See Migrating Birds At Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge

Shot of a young boy out in the woods with a pair of binoculars

Planning spring activities for you and your family? Pencil a bird-watching expedition into your calendar. The Anahuac Wildlife Refuge is a great place to observe a wide variety of our feathered friends year-round and is a great destination for a weekend day trip. Plan your trip during winter or spring migration periods to get the most out of your experience. During these times, the refuge is overflowing with unique and beautiful birds as they make their way back and forth between their summer and winter homes.

When to Visit

The Anahuac is a huge 34,000-acre wildlife refuge that provides an abundance of food, water, shelter, and safety to thousands of animal species year-round. Among those are 600 different bird species that either make the refuge their permanent home, use it as a breeding ground, or pass through on their annual migratory journeys.

No matter what time of year you plan your visit, there will be something beautiful for you to catch a glimpse of. Although, if you want to experience the excitement of the nearly two billion birds that migrate through Texas during the spring and fall, the best time to visit is mid-August for fall migration and mid-April for spring migration.

Bird watchers can pack a picnic, grab their binoculars, and drive the loop or walk the trails at any point during the year to enjoy the sights.

Species to See All Year

Many beautiful birds make the Anahuac their home year-round and can provide bird-watchers with enough sights to fill a full day. For instance, the elegant tricolored heron is a common sight in the refuge throughout the year, as well as the following:

  • Snowy Egrets
  • Great Blue Herons
  • White Ibis
  • Mottled Ducks
  • King Rails

Species to See During Fall and Winter

During the winter, thousands of geese and other migratory birds make landfall, with some remaining until early spring. Some of the species you may see during this time period include the following:

  • Eared Grebes
  • Snow Geese
  • Greater White-fronted Geese
  • Canada Geese
  • Green-winged Teal

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Species to See During Spring and Summer

Spring, just like fall, brings thousands of birds into the area. Common birds to see during the spring and summer months include the following:

  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Purple Gallinule
  • Barn Swallow
  • Yellow Warbler
  • Indigo Bunting

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