ANAHUAC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
A Wetland Birder’s Paradise! Unlike other field excursions, this trip is not on foot. We will drive to different sections of the park to observe different species of the avian persuation and of course geologic features that accompdate them.
Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge
Established in 1963 (37,000-acre)
〉 Overview – The meandering bayous of Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge cut through ancient flood plains, creating vast expanses of coastal marsh and prairie bordering Galveston Bay in southeast Texas. The marshes and prairies are host or home to an abundance of wildlife, from migratory birds, to alligators, to bobcats, and more.
〉 Butterfly Garden – The best place to look for butterflies is the Butterfly Garden. First opening in 2004, the Butterfly Garden is a true gem of the refuge. Managed by dedicated volunteers, the garden provides a diversity of native host plants and nectar plants for monarchs and skippers alike. To reach the Butterfly Garden, turn from FM 1985 road onto the Main Anahuac tract and drive towards the visitor information station. Other areas to look include: the Shoveler Pond Auto Loop, Frozen Point Road, and the Cypress Trail (behind the main visitor center on FM 563).
〉 Habitat – Natural forces that have shaped this landscape include dominant south to southeast winds and tropical weather systems. The estuaries of Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge are an important nursery for the fish and shellfish species found in the Gulf of Mexico. Beyond the estuaries, the saltwater marshes ease inland. Fresh water from an occasional storm and the inflow from rivers and creeks helps the keep saltwater out of the freshwater marshes, as well as providing nutrients and sediments. With the change in salinity level comes a different plant community.
〉 Wildlife – Between October and March, visitors are likely to see as many as 27 species of ducks, including green-winged teal, gadwall, shoveler and northern pintail. Huge flocks of snow geese, some times in excess of 80,000, feed in rice fields and moist soil units within the refuge. During spring and fall migrations, warblers and other songbirds can be seen or heard on walks in small wooded areas. Throughout the year, roseate spoonbills, great and snowy egrets, white-faced ibis and mottled ducks can be found on the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge.
Click here for park website
Trip Details and Logistics:
- Unlike most of my day trips that include hiking in a park, we will be driving from site to site within the park. Carpooling is suggested to reduce our impact.
- Self-provided transportation.
- Sunscreen and insect repellent is advised.
- Appropriate clothing should be worn during all hikes based on temperature and time of year.
- Trip details may change depending on the season and weather.
- To book a trip or inquire more details, email me at: email@example.com
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