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Sabine Woods Sanctuary

Sabine Woods Sanctuary is an oasis of tall trees amid the coastal plains and marshes between Sabine Pass and Bolivar Peninsula, a haven for neotropical migrants in the spring as they complete their long flight across the Gulf of Mexico and look for the relief of solid ground. There are certainly Gulf Coast locations with more birds in the spring, but perhaps not as many per acre.

Prime time for birding runs from late March through mid-May, with a smaller run in early September through late October. Birding Hotspots of Southeast Texas describes the action:

Warblers, Vireos, Grosbeaks, Flycatchers, Thrushes, Tanagers and Orioles are common visitors …. The grassy areas will often produce Blue Grosbeaks and Indigo Buntings. The trees in the southeast comer and the low growth areas in the north should be checked for Orioles. Swallows, often including Northern Rough-winged Swallows, may be common In April. Yellow-crowned Night-Herons and Green Herons are quite common migrants. Hummingbirds make good use of the large areas of Lantana especially near the entrance…. White-tailed Kites, often noisily obvious, have fledged young in early September (in the oak trees at the entrance) and Groove-billed Anis have been seen in November-December (in the low growth in the northern part). Downy Woodpeckers are usually present and nest successfully most years.

The Texas Ornithological Society owns and manages the sanctuary. Oaks dominate the landscape, but there are willows, hackberrys, mulberry trees and heavy undergrowth in many areas. The sanctuary is free to members of the Ornithological Society and affiliated organizations and $7 for other birders.


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