The birds of West Texas are something to see, along with the unique scenery and wildlife you will find there. The Panhandle Plains Wildlife Trails of West Texas will take you by lakes, canyons, river corridors, and private ranches, giving you the opportunity to view scenery that is nothing short of breathtaking. While bird watching, don’t be surprised to see Pronghorn Antelopes, coyotes, prairie dogs (of course) and Texas Horned Lizards, among other species of wildlife. And then there are the amazing birds. You won’t be able to miss the very loud Lesser Prairie Chicken, which does a mating dance that involves raised ear tufts and the inflation of orange sacs on the sides of its head! As you bike, hike and drive the Texas Panhandle Plains Wildlife Trails for some amazing bird watching, here are some of the places you might stop and the birds you may see.
Alibates Flint Quarry National Monument. Located along the Texas Panhandle Plains Wildlife Trails, don’t be surprised to see the glorious Painted Bunting while bird watching here. This bright green, blue and red little bird is well worth the trip. A member of the finch family, the female is less spectacular but still pretty with her bright greenish yellow plumage. These little birds are also fiercely territorial, and have been known to peck, beat and grapple with each other wildly, sometimes even to the death. You’ll also see the Great Blue Heron, the Yellow-breasted Chat, Carolina Chickadees, Northern Flickers, and many, many other birds while bird watching along the Texas Panhandle Plains Wildlife Trails. The Blue Grosbeak, a gorgeous little bird with blue feathers and a silvery bill, may also be glimpsed while bird watching here. Look for the chestnut brown wingbars on this songbird.
Matador Wildlife Management Area, another not to miss bird watching spot along the Texas Panhandle Plains Wildlife Trails, has too many birds to observe in one visit. Here you’ll glimpse the Greater Roadrunner, the signature bird of the desert Southwest. This large chicken-like bird has very long legs, and can run almost 19 miles per hour. It eats spiders, rattlesnakes and scorpions. It will also catch and eat smaller birds. My very favorite bird, the striking Northern Cardinal, also flits about the Texas Panhandle Plains Wildlife Trails. It is unmistakable with its bright red feathers, spiky cap and black mask. The Painted Bunting may also be seen while bird watching here, too. Less common but still sometimes seen is the Vermilion Flycatcher, another gorgeous bird with a bright red head, white chest, and a dark upper body and eye mask. A male Vermillion flycatcher will often seek to impress his mate by presenting her with a showy butterfly. The Blue Grosbeak can also sometimes be seen on the Texas Panhandle Plains Wildlife Trails.
Other species you may see while bird watching along the Texas Panhandle Plains Wildlife Trails include the Mallard Duck, Blue Jays, Yellow Warblers, Ash-throated Flycatchers and many other birds. So enjoy the scenery and this spectacular bird watching as you hike these Texas trails.