What birds to expect in Texas…

We thought we’d share a little information on what types of water birds you can expect to find in Texas. Especially during the winter months a large number of birds can be found on both lakes and smaller ponds. The lake does not even need to necessarily be a large one. We see a ton of birds at the small lake just behind our apartment. Below we have posted a few pictures of some of the birds that we commonly see and a little information to help you spot them the next time your out at the lake. If you just take a few minutes to observe their behavior, you’ll find that they are all unique and fascinating creatures. We hope this information might help you identify a bird or two the next time you see one of these little critters swimming out on the lake.

American Wigeon

This is the “American Wigeon” It’s a favorite of ours. They are easy to recognize by their blue bill with a small black tip. The body is normally a brown or  tan color and they have black tail feathers outlined in a cream color. They’re similar in size and shape to the common mallard

Double-crested Cormorant [Adult] 02

The “Double Crested Cormorant” This is a shy bird that is normally leery of people. It can be identified by its orange beak with a curved hook at the end. It normally has a dark body and dark legs. Its legs are short compared to the size of its body.

American Coot

This here is the “American Coot” This bird is actually not a duck although people often confuse it for one. It has a chicken-like shape and a dark black body. The beak is short, white, pointed with a black tip. They have non-webbed feet that are a green-yellow color.

Pekin Duck

The “Pekin Duck” This duck is a duck bred from the mallard. It looks almost identical to a mallard except that its entire body is white.

Great Blue Heron

“Great Blue Heron” This bird we’ve seen on a few occasions. They like to perch themselves on rails and tree branches out on the water. They have a blue-grey color to their bodies and normally have a white patch on their face. Their legs are much longer than the Cormorants and their beaks are long with a point at the end.

Great Egret - on ledge 01

This is the “Great Egret” We see this bird a lot just outside our apartment. This bird looks very similar to a Heron in appearance and has all white features. The legs are dark and the beak orange color with a point at the end.

Greater Scaup

“Great Scaup” These are a male and female. They are diving ducks and often are seen diving beneath the water. They have blue bills and small bodies. The males are dark in color with grey-silver flanks on their sides. The females are more brown and have a light patch just above their bill.


The “Muscovy Duck” These ducks are some of our favorites as well. They can be very friendly due to the fact that many of them are domesticated. There color varies but normally consists of: black, white, black-green colors. They also can be grey or tan. They are often slightly larger than the standard mallard duck. Their key feature is a red or red-black skin around their eyes.

Northern Shoveler

“Northern Shoveler” We normally see these in the winter time when they migrate for the cold months. They look similar to a mallard but have a key feature: a large shovel shaped bill.

Sea Gull [flying]

“Sea Gull” Most people seem to recognize one of these when they see them. We see these typically in the winter time. We love to look at all the different variations in the colors and patterns of their feathers. This one has a neat speckled appearance.

Mallard - Male 03

“Mallard” This is probably the most common duck we see in Texas at lakes or ponds. Most people recognize this duck when they see it.

Bellow Are several hybrid ducks that you may find. Hybrids are the most exciting for us because there are just so many variations of what these bird will look like.

Mallard Hybrid 01

Mallard Pekin Hybrid 01

Pekin Hybrid [Brown Blotches]

Mallard Male - Bibbed Domestic - 01

Mallard Hybrid [black - white]


2 Responses to What birds to expect in Texas…

  1. pilipala51 says:

    How lucky you are to see the great egret regularly, it is quite a rareity here in south Wales, UK.

    • kylechavez2011 says:

      pilipala51, thanks for stopping by. And yes, we are lucky to have a Great Egret that typically stays near our apartment in a small lake just behind where we live. It’s always exciting to check in and see what it’s up to from time to time.

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