Texas 2023: Spring Migration & Hill Country

April 12 – 23, 2023

Tour Length: 12 days
Est. Spaces Left: Available

Tour Leaders

Stephan Lorenz
Claudia Cavazos



Birds, Photography


Double Accommodation: $3900/person
Single Supplement: + $650
Deposit: $500

Max Group Size

14 (2 leaders)


Easy to Moderate; Some walks, lots of birding from road

Future Departures

April 13, 2024

Tour Descriptions

The upper Texas coast provides an unrivaled birding spectacle in the spring as millions of migrants stream north on their way to their breeding rounds. Southern species are already setting up territories and the inland forests are ringing with songs. The coast can be alive with up to 30 species of warblers and it is not uncommon to record more than 30 species of shorebirds alone. Famous migrant traps like High Island, Sabine Woods, and LaFitte’s Cove concentrate vireos, thrushes, tanagers, grosbeaks, and of course the jewels of Neotropical migrants, warblers. This trip coincides with the peak of spring migration and will take advantage of the best time of year to witness this miracle of nature. Three full days birding migrant hotspots on the coast should net us a wide variety of songbirds and shorebirds, plus one full day exploring the Big Thicket regions will add southern breeders and pine woods specialties.

Of course no visit to Texas would be complete without seeing the Golden-cheeked Warbler, an endemic nesting bird, and endangered Black-capped Vireo. The trip will head west for two days to explore the riches of the Hill Country where, in addition to the two star birds, we will see a suite of birds different from the coast. In order to complete the loop through Texas’ richest birding habitats we will pass through Kingsville to locate several Rio Grande valley specialties, most notably Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Tropical Parula, and Northern Beardless Tyrannulet, plus Green Jay, Audubon’s Oriole, and more. A short visit to the Rockport area will add many migrants and shorebirds.



More Details

Trip Highlights

Top Birds

Black-capped Vireos and Golden-cheeked Warblers; Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Northern Beardless Tyrannulet, Tropical Parula, and Audubon’s Oriole; 30 New World Warbler species;19 sparrow species including Bachman’s, Cassin’s, Botteri’s, Olive, LeConte’s, Clay-colored; Buff-breasted Sandpipers, Hudsonian Godwits, multiple Cerulean and Golden-winged warblers, Swainson’s Warblers. Swallow-tailed Kite, Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Brown-headed Nuthatch, and Bachman’s Sparrow. In addition, more than twenty North American warbler species; vast numbers of shorebirds, waders, and ducks.

Top Mammals

Coastal habitat; Edwards Plateau woodlands; oak woodlands; riverside vegetation, wetlands

Other Attractions

Recommended Reading

  • National Geographic Field Guide to The Birds of North America (7th Edition) Jon Dunn, et. al. 2017, National Geographic Society
  • Birds of Texas: A Field Guide J. H. Rapploe & G. W. Blackhole

Planning for the Trip

Meeting Location

Houston International Airport


comfortable 3-star hotels where available; 2 star if not


11 nights lodging, all meals, transportation, taxes & tips (tip to guide & boat optional


Alcohol, personal calls, laundry, other personal expenses.

Habitats Covered

Coastal habitat; Edwards Plateau woodlands; oak woodlands; riverside vegetation, wetlands

Expected Climate

Temperatures will range from mild to hot, sometimes in the 90’s.

Suggested Clothing and Gear

Valid, current passport (w/ 4 blank pages)
Visa (if required)
Credit cards / cash
Scope and tripod (optional)
Sunglasses and sunscreen
Water bottle
Small umbrella
Small day pack / fanny pack
Small flashlight
Mosquito/insect repellant (DEET 25% or greater)
Itch relief cream
Lip screen/balm
Prescription drugs – carry in original packaging to avoid customs problems
OTC medicines (antibiotics, cold/sinus, cough drops, eye drops, analgesic (Motrin, aspirin), anti-diarrheal)
Small alarm clock
Field guides
Hiking Boots/Shoes
Lightweight shoes/sneakers/sandals
Light-weight long pants
Light-weight long-sleeved shirts
Hat with brim/visor
Safari (e.g., Tilly) hat
Rain jacket/wind breaker
PJs or shorts for lounging/sleeping