Located in the birders' paradise of Calhoun County, southeast of Houston
, the Port Lavaca Bird Sanctuary is a refuge for species like Nelson's sharp-tailed sparrow and the clapper rail (seen here). The area is blissfully undeveloped—except for walkways built over the wetlands that allow visitors to get a closer look at the birds here. The Sanctuary's Birding Tower is a great place to nest for a few hours for viewings of gulls, terns, and brown pelicans. While the diversity across species in the area is impressive year round, spring migration is peak season here, and everywhere in Calhoun County. The area is a leader in the number of bird species recorded on the annual North American Migration count—regularly reaching totals greater than 200.