Converging in Eagle Lake, which is located in Colorado County, Texas major vegetation zones and three subzones bring an abundance of wildlife not found elsewhere in Texas. Hundreds of species of birds inhabit the lake and its outlying areas. Among Audubon Societies followers through out the United Stales, Eagle Lake is known as a bird watcher's paradise. For more information about birding in Eagle Lake and Colorado County, call the Tom Waddell Outdoor Nature Club at 979-234-5981.
The most watched bird year-round in Eagle Lake is the Attwater's Prairie Chicken; a species protected the federal government. The Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1972 to preserve and restore critical habitat for the endangered Attwater's Prairie Chicken. Much of the refuge became a preserve in the mid - 1960's when the Nature Conservancy of Texas and the World Wildlife Fund purchased about 3,500 acres of land. Approximately 8,000 acres are currently managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The refuge is located in the heart of the upper tens coastal tall grass prairie in Colorado County. Visitors may observe and photograph many species of wildlife and plants along the refuge's two mile automobile tour route and two walking trails. Limited picnicking facilities are available. For more information call 979-234-3021 or visit www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/texas/attwater/index.html. Every winter Eagle Lake's year-round wildlife inhabitants take a back seat to millions of invaders from the north. During those months Eagle Lake becomes the home of the largest concentration of migratory waterfowl in North America. Known internationally as "The Goose Hunting Capital of the World," Eagle Lake is the wintering site for all species of geese and ducks that migrate the great Central Flyway. They feed on grain stubble in the surrounding rice and corn fields. The geese provide one of Eagle Lake's largest industries - goose hunting. Each year thousands of hunters pour into Eagle Lake for the finest waterfowl hunting to "be had anywhere." Hunters come from all parts of the U.S., Mexico, Europe and the Far East. They seldom go away empty handed. Go to our Hunting Page.
The Eagle Lake area is unique in that we not only are in the North American Central Flyway, but the existence of a lake area with marshes, river habitat, old timber, wetland (listen for Rails and Swamp Sparrows), dry land farming area (A Myriad Sparrows, Sandpipers, etc.), and most especially natural undisturbed Prairie habitat may provide a glimpse of Ducks, Egrets, Herons, Bald Eagles and even Terns. During the winter months, watch for return of migratory Peregrine Falcons.
The Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge is only minutes east of Eagle Lake on FM 3013, where walking and driving tours are available to the public from dawn to dusk daily (stop by the visitor's center to learn more about this endangered species and pick-up a local birding list).
Venture north on FM 102 to the Ramsey area and take a leisurely drive down Lyle Road, known in the Audubon circles as "Eagle Lake's Good Birding Road".
The Eagle Lake Golf Course is yet another protected area with nesting Great Horned Owls, Purple Gallinules, Killdeer, Egrets, Mississippi Kites and much more.
While birding, don't fail to look-up often, as we have nesting Bald Eagles and multitudes of Raptors that remain in the area fishing along the river, lake and in the rice canals all year.
Photographs were taken by Eagle Lake resident Becky Marsalia in the David Wintermann Wildlife Area.
The David Wintermann Wildlife Area - Take a stroll along the creek to admire beautiful wildlife. The viewing plat-form allows a panoramic scene overlooking the lake that cannot be rivaled. The sounds of bullfrogs, the splashes of fish, the buzzing of dragonflies, the slow lazy paddle of alligators and the many species of birds take flight while taking in the beauty of Eagle Lake at its finest. Part of the Eagle Lake Municipal Park, located at Hwy 90A across from Dairy Queen.
Photographs were taken by Eagle Lake resident Becky Marsalia and Corpus Christi resident Sharon Cutcher.