The Official Highland Lakes Web Page Since 1996
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Birds in the Highland Lakes of Central Texas

Painted Bunting
Painted Bunting

If you love birds, you will love the Highland Lakes area in the Texas Hill Country.  Out of 900 bird species found in the United States, 600 can be found in the State of Texas.  Many interesting birds migrate through the Highland Lakes Area and others spend the winter here.

Members of the Highland Lakes Birding and Wildflower Society take part in the Annual Christmas Bird Count and identify 100 to 120 species each year.  It is part of the National Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count.  

One visiting couple, who spent the weekend on the west side of Lake Buchanan, spotted 27 species of birds in an outing one morning and spotted over 40 species during their weekend stay.

The American Bald Eagle winters at Lake Buchanan.  Boat tours go up the lake to spot the nesting birds along the shore.  The eagles arrive in the area in November and leave for the north in March and April. In January the annual Eagle count is taken in the area.

A bald eagle pair with two young birds was spotted nesting about 100 yards off of Hwy 29 between Burnet and Llano in the winter of 2003/2004.  They attracted tourists and bird lovers from over a 1,000 miles away to take photos of the bald eagle family.   The nest is near the Llano river which provides them with plenty of fish.  The eagles didn't seem bothered by all of the people stopping to take photos and hopefully the eagles will return year after year.

Two male eagles and one female eagle returned to the nest in the fall of 2004 and on January 19, 2005  more eaglets hatched at the nest.

The Bald Eagle is the national symbol of the United States and is also found on the Marine Corps emblem.

To see more photos of the eagles, click on this web page:


bald eagle
bald eagles

Photo courtesy of


     Photos courtesy of Bob Smith
scissortail babies

The Scissor-tailed Flychatcher is a remarkably beautiful bird in flight, opening and shutting its extra long, nine inch tail like a pair of scissors. It closes the tail while it is perching.

The Scissor-tailed Flycatcher is also called by other names such as  scissortail, swallowtailed flycatcher and Texas bird-of-paradise.

It can be very agressive, protecting its territory from larger birds such as owls, crows and hawks.

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Great Blue Heron  Great Blue Heron
         Great Blue Heron                                      Photo courtesy of Bob Smith

Great Blue Herons are a common sight along the lakes and rivers of the Texas Hill Country.  It is fun to watch them fishing, standing completely motionless for minutes at a time while waiting for the right moment to strike.

They are very graceful birds in flight as they are seen gliding over the rivers and lakes. The photo above on the right is of a Great Blue Heron just taking off into flight.  

mallard ducks

Mallards and other ducks are plentiful in the Highland Lakes area of the Texas Hill Country.


Gulls can be seen fishing in the lakes and rivers in the Highland Lakes Area of central Texas.


Crane by Adam Tuomala in 2010 at Lake Buchanan

The photo of the Great Egret at the left was taken by Adam Tuomala at Lake Buchanan.

Pelicans on Lake LBJ in Kingsland, Texas

The photo of the pelicans and duck on the left and the pelicans and the cormorands below were taken by Jeanne Kennedy on Lake LBJ in February and March.

pelicans and cormorands on Lake LBJ

          Photo courtesy of Bob Smith
Roadrunners are interesting birds which can be found in several areas of Texas.

Seven very rare Painted Buntings were spotted eating seeds off of grass at a residents' home in Floyd Acres on the west side of Lake Buchanan.   A few of these beautiful birds made their home there and are now regularly seen feeding at the bird feeder in the back yard.

In April of 2004 a flock of about 50 Yellow Headed Blackbirds landed in the yard of a home in Meadowlakes.  These birds are not normally spotted in our area.

A flock of several hundred robins were migrating through the area and landed in a couple of vacant lots in Marble Falls.  That was a sight to see!


Maybe you read about the Blue-footed Booby that spent the summer a few years ago on Lake LBJ.  Bird Watchers came from all over the country to view this bird.  He stayed for several months on the lake.  It was assumed that he had gotten lost and just made the lake his home for the summer.  He was probably from the Gallapogos Islands.

Whooping Cranes, Canadian Snow Geese, Canadian Geese, Pelicans, Storks, Herons, Ducks and many other birds migrate through the area in the fall and the spring.

Wild turkeys are plentiful and can be spotted from the highways sometimes.  They will occassionally be seen in flocks of 15 to 30 birds roaming the rural neighborhoods of the Highland Lakes Area, too.


If you would like to find a web page to help you identify birds, click here.

If you have a photo or information you would like to add to this page,