Tidal Flats

Oso Bay/
Blind Oso


Checklist & Photos of Birds


Activities &


The Mollie Beattie Coastal Habitat Community is located on Mustang Island off of TX 361.  The tidal flats and adjacent habitats within this area were set aside for the conservation of Piping Plover and other shorebirds through the Texas General Land Office Adopt-a-Habitat Program in October 1996 and is currently managed through a management plan cooperatively developed by the USFWS, GLO, Texas Parks and Wildlife and National Audubon Society.  The area is named in honor of the late Mollie Beattie, the director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service in 1995.  This preserve encompasses approximately 1000 acres and contains extensive areas of intertidal habitat used by a variety of shorebirds, wading birds and other species.  It is part of the USFWS designated critical habitat for Piping Plover.  The landscape is dominated by tidal flats and seagrasses which support prey that attract many species of herons, egrets, terns, spoonbills, gulls and shorebirds.  There are also small islands of coastal prairie in the upland areas and relict oyster reefs within the adjacent shallow waters. 

In April 2002 a parking area was constructed by the Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program in order to improve public access to the area and provide educational opportunities. From the parking area, you will walk along the north side of the washover pass until you find a place to wade across.  The large tidal flat on the other side of the washover pass is where the majority of birds will be seen.  Shorebirds are most abundant on this flat between November and March.  The hydrology of this flat is mostly influenced by winds and the seasonal high and low tides.  The blue-green algal mat is fairly well-developed on this site.  In the upland transition area are several ephemeral ponds surrounded by halophytic plants.  In the drier flat areas behind the upland edge you can find numerous angel wing and scallop shells.  The washover pass is a fun place to pull a seine.  Most of the sediments in this area are sandy, so there is no fear of sinking past your ankles! 

   Mollie Beattie 1947-1996

Please Remember when visiting the MBCHC:

  • Keep all pets on a leash

  • Pack it in - Pack it out

  • Watch for nesting birds from
    March to July

  • Please don't walk through the vegetation, stay on the path or the flat

Mollie Beattie Coastal Habitat Community Partners:

This site created by:
Suzanne Dilworth and Dr. Kim Withers
Center for Coastal Studies
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi