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South Texas Birding: Bent Oaks Rookery Park in Rockport

Harvey damaged or destroyed many of the trees on the property, but ironically, more birds were recorded nesting at the property after the storm.

ROCKPORT, Texas — The Bent Oaks Rookery Park in Rockport is a fantastic place to check out some beautiful birds in the Coastal Bend.  Glenn Gomez, Mid-Coast Texas Master Naturalist joined us on 3 News First Edition to talk about the nesting site for birds in Rockport.  

The park in Rockport is an 8.8 acre property along Broadway Street and Little Bay. The land was purchased by the City of Rockport to preserve the iconic windswept oaks and an active federally protected Great Blue Heron and Great Egret rookery. 

Harvey damaged or destroyed many of the trees on the property, but ironically, more birds were recorded nesting at the property after the storm, than nested the previous year.

Each winter, these colonial water birds choose these trees to mate, nest and raise their young. As far as we know, they have used this important site for years and years. The coastal live oaks of the park offer excellent nesting sites, and space for the birds. The gathering of many discourages predators which allow the nesting to succeed.

This year, 2019, the breeding counts noted by Rockport-Fulton's Claudia Dorn are:

Great Blues (GBHE) - 74 pairs

Great Egrets (GREG)- 71 pairs

Black-crown Night Herons (BCNH) - 39 pairs

If people want to come out and visit the Bent Oaks Rookery in Rockport – check out the City of Rockport website at www.CityOfRockport.com and see the Area Parks in the Parks & Leisure Dept. The official address for the park is 1902 E. Maple in Rockport.  You can visit between now and end of June, bring binoculars and a camera. There is a small parking area for viewing the rookery located on Maple Street.

We would like to thank The University of Texas Marine Science Institute and the Coastal Bend Audubon for putting this segment together each month.