White River Lake is created by the dam on the White River, a tributary of the magnificent Brazos River in Texas. Located in the mesquite grasslands of the Texas Panhandle Plains, the White River Lake has bird watching habitats that include marshes, grasslands, and of course the shores of the lake (over 1,800 surface acres.) Here you will find many types of birds, both permanent residents and those that are merely wintering here. In addition to bird watching, you can hike, camp and fish at White River Lake. For tips on finding and identifying just a few of the species you may see while bird watching at White River Lake in Texas, see below.
Rough-legged Hawk. Look for this large hawk hunting over the marshes and grasslands of White River Lake in Texas. Identify them while bird watching from their fully feathered legs (only a few birds of prey have this characteristic), brown-spotted cream colored breasts and dark breast bands. Their wings are a pale cream on the undersides, edged in brown. They are common winter residents that you will spot while bird watching at White River Lake in Texas.
Common Loon. This large loon has an unmistakable greenish-black head and neck, with black upperparts and light underparts. Recognize them while bird watching from their thick black bills and reddish eyes. You will find them diving for small fish and other prey at White River Lake in Texas during the winter. These Loons can dive up to 200 feet below the surface for prey.
Red-breasted Merganser. You will find this diving duck hunting for fish at the White River Lake in Texas during the winter. They are easily recognizable while bird watching from their black upperparts, cinnamon-brown breasts, and green heads, necks and shaggy double crests. They also have white neck rings and bright orange bills, feet and legs. These are fun birds with plenty of antics to look for while bird watching at this Texas lake.
Painted Bunting. This beautiful little bird nests at White River Lake in Texas, and can be found in the brushy areas of the grasslands near the lake. As it is one of the most brilliantly colored birds in the United States, you will find it hard to miss while bird watching at White River Lake. It has a bright blue head, a red rump, eye-ring and underparts, and a greenish back with green shoulder patches.
Purple Martin. Look for this large swallow in the grasslands at White River Lake in Texas, foraging on the ground or catching insects in midflight. You can identify it while bird watching from its glossy purple body, which can look almost black, as well as its black bill, legs and feet and forked tail. These swallows nest at White River Lake.
Long-eared Owl. A medium sized owl that prefers dense vegetation in the grasslands at White River Lake in Texas, look for it in the early evening as it hunts for prey. You can identify them while bird watching from their rufous facial disks, with a distinctive light cream mark beneath their bills, as well as their long ears, which are black and rufous and closer together than those of other owls. These owls have been known to build communal nests in the winter, so where you see one you may see more.