Highlights

  • Water access along the bayou
  • Most of the park accessible by car
  • Good for woodpeckers, nuthatches, Hooded Warbler

eBird Link

 

Caddo Lake State Park isn’t actually on Caddo Lake. But it does border Cypress Bayou which feeds into the lake a few miles away, so there’s still water access.

It’s a fairly small state park so you can bird the whole thing in one morning. The headquarters and cabins closer to the entrance sit at a higher elevation. This area is more open woodland, so finding birds by sight is a little easier.

Past the HQ and cabins the ground begins to slope downward toward the bayou. There’s a few trails here that are decent during morning hours, but probably not worth the time after late morning.

The water along the bayou can be good, but also gets busy with people fishing and putting in their boats. Try to bird here early before other people arrive, or just avoid weekends.

Birding Recommendations

If arriving before 9am, consider birding the areas below in reverse order by driving all the way to back, where to bayou is, and then slowly birding your way back to the entrance. 

This way you get access to the water before other people begin to crowd that area. There’s no rush to get to the rest of the park.

After 9am or 9:30am, other people are already by the water so there’s no point in gunning straight for it.

Headquarters & Cabins Area

This front area is good for woodpeckers, especially Pileateds. You’ll see more birds flitting from tree to tree here, so it’s a great place to just walk and bird along the paved road.

 

Species to Look For Notes
Pileated Woodpecker  
Red-bellied Woodpecker  
Downy Woodpecker  
Red-headed Woodpecker uncommon
Hairy Woodpecker uncommon
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker winter only
Northern Flicker winter only
Brown-headed Nuthatch uncommon
White-breasted Nuthatch  

 

A Note on 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 bird of interest to you, be sure to listen for their squeaky chatter in order to find them.

 

Sloped Middle of the Park

Trails in the middle of the park give access to woodland more dense than around the headquarters, but still open enough to view birds in. There’s good understory and mid-story structure in many spots here.

Spending 15-30 minutes in this area during the morning will be worth your time, but less after late morning. The birds just aren’t moving around much after 10:30am or so, and there’s too many good hiding spots for them here.

Species to Look For Notes
Golden-crowned Kinglet winter only
Brown Creeper winter only
Winter Wren winter only
Dark-eyed Junco winter only
Brown Thrasher uncommon
Wood Thrush spring/summer only
Black-and-White Warbler spring/summer only
Hooded Warbler spring/summer only

Along the Bayou

The lowlands along the water are great for birding. They’re also great for every other activity in the park, so this is where you’ll see the most people. 

The boat ramp area to the east is often a hotspot of bird activity in the mornings when everything is moving around and vocalizing.

During the warm months listen for warblers and vireos high up, and watch for flycatchers in the mid-story within the shade. In winter, watch for sparrows.

Mill Pond to the west is a classic east Texas cypress swamp. The water itself is fine for birding, but the real value is in all the vegetation around the water edge. 

 

A paved road to the west leads to a wooded campground along the water. This can be a good walking path around the edge of the pond.

Species to Look For Notes
Brown Creeper winter only
Eastern Wood-Pewee spring/summer only
Acadian Flycatcher spring/summer only
Yellow-throated Vireo spring/summer only
Red-eyed Vireo spring/summer only
Prothonotary Warbler spring/summer only
Northern Parula spring/summer only
Yellow-throated spring/summer only
Indigo Bunting spring/summer only

 

Other Info

Entrance Fee
Adults: $4
Child 12 & Under: Free

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