We asked on Facebook: What’s your favorite coastal bird and why?
I am obsessed with the pelican! They seem so majestic and confident. The pelican is symbolized as a caring and self-sacrificing parent. Not to mention, they can store a week’s worth of food in their pouch — now that’s impressive!
Treva Oliver Wygle
It’s thrilling to drive home into my neighborhood in Clear Lake Shores and see dozens of white ibises fishing along the oyster reef at low tide.
For me it’s the blue heron. We have some that live in the drainage area near our home, and they are beautiful.
The magnificent frigatebird, my husband’s favorite bird, occasionally visits the coast. The large black bird soars effortlessly and feeds by stealing food from other birds mid-air. Unlike other sea birds, its feathers are not waterproof. If you see one flying, you will understand why they are named magnificent!
Lovebirds, of course! No matter the age — young or old — nothing is a more beautiful sight than a couple, hand in hand, strolling on the beach!
Terri Sireno Burchfield
I love to sit on my porch and watch the beautiful blue herons gracefully glide over the water. We have one that comes every night and sits on our pier at dusk. We have named him skinny legs!
Without a doubt it’s the roseate spoonbill! So unusual, with that wide bill and pink feathers. I’d never heard of them before moving to Galveston. The first time I saw one, I thought it was a cross between a duck-billed platypus and a flamingo! I had to Google it. They are graceful and majestic — and so pink!
American oystercatcher — it is a handsome bird but it is threatened — it is just downright cute.
I love, love, love the little piping plover. I call them sandpipers. I love the way they scurry. I especially love to see little kids try to catch them. Sweetness.
Alice C. Jensen
Great white egret. I smile every time I see one, and that is at least once a day. Nothing else has that effect on me.
Pelicans! I love how they gracefully glide across the skyline and then amusingly dive bomb for a meal.
My granddaughter and I love to watch the tiny terns that run along the wave line!
Patti Gorom Landers
White pelicans that show up when the weather cools and they paddle underneath the fishing lights looking for supper. Galveston’s version of a swan!
Trudy Deen Davis
The brown pelican. I never saw one as a child and teen and now they are prolific. A beautiful example of nature rebounding.
Roseate spoonbills. They look so beautiful flying against a stormy sky.
Nancy Shuman Kitchel
Blue heron! They are so beautiful — long and lean and a beautiful color.
Heather MacBeth Estrada
Brown pelican. Love to watch them soaring on the updrafts of waves. Back in the ‘50s and ‘60s, they had disappeared from the upper Texas coast, probably because of DDT that weakened their shells. Glad they finally came back.
I like migration and the hawks that come to the pastures on the West End. I took a raptors class through Osher Lifelong Learning Institute/UTMB to learn more about them. Great birding seminars!
Only on nesting islands in breeding season do the waders rival the evening grackle racket on the lines over 61st Street and Stewart, or the pre-dawn grackle caucus in the Kroger parking lot. Also Galveston’s rat population would probably be double what it is, but for the neighborhood Cooper’s hawks.
Pelicans. Big ones. Because there isn’t a real Jurassic Park, and they are the closest things to pterodactyls.