Three Weekend Trips to Some Amazing Bird Watching

A visit to a bird-watching reservation can be the perfect outing for the entire family to experience the wonders of nature. Here are three getaways, all within a days drive worth visiting.

Each spring, beginning in early March through the middle of May, millions of birds migrate to the Texas Gulf Coast from Mexico, seeking food and shelter before making their way up north. One of the best locations to view this phenomenon is High Island, Texas, about 45 miles south from the Houston Audubon Society. For birdwatchers, fallouts as they are called, can offer a remarkable bird watching experience when a variety of migratory birds seem to fall out of the sky.

Each spring, a large number of birds make their way up the Mississippi River during the migrating season. One of the best locations to see the migration take place is at Tara Wildlife, a privately owned, 17,000 acre reserve about 30 minutes northwest of Vicksburg, Mississippi and 72 miles west of Jackson. One of the most extraordinary birds to watch for is the Painted Bunting. Of all North American birds, the Painted Bunting is one of the most spectacular birds, displaying a combination of red, blue and green feathers.

In the heart of South Carolina’s Lowcountry region lays the Francis Beidler Forest Sanctuary. The Beidler Forest sprawls over 45,000 acres of black water sloughs, lakes and swamp woodlands, some that are more than 1,000 years old. A 1.75-mile boardwalk trail takes visitors deep into the swamp’s midst populated with ancient cypress trees that are truly amazing. You’ll find birds everywhere within the forest during the springtime months. Hear the tiny warblers as they perform their repetitive songs and owls calling out even during the midday hours.

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