by Roland H. Wauer & Mark A. Elwonger (Falcon Guides)
This 43,388-acre national wildlife refuge is one of several along the upper Texas Gulf Coast established to provide unaltered habitat for migrating and wintering waterfowl and other bird life. More than 425 wildlife species (including 300 birds) use the refuge during all or part of their life cycles. Public access to the refuge is limited. The Big Slough Auto Tour is available sporadically, usually from 7 A.M. to 4 P.M. weekdays and on the first weekend of each month. Other areas are available only by prior arrangement.
Key birds: Brown Pelican, Reddish Egret, White and White-faced Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, White-tailed Hawk, Crested Caracara, Black Rail, and Seaside Sparrow are present year-round. Magnificent Frigatebird, Least Bittern, Wood Stork, Fulvous and Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks, Purple Gallinule, Least Tern, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, and Painted Bunting occur in summer. American White Pelican; Greater White-fronted, Snow, and Ross’s Geese; Bald Eagle; Peregrine Falcon; Yellow Rail; Short-eared Owl; Vermilion Flycatcher; American and Sprague’s Pipits; Sedge Wren; Palm Warbler; and LeConte’s and Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrows can usually be found in winter.
© Roland H. Wauer & Mark A. Elwonger/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.