Have you ever seen a WILD BALD EAGLE?  Once you see one up close (and by that I mean up close enough to determine that it is a bald eagle through your binoculars), it’s a thrill you will never forget!  Because not only are they the symbol of the United States, but they are truly amazing, native American birds! Add to that the fact that they were almost extinct because of OUR carelessness, and that they are RECOVERING, they’re just amazing!

Bald Eagles migrate to Texas each winter, and usually to the same area.  They build huge nest in trees for their eggs, and raise a family. Immature bald eagles do not have the recognizeable white heads, and are often mistaken for hawks (at least by me).
Here are some of my favorite places in Texas to see wild Bald Eagles:

1.  Vanishing Texas River Cruise

The Vanishing Texas River Cruise by Canyon of the Eagles on the Colorado River and Lake Buchanan in Burnet lets you choose to sit in the all enclosed air conditioned/heated (because in Texas you never know!) cabin or go up top to the open air deck for viewing!  Reservations are highly suggested, and tend to sell out quickly!  They have recently added NEW Freedom Flight Cruises in conjunction with Last Chance Forever wild bird rehabilitators.  On these amazing cruises, you can witness as birds are released back into the wild!  For somone who wants to get a little closer to nature, enjoy one of their Kayak Rentals along Beaver Creek.  Enjoy a 2, 4 or all day excursion to Falls Creek Falls.  Click HERE to visit their website.

2.  John Bunker Sands Wetlands

A man made wetland just south of Dallas, the East Fork Wetlands Project was created as a natural way to cleanse reclaimed water, and is the largest in the state.  Migratory shorebirds and waterfowl have claimed the area as their winter home, as well as juvenile Bald Eagles, and a mature mating pair.  The John Bunker Sands Center provides an educational opportunity to view the wetlands along their boardwalk, and hands on activities for schools and organizations in their leanring center.  They are open to the public on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, and weekday visits are scheduled by appointment.  Click HERE to visit their website.

3.  Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge, Sherman

Hagerman offers a wonderful opportunity to view wildlife from your car, or you can get out and hike the trails around the refuge.  On our visit last year, we spotted several young Bald Eagles as we drove around, although that trip was all about the SNOW GEESE!  Click HERE to read more!

4. Eaglefest, Emory

Each winter, the town of Emory celebrates Rains County’s designation as the Bald Eagle Capital of Texas with a 2 day festival, Eaglefest.  Barge and Bus tours take festival goers out to see the eagles, as well as self guided walking tours.  In town, enjoy festival activities, food booths, and educational presentations by conservation groups.  The festival this year is January 28th and 29th.  Click HERE to visit their website.

 5.  McKinster’s Guide Service, Lake Texoma

If you have more money than I do, you might want to schedule a bald eagle tour aboard an air boat!  This is the only one we have never done… but I sure want to!!  Click HERE to visit their website.

6. Fairfield Lake State Park, Fairfield

Each year people flock out to Fairfield Lake State Park to see the returning Bald Eagles that winter on the lake, no doubt dining on the lake’s supply of stocked red drum!  Park rangers will suggest better viewing sites.  This is a great park for family camping, too!
Click HERE to read more!

7.  Mary Manor Preserve at the Katy Prairie Conservancy

This 200 acre preserve, West of Houston, is made up of wetlands and old rice fields.  It offers a perfect opportunity to spot Bald Eagles, as well as many other sought after Texas migratory birds.

Want more locations?  Visit Bald Eagle Information to learn about eagle sightings around Texas, and post your own sightings!  Good Luck!
My Mommy Tips

  • Most of these locations are “kinda out there”.  Be sure you fill up your gas tank before arriving, a wildlife refuge is a lousy place to run out of gas, albeit a beautiful one.
  • Pack a lunch and plan to spend the day.  Take sunscreen, bug spray, and comfortable shoes for walking the trails.  Bring along a book to read under a tree, or a frisbee to make a playful day!
  • You and your children will enjoy birds so much more if you can recognize even just a few.  Purchase a field guide to take with you.
  • Don’t forget a pair of binoculars.  They don’ t need to be expensive to help you sight these Big Birds!! Take a kid friendly pair for your younger children, too!
  • If you spot one, you will want to remember it!  Take your camera!  My four year old has a Fisher Price Kid Tough Digital Camera he loves.  The photos aren’t great, but I love that he is learning to appreciate what he sees when looking in the camera!

If you want to see a BALD EAGLE up very close, visit Grace at the Texas State Aquarium.  She is a stunning bird who was found injured in Alaska, rehabilitated but not able to be released.