Birds

A vibrant prothonotary warbler looks up while sitting on a small branch.

From the lift-off of 5,000 winter snow geese,  to the sudden arrival of hundreds of spring warblers, the refuge is truly a birders paradise.


Wave after wave of ibises lift off around you. They fly so close to the boardwalk that you can hear each feather brushing through the crisp morning air. Here, standing on a glistening boardwalk over the still waters of Shoveler Pond, it appears as if earth is picking up and heading towards heaven. 

As the rising sun floats above the marsh, a red-winged blackbird calls out in the distance. Egrets gently step their long legs through cool shimmering wetlands, their keen eyes searching through their own reflection. Your eye catches a splash of color - blue. A male Indigo Bunting sways from his perch on a nearby cattail - a temporary stop amidst a long migration.

Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge is located on the Central Flyway and borders the Gulf of Mexico. This combination of geography and rich habitat makes it one of North America's most diverse birding hot-spots. Vibrant tropical residents like the Roseate Spoonbill and Crested Caracara make the refuge their year-round home, while elusive southern rarities like the Fork-tailed Flycatcher and Groove-billed Ani make much heralded guest appearances. In winter, Cinnamon Teal hide themselves among flocks of Blue-winged Teal and Green-winged Teal companions, while Snow Geese descend upon our fields in flocks so large they trail for miles into the horizon.

As you visit, remember to bring plenty of food, water, and bug spray. Also remember that the use of playback calls is prohibited. The National Wildlife Refuge System strives to provide safe havens for bird species to rest, recover, and remain symbols of our national wildlife heritage for generations to come.

Click here to download the Bird Species Checklist.