Padre Island National Seashore Professional Review and Guide
"Padre Island is one of the longest stretches (70 miles) of undeveloped ocean beach in the United States. Five miles of beach, from the national seashore entrance to Malaquite Beach, are closed to vehicular traffic. Malaquite Beach is the site of the park’s visitor center, an observation deck, changing rooms, snack bar, gift shop, and campground. The visitor center has an information desk, a few exhibits, and a sales outlet. Bird Island Basin contains a boat launch that leads into Laguna Madre and the Intracoastal Waterway. Several additional spoil banks can be visited within the Laguna Madre (26 within the park borders); none of these should be disturbed during the bird nesting season between April 1 and September 30.
Key birds: Brown Pelican, Reddish Egret, White and White-faced Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Mottled Duck, and White-tailed Hawk are present year-round. Magnificent Frigatebird; Least Bittern; Wood Stork; Purple Gallinule; Gull-billed, Sandwich, and Least Terns; Black Skimmer; and Painted Bunting occur in summer. Northern Gannet; Surf Scoter; Merlin; Peregrine Falcon; Sandhill Crane; Snowy and Piping Plovers; Red Knot; Burrowing and Short-eared Owls; American and Sprague’s Pipits; and LeConte’s Sparrow can usually be found in winter."