Cattail Marsh Birding Checklist
Beaumont’s Cattail Marsh is a natural address for some of Southeast Texas’s most eye-catching waterfowl. In fact, some 320 species of birds call Cattail Marsh home each year, proving that birds of a feather do not necessarily flock together — a huge plus for the birders among us.
Around the marsh are miles of gravel levee roads that have long served as prime bird-watching real estate. With the addition of a boardwalk and new Wetlands Education Center, the marsh is now a must stop for the hard-core birder, as well as anyone who appreciates the sight of a snow-white egret gracefully landing in the water to rest.
The boardwalk puts nature lovers face to face with wildlife, extending 520 feet across the water. It offers two connected and covered gazebo-shaped view platforms — complete with benches — that serve as protection from the summer sun or a winter shower. The vibrant, Crayola box of nature’s hues are on full display here: from the orange-beak of the black-bellied whistling duck to the mottled browns and tans of the barred owl and the splash of lemon on the yellow-rumped warbler. The marsh is also home to the seven species of swallows — an unusual attribute not found in most wetlands locations — and is a host site for the Great Texas Birding Classic held each spring. The biggest birding tournament in the U.S., it raises funds for conservation projects.
Of course, birds aren’t the only residents of Cattail Marsh. Keep your eye out for muskrats, bullfrogs, turtles (snapping and otherwise), and alligators.