Galveston Island Wildlife  











Galveston Island Wildlife has a rich environment to flourish in. The island has unique habitats: Galveston Bay, back bays, lagoons, wet lands, lakes and tidal basins and fields.

 Whether they are migrating birds or coastal birds these habitats are home to almost 5oo different specious. Nature lovers from around the country - and world come here. Many come just to watch; others photograph and write about Galveston Island Wildlife.

One of my favorite birds to watch is pelicans. I love watching them fly in formation above the wave tops. You can almost feel there thrill of flight just watching them. These can be seen from anywhere on the island.


           Galveston's Beauty Pageant

Recently FeatherFest had a record 625 birders and photographers for the April 2013 event. Although many in the  tour were from Texas others came from Canada, France, and England. And over half were first time FeatherFest attendees.

You don’t need to be an ornithologist to enjoy this pageant of Galveston Island Wildlife.

Walk on any beach and you’ll see a wonderful variety birds; Least Sandpiper’s, Pelicans, Cormorant’s maybe even Great Heron’s or Tri –colored Heron. 


 So you don't know a Duck from a Cormorant?

If you are not familiar with coastal birds don’t fret. Stop at Walgreen's on the east end of Seawall Blvd. – just past the McDonald's but on the other side of the street.  Near the cash registrar are laminated: Guides for Birds of South East Texas and Upper Texas Coast.  

The guides are laminated fold out charts. Their vibrant pictures and descriptions will make you an avid make bird watcher in no time.

They cost about $8.00. Their web site offers electronic versions too. It’s published by: quickreferencepublishing.com/

Some types of birds you can see.

  • Colonial-Nesting Water Birds: birds that gather in large colonies during nesting season. Most of their food comes from fish and other sea life.
  • Water fowl: these are ducks, geese and other large birds especially when regarded as game
  • Shore birds: Wading birds that frequent the seashore and estuaries.
  • Migratory birds: birds that migrate seasonally.
  • Oceanic birds: birds of the open sea.


 Some Galveston Island Wildlife is a little scary











Other Galveston Island Wildlife

  • Mammals: Rabbits, squirrels, beaver, muskrat, nutrias. Plus everyone’s favorite marine Mammal, Bottle nose Dolphin.

  • Reptiles: Rattle snakes, Cottonmouth, American Alligator, Lizards, Salamanders and Turtles.
  • Marine Life: Crabs, Sand Crabs, Shell fish, Sting Rays, Hermit Crabs, Bull Shark, Hammerhead Sharks, countless types of salt water fishes.

 

Probably the best chance of encounter one is the State Park. You’re more likely to see one after a storm or flooding event. We’ve camped here numerous times since 1984. During that time we have never stumbled onto one.

Galveston Island Wildlife includes the American Alligator. Last May, a swimmer reported an alligator swimming in the surf with them. Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Wardens quickly responded and captured this critter. No one was hurt but what a surprise!


    Not so scary  Galveston Island Wildlife











Some Galveston facts. There are seven species of sea turtle in the world. There is: the green; loggerhead, hawksbill, and leatherback and Kemp's ridley. Did you know five of these species of sea turtles are found in Gulf waters? Wow, if you’re like me it’s a big surprise. The Kemp's ridley is the most common on Galveston.

Nesting season usually begins the first of April.  Volunteers on Galveston begin watching for nesting sea turtles, hatch-lings or injured or dead sea turtles.  They report this so appropriate action can be taken to save them. If you spot any of the above turtle signs, you are encouraged to call: 1-866-TURTLE5


         Everyone's favorite Sea Critter











Galveston bay supports over 150 species of fish. It is a hot spot for sport fishing. Of course anything found on the Gulf shore around Galveston is likely to be found in the bay.

When I worked as a Shrimper off Galveston we pulled up anything from the Gulf. One night we were all surprised to see a Saw fish in the net. It looked about 14 feet long. The saw looked every bit 4 to 5 feet long.  It was a beautiful animal. It shook its head back and forth in finally freed itself.

There were Bull sharks too.  Their head seemed so wide looking down on them! They would gather around the boat. They did this when we pushed dead fish and crabs off the deck. I was very surprised to see them feed alongside dolphins.

The most fantastic animal I saw was a Spotted Eagle Ray. It was in our net, then on our deck. It was about and was about 5 feet wide and beautifully colored. After the action settled on the deck we put it back in the water where it slid away into the Gulf.

 

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