Ducks and geese are fun to observe while bird watching; they can be serene while gliding across the water, and hilarious while feeding or attracting mates. The lakes, ponds and bayous of Houston, Texas afford bird watchers with plenty of great places to see ducks and geese while bird watching. Below are tips for finding and identifying these kinds of birds in Houston, Texas.
Black-bellied Whistling Duck. You’ll recognize this medium sized duck when bird watching in Houston, Texas from its long pink legs and red bill, as well as its black belly. Look for these birds from dawn to dusk, and don’t be surprised to find them foraging at night. These ducks will nest in nesting boxes, so if you live near wetlands, lakes or ponds, try putting a few boxes out. They are growing increasingly common in Houston, Texas, but you will see fewer of them in the winter. These ducks do breed here.
Snow Goose. These geese travel in huge, noisy flocks that you can often see on the Katy Prairie. Look for them while bird watching as they forage in the fields and marshes of Houston, Texas – the snow goose is very common here in the winter. This goose has two color morphs – white and gray – and the gray goose used to be considered a separate species. Look for the black edging on the bills of these geese that almost looks like a smile.
Fulvous Whistling-duck. The head, neck, chest and belly of this medium sized duck are a pretty tawny-cinnamon color. Look for them while bird watching in the wetlands of Houston, Texas, especially flying in flocks at dawn or dusk. They are common in Houston from March through October.
Greater White-fronted Goose. A medium sized goose, you’ll recognize it while bird watching from the white forehead and white markings at the base of its pinkish bill. Look for this goose while bird watching in the fields and marshes of Houston, Texas. It is very common to see these geese during the winter.
Brant. This small dark goose is rare in Houston, Texas, but try bird watching at the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, where some have been seen during the winter. These geese have a black head, neck and chest, with a partly broken “necklace” of white. This goose prefers fields and marshes.
Wood Duck. A beautifully colored ducks, this is also one of the few North American ducks that nests in trees. It has claws on its feet that allow it to perch on branches. This is another waterfowl that will use a nest box, so if you live close to creeks, rivers or swamps, try putting up a few nest boxes. These ducks are not common in Houston, Texas, but they do nest here. Look for them while bird watching at the Edith Moore Nature Sanctuary. A breeding male has iridescent feathers and red eyes. This duck also has a long tail and a crest on its head.
American Wigeon. The male of this medium sized duck has a distinctive white crown and a green face. These ducks are quite tame and can be found in parks and on golf courses, and also in their natural habitat of lakes and marshes. Look for them while bird watching in Houston Texas from October through April.
Gadwall. Look for these ducks while bird watching at large, shallow ponds and lakes in Houston, Texas. This medium sized duck has a grey body and a paler grey head. From far away they look plain but up close these birds have very intricate markings.