• Easy to bird by car or by foot
  • Fewer people than nearby Caddo Lake State Park
  • Good for Brown-headed Nuthatch

eBird Link

This National Wildlife Refuge doesn’t get much attention, but is likely some of the best public birding in the area. 

Dozens of old roads criss-cross through the property, making this a great bird-by-car location. 

Some of the roads are paved, and some are dirt. There’s a few walking/equestrian trails here,  but walking the roads is easier and gets you just as many birds.


The state park next door sees far more activity, so if you’re looking for a quiet place to bird with good habitat then this is your spot. You’ll likely be one of the only visitors there, and have all the birds to yourself.

Birding Recommendations

This property is mostly a mix of open pine woodland with grassy spots, and patches of dense woodland. 

Birds often hang out at the convergence of habitats. So look for spots where dense woodland, open woodland, and open grassland all meet. 

There’s plenty of habitat convergence in the first few hundred feet of the property, so start off slow and don’t miss this birdy area.

For lake access, drive toward the rear of the refuge and look for Star Ranch Boat Launch. It’s basically just a single lookout point, but it’ll put you right on the water.

Species to Look For Notes
Pileated Woodpecker  
Red-bellied Woodpecker  
Downy Woodpecker  
Red-headed Woodpecker  
Hairy Woodpecker  
White-breasted Nuthatch  
Brown-headed Nuthatch  
Brown Thrasher  
Eastern Wood-Pewee spring/summer only
Acadian Flycatcher spring/summer only
Prothonotary Warbler spring/summer only
Northern Parula spring/summer only
Blue Grosbeak spring/summer only
Indigo Bunting spring/summer only
Painted Bunting spring/summer only
American Woodcock winter only, uncommon
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker winter only
Northern Flicker winter only
Golden-crowned Kinglet winter only
Eastern Towhee winter only

Red-headed Woodpecker

There’s a semi-open wooded area at the southwest corner of the refuge, past the intersection of Avenue P and Avenue E. Numbers of tall dead and bare trees here attract families of Red-headed Woodpeckers. Anywhere from 6 to 12 can be seen at a time.

If this is a bird of interest to you, this is a great spot in the refuge to watch them fly back and forth and vocalize to each other.

Brown-headed Nuthatch

These tiny birds like spending time high up in tall trees, making them difficult to find by eye. If this is a target bird of yours, be sure to listen for their squeaky chatter to find them.


Other Info

Entrance is free.

Bring Mosquito repellant. They can get bad during the warm months.

For more birding guides like this one, check out our Texas Hotspot Map.