Lake Fort Phantom Hill in Texas, located in north Abilene, is a great bird watching spot for ducks, herons, waterfowl, and many other birds. Bird watching habitats include the 4,000-acre lake and its shores, as well as juniper, oaks, and many others. In addition to bird watching at Lake Fort Phantom Hill in Texas, you can picnic, camp and fish here. Winter species include Northern Pintails, Mallards and Gadwalls, and year-round you can see Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, Sandhill Cranes and many species of sparrows. For tips on finding and identifying just a few of the species you may see while bird watching at Lake Fort Phantom Hill in Texas, see below.
Ruddy Duck. This small duck is easily identified while bird watching from its bright reddish brown body, black cap, and blue bill. It also has a white face and a spiky black tail, which it often holds straight up in the air. Look for it at Lake Fort Phantom Hill in Texas, where it can be found in the winter, diving under the water for insects.
Northern Shoveler. A medium-sized duck that is also a winter resident at Lake Fort Phantom Hill in Texas, recognize it while bird watching from its iridescent green head and neck, yellow eyes and black bill. It also has a white breast and a black back, edged in white, as well as orange legs and feet. Look for it dabbling in the lake water for food, stirring up and skimming the surface water.
American Coot. Look for this chicken-like bird in the open areas of Lake Fort Phantom Hill in Texas, where you will see it paddling about for plants to eat. Due to its lack of webbed feet, the American Coot is classified as a swimming bird, not a duck. Recognize it while bird watching from its all black body and contrasting white bill.
Hooded Merganser. This lovely little duck is easy to recognize while bird watching from its large black crest with a striking white patch. It has black upperparts and white underparts, as well as white stripes extending back from its eyes. Look for this bird at Lake Fort Phantom Hill in Texas, swimming and diving underwater to find its prey. (This duck actually has a third eyelid to protect its eyes while swimming under the water.)
Bufflehead. You’ll find this small diving duck at Lake Fort Phantom Hill in Texas, feeding on insects, snails, and aquatic plant seeds. Recognize it while bird watching from its glossy purple-black head and back. It has a white body, and large white patches behind its eyes, as well as dark wings. This is another winter visitor at Lake Fort Phantom Hill in Texas.
Great Blue Heron. Look for this large blue-black heron stalking its prey in the shallow waters of Lake Fort Phantom Hill in Texas. You can identify it while bird watching from its white face and cap, as well as its long, feathery black crest. It also has a long, gray neck with a white throat stripe, edged in black. This is the largest heron in North America.