Owned and managed by Houston Audubon, at first glance you might not see the special qualities of Bolivar Flats, a unique area combining salt marsh, mud flats and beach, each habitat quite different from the other. Every year hundreds of thousands of birds discover that Bolivar Flats is a special place. Here they find a resting place and nesting habitat where a smorgasbord of invertebrates and fish is spread. Decomposing plant material derived from the salt marsh and delivered by the coastal currents feeds millions of small worms, shrimp and clams which live in the mud flats. Thousands of birds, small fish and crabs hunt the shallows for these invertebrates and small fish that venture into deeper water.

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Ornithological Summary

Bolivar Flats has been recognized by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network as an important resting and feeding location for migrating shorebirds from throughout the Western Hemisphere.

Conservation Issues

Susceptible to storm surge damage from hurricanes. Also, the hydrology of the site is threatened by development.


Managed by Houston Audubon Society as a bird sanctuary.


The Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary consists of salt marsh, intertidal mudflats, beach and uplands that were created as beach sediments carried by longshore currents accumulated. As sediments continue to accumulate, Bolivar Flats continues to grow.

Land Use

Managed and protected as a bird sanctuary by Houston Audubon.

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