Nestled along the Gulf Coast near Austwell is a piece of true nature, so it's no wonder it was voted the best place to bird watch in the Crossroads for the Victoria Advocate's 2013 Best of the Best competition.
While the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge's most popular bird is the whooping crane, many birds flock to this natural habitat, including waterfall birds, shorebirds and neo-tropical migrants, said Vicki Muller, refuge wildlife specialist.
So what makes it so popular? Muller said it's their upkeep.
"We do habitat management on the refuge, which consists of prescribed burning of the habitats and landscapes," she said. "We also have a seven-day visitor's service."
The refuge has hiking trails, a tower offering 40- and 20-foot observation points for bird watching and a great view of the coastal area.
The refuge sees about 50,000 visitors a year, 80 percent of which are during the winter. Visitors include not only Crossroads residents, but also Winter Texans and others from around the world, Muller said.
"We're excited about being voted in," Muller said. "We try and continue to make it a worthwhile experience."
Aransas Wildlife Refuge
1 Wildlife Circle
476 McCright Drive
202 S. Palmetto St.
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