Prior to 1997, local volunteers, working under the auspices of the Hawk Migration Association of North America, had routinely conducted limited counts of the fall raptor migration through the "Coastal Bend" area of Texas and knew that the flight there was significant. In 1997, encouraged by local enthusiasts, HawkWatch International stepped in and initiated full-season, standardized counts at Hazel Bazemore County Park, which sits at a horseshoe bend on the southern bank of the Nueces River about 17 miles west of Corpus Christi near the town of Calallen. The 1997 count recorded more than 841,000 migrants, which immediately ranked this flight as the largest ever recorded in the United States and Canada! The next year, the count rose to an even higher total of 992,950 migrants and included 28 species, one of the most diverse assemblages ever recorded at a North American migration site! Then in 2004, the count exceeded 1 million migrants, which is the first time any site-specific count in North America outside of Mexico reached that milestone. Broad-winged Hawks typically comprise greater than 95% of the total count, but counts of Mississippi Kites, Turkey Vultures, and Swainson's Hawks also typically total in the thousands. Corpus Christi is the only HawkWatch in North America where you have a chance of seeing Swallow-tailed Kites, White-tailed Kites, Mississippi Kites, Zone-tailed Hawks, Short-tailed Hawks, White-tailed Hawks, and Harris's Hawks. BirdWatching Magazine highlighted our Corpus Christi HawkWatch site in their October 2008 edition. View article
Download the site brochure and species check list.
Visitors and Groups
Come visit us at the site--everyone is welcome! Our educational interpreters will help you learn more about migration ecology, raptor identification, and our research efforts. If you are a large group, please contact us to schedule your visit in advance. Weekends can get busy, and we want to make sure your group has the best experience possible. If you are an individual or small group (5 or less), you do not need to schedule your visit.
To find Hazel Bazemore County Park take FM624 west from SH77 for about 1 mile. Take a right onto County Road 69 at the stop light (look for the park sign), which takes you to the park. To go to the HawkWatch site, go in the park entrance, make a left as soon as you get across the speed bump, and follow the winding road to the crest of the hill (past the restrooms, a covered picnic pavilion and around the next bend).
Bird Field Guide (we have Jerry Liguori’s raptor guide books available at our store)
When to Visit
We operate daily 9am-5pm, August 1-November 15. All activities are weather dependent and we do not conduct migration counts in inclement weather (heavy rain). Click here to see a weather forecast for the count site.
We recommend taking a few days to visit the migration site to make sure you catch a big flight, and enjoy the fantastic birding around the Corpus Christi area. There is no camping in the Hazel Bazemore County Park, but there are plenty of lodging option in and around the Calallen and Corpus Christi areas.
A special thanks goes to the following individuals for their long-time volunteer support.
Joel and Vicki Simon, Bob and Jo Creglow, Dane Ferrell and Libby Even, Clay and Debbie Taylor, Denise Parks, Mary Hager, Linda Alley, Bill and Patty Beasley, John Economidy, Peter Collins, Mike Clifford, Lynn Guerra, Phyllis Hibdon, Grace, James Witten, Carol Kilgore, and Stacy Zarpentine.