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      The Nature Report: SPI World Birding Center Preview

      The South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center will celebrate its grand opening on September, 26th.

      While the official opening is still weeks away, the birds, like this great blue heron have already found a home here. The impressive, 10,000 square foot building, south of the Convention Centre, is situated on approximately 50 acres, most of which is being developed as wetlands.

      Birding and Nature Center Manager Cate Ball said the view from the top of the five story structure is spectacular. There are not too many places on the Island where you can be in one spot and look on to the bay and turn and look back at the beach, Ball said. The extensive boardwalk stretching out into the bay will provide visitors with the opportunity to see a variety of wildlife. We can easily do a two hour bird walk, people get all wrapped up in the night heron over here, the blue heron over here and the rays out in the water, the alligator, got to stop and look at the alligator|there is a lot to see, Ball said. Recent rainfall should spur growth of marsh vegetation and native plantings that surround the Center which will attract migrating birds arriving this fall. Exhibits are currently being installed, and will feature an introductory video to Island wildlife, a kiosk on peregrine falcons and many other informative displays which will provide visitors with a comprehensive knowledge of the value of coastal habitat. The public is invited to come, Ball said. We are having our free grand opening, please come celebrate our opening, the 9th of the World Birding Centers.