If you are looking for over 1,200 acres of bird watching habitats in Texas, Inks Lake State Park is definitely a birding spot for you. Located on the Colorado River, Inks Lake is one of the seven Highland Lakes, with Texas bird watching habitats that include cedar and oak forests, prickly pear cactus, yucca, and of course the lake and its shoreline. In addition to bird watching, you can swim, boat, fish, and camp. Looking for Red-breasted Mergansers, Horned Grebes, Bonaparte’s Gulls or Common Loons? You can find all of these birds and more at Inks Lake State Park. For tips on finding and identifying just a few of the species you may see while bird watching at this Texas park, see below.
Osprey. This magnificent bird is one of the largest birds of prey in North America. Look for it while bird watching at Inks Lake State Park in Texas as its hunts over the lake for fish (unlike many birds of prey, the Osprey eats almost nothing else.) You can identify it by its white breast, belly, crown and forehead, as well as its long black wings and back. The Osprey also has a dark eyestripe.
Bald Eagle. Another gorgeous bird of prey, the Bald Eagle loves to steal fish from the Osprey (definitely a sight to see). It will also eat mammals as well as ducks and other waterfowl. Recognize it while bird watching at Inks Lake State Park in Texas from its unmistakable brown body and white head. It also has a yellow bill, as well as yellow legs, feet and eyes. You are most likely to see it soaring over the lake or in trees surrounding the lake.
Bell’s Vireo. Look for this small vireo while bird watching in the oak forests and brushy fields of Inks Lake State Park in Texas. You will most likely see it foraging in the Texas undergrowth for insects and seeds. Identify it while bird watching from its hooked bill and broken eyering. It has gray upperparts and pale yellow underparts, along with gray legs and feet.
Golden-cheeked warbler. This medium-sized warbler can be found in the rocky forest areas, especially in oaks, of Inks Lake State Park in Texas. Recognize it while bird watching from its black cap and throat and bright yellow face. It also has a white belly edged in black, and a black eyeline. These warblers are on the Federal Endangered Species list, due to the loss of their habitat.
Forster’s Tern. Named for noted naturalist Johann Reinhold Forster, look for this tern while bird watching at the lake itself in Inks Lake State Park in Texas. You will recognize it from the black tip on its orange bill, as well as its deeply forked tail. This tern is pale gray, with a black cap, white underparts, and orange legs and feet. Look for it hovering above the lake surface before it plunges in after its prey.
Verdin. This tiny songbird prefers the scrubby areas of Inks Lake State Park in Texas, especially anywhere it can find thorns. Recognize it while bird watching from its yellow face and throat, with a dark eyeline. They have gray bodies, black bills, legs and feet, as well as reddish spots on their shoulders.