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Spring Migration is in Full 'Wing'    

May 12, 2020

A Northern Cardinal
A Northern Cardinal

By Andréa Bolt, Communications Specialist, Division of Marketing & Communications

Look to the skies, tree branches, wetland areas and more for the multitude of feathered migrants using Galveston Island as a resting place on their long journeys to warmer winter locations. 

Galveston is located within the Central Flyway Migration Corridor, a crucial landmass acting as a superhighway for migratory bird species, explains Katie St. Clair, Texas A&M University at Galveston Sea Life Facility Manager and birding enthusiast. 

“The island provides important resting grounds for Neotropical migratory birds, which includes warblers, tanagers, vireos, thrushes, as well as many species of shorebirds and raptors,” St. Clair said. 

eastern kingbird
Eastern Kingbird

Neotropical migratory birds breed in the northern United States and Canada during the summer and make the long journey to overwinter in the warmer climes of Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

“Texas A&M-Galveston has fantastic migratory stopover habitat including the surrounding wetlands and trees on campus that provide refuge and foraging opportunities for birds to rest and recover before continuing on their journey north,” she explained. “Especially exciting is when ‘fall-outs’ occur – where large numbers of migratory birds land due to inclement weather. Strong cold fronts force birds to land because they cannot fly against the headwinds and you will find birds in the trees, on the ground, even on the beaches trying to shelter, rest and forage.”

St. Clair said coastal woodland areas on the island, such as Corps Woods and Lafitte’s Cove are great places for birdwatching during the migration season. 

“There is nothing more amazing than looking into a live oak and seeing it bustling with the activity, songs and colors of migratory songbirds.”


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Texas A&M University at Galveston is the marine and maritime branch campus of Texas A&M University which educates nearly 2,300 undergraduate and graduate students in science, business, engineering, liberal arts and transportation. It is driving the development of the blue economy in the Gulf Coast Region and is a critical contributor to Texas A&M's rare land-, sea-, space-grant mission with nearly $10 million in research expenditures.

Texas A&M-Galveston is also home to the Texas A&M Maritime Academy, one of six state maritime academies and the only one in the southern United States, which trains over 400 cadets annually for maritime service and employment around the world.

Texas A&M-Galveston is located in Galveston, Texas on the Gulf Coast where it is surrounded by industry, environment and programs essential to fulfilling its special-purpose mission. Aggies are known for their deep commitment to the success of each other and their strong desire to serve.