Bordered by Falcon Lake, which forms part of the border between Mexico and the United States, this Texas state park has over 500 acres of bird watching delights. Here you can observe both resident species as well as tropical birds that have ventured northwest into Texas. Looking for a Green Kingfisher, a Varied Bunting or the Greater Roadrunner? Find these birds and more while bird watching at Falcon State Park in Texas. For tips on finding and identifying just a few of the birds that make this Texas park their home (whether permanently or seasonally), see below.
Anhinga. These birds resemble cormorants, but they have longer necks and tails. Look for them perched in trees with their wings wide open, revealing their large white patches. You may also see them swimming in Falcon Lake with just their head and neck above the water, searching for fish. Keep an eye open for them while bird watching in the wooded swamps of Falcon State Park in Texas.
White-tailed Kite. This hawk prefers the coastal plains of Texas, and can be seen soaring along the shore of Falcon Lake. Look for them perched in small trees when bird watching at Falcon State Park in Texas. With their gray backs and wings, and white face and underbelly, they look almost like gulls. These birds also have red eyes.
Crested Caracara. You’ll find this large, vulture-like falcon in open fields and marshes at Falcon State Park, recognizing it from the white feathers on its head, tail and wing tips. It also has a black cap and crest, and very long legs. Look for them while bird watching in Texas whenever you see a flock of vultures, as Caracaras are often seen with these birds. Caracaras are sometimes referred to as “Mexican eagles.”
Cactus Wren. The largest wren in North America, this is a true desert wren that does not require freestanding water to survive. Recognize it while bird watching in Texas from its brown back, which has white streaks, and its long, white eyestripe and barred wings. Its long tail is also barred with black. Cactus wrens do not tolerate nest predators, attacking squirrels and other would-be predators quite vigorously. They also destroy the nests of other birds.
Common Pauraque. These nightjars are active in both the early Texas morning and evening, feeding on large flying insects, so look for them during those hours while bird watching at Falcon State Park. This medium sized bird resembles an owl, and its brown, black and gray plumage can make it difficult to spot.
Verdin. The Verdin is a very tiny songbird that is very vocal and usually easy to spot while bird watching at Falcon State Park in Texas. It has a gray body and a yellow face, and its overall body shape resembles that of a chickadee. Verdins love to build nests – one pair was observed building eleven nests in a single year!
Altamira Oriole. This bird is usually at home in Central America and Mexico, with just the tip of its range reaching into southern Texas. This is the largest oriole in the United States, and it makes the longest nest of any North American bird, up to 25 inches long. Look for this bright orange and black bird foraging in the grasslands of Falcon State Park in Texas.
Cave Swallow. Named for its habit of nesting in caves alongside bats, recognize this small swallow while bird watching in Texas from its long, pointed wings, small bill, pale rump and throat, and square tail. Look for them at Falcon State Park foraging over open areas for insects, especially near water.