden ideas, plant sale information, speaker presentations and links on ways to make your home, business and community more bird friendly. #birdportarthur
Native plants, dark skies for better migration, keeping cats indoors and bird strike prevention are topics we’ll be sharing. We are learning as we go how easy, fun and beautiful it is to make just about anyplace more bird-friendly. And won’t that be nice when you’re hearing happy birdsong and spotting a pink-tinted Roseate spoonbill soar across a Port Arthur sky?
You actually want bugs in your garden. Native oak trees and herbaceous sunflowers, goldenrod and milkweed host caterpillar species that spell protein for birds, National Audubon Society reports. Fruit shrubs, dogwood and coneflowers provided nuts and seeds for birds to hide for cold-weather nourishment. Red, tubular flowers serve up nectar. Need more tips? Look here.
More on Natives
The Native Plant Society of Texas knows it’s not bragging if it’s true. Texas boasts more than 5,000 species of native. Our size and geography featuring coastal plains, forests, deserts, mountains, hills and prairies make us one of the most biologically divers states. Check out their resource guide here, for plantings that will preserve plant heritage for future Texans.
Dark Skies Help Migration
The International Dark-Sky Association reports that by turning off excess lighting, we can help provide migrating birds safe passage between nesting and wintering grounds. Sky glow can distract migrating birds from their routes, leaving them weak and vulnerable to pray. Simple tips to help include:
- Keep indoor lights indoors (draw blinds)
- Turn off unnecessary lights
- Install motion sensors and timers to turn lights off when they are not needed
- Aim exterior lights down and put a shield on top. This will keep light where it belongs.
- International Dark-Sky Association offers more info for better bird migration and light pollution here.
- Get some of their brochures here.
- Want to hear an epic migration tale? They suggest reading Night Moves, published in Audubon magazine, here.
Keep Kitties Indoors
Keep cats indoors, especially during migration season. Outdoor domestic cats are an issue, the American Bird Conservancy reports. Cats have contributed to extinction of 63 species of birds, mammals and reptiles. Cats are cute but so are Piping Plover! Learn the group’s tips here.
Prevent Bird Collisions
Birds see habitat and sky reflected in windows and sometimes keep flying. Decals, certain types of glass and other methods can help prevent these bird deaths. The American Bird Conservancy’s tips are here.
There’s always something “extra”
Our birding is “extra” and we see how one good spot leads to another. We’re “spotting” some beneficial programs and will continue to add links like this:
- American Birding Association offers a Young Birder of the Year mentoring program. Learn about it here.
- Birdability – This non-profit group believes “birding is for everybody and every body.” They focus on birding for those with mobility and other challenges. We have met representatives as we represent our area at bird shows. For more on their projects, read here.
Our birding page on this site is one-stop shopping for an all-about-our-birds-and-where-to-find-them guide. Read up and visit any time. But we’ll especially be looking for you this spring and fall.