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Smith Point, Texas

The Smith Point Hawkwatch, located in Chambers County on the upper Texas Coast, has been managed by the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory and Hawkwatch International since 1997. At the tip of a peninsula at the edge of Galveston Bay, Smith Point lies in the path of hawks migrating southwest along the Gulf Coast. Observers positioned on a tower have unobstructed views of birds as they reach the end of this peninsula and contemplate crossing the 7-mile expanse of water to Eagle Point. Staggering numbers of Broad-winged Hawks, Cooper's Hawks, Sharp-shinned Hawks, and American Kestrels are recorded each year. This is one of the best places to witness the migration of Mississippi Kites in the end of August and early September.

For more information, visit the Smith Point Raptor Migration Project Web site.

Cooper's Hawk, immature

Cooper's Hawk, immature
Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Timing Your Visit

The chart below shows the time periods when each species is most abundant. Please remember that the data is based on past records, and the passage of birds can vary greatly from year to year. Click on the name of a species to learn more about its migratory habits.

Northern Harrier                                
Sharp-shinned Hawk                                
Cooper's Hawk                                
Broad-winged Hawk                                
Swainson's Hawk                                
American Kestrel                                
Peregrine Falcon