Buffalo Lake National Wildlife Refuge and Canyon Prairie Dog Colony

Umbarger, Texas

Buffalo Lake National Wildlife Refuge & Canyon Prairie Dog Colony Professional Review and Guide

"The 7,664-acre Buffalo Lake National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1958 to protect habitat utilized by migrating and wintering waterfowl and other birds. The 300-acre Stewart Marsh, where the majority of the waterfowl now occur, was developed to catch smaller water inflows. Refuge hours run from 8 A.M. to 6 P.M. daily from October 1 through March 31, and from 8 A.M. until 8 P.M. daily from April 1 through September 30.

Key birds: Wild Turkey, Scaled Quail, Greater Roadrunner, Curvebilled Thrasher, and Rufous-crowned Sparrow are present year-round. Swainson’s Hawk, Snowy Plover, Burrowing Owl, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Horned Lark, Rock Wren, Dickcissel, Lark Bunting, and Grasshopper Sparrow occur in summer. Tundra Swan; Greater Whitefronted, Snow, Ross’s, and Canada Geese; Common Goldeneye; Hooded and Common Mergansers; Bald Eagle; Ferruginous and Rough-legged Hawks; Merlin; Peregrine Falcon; Long-eared and Shorteared Owls; Townsend’s Solitaire; American Tree, Fox, and Harris’s Sparrows; and McCown’s, Lapland, Chestnut-collared, and Smith’s Longspurs can usually be found in winter."

Buffalo Lake National Wildlife Refuge & Canyon Prairie Dog Colony Reviews

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The scenery is beautiful and the bird watching was terrific in this NWR. The lake has been drained, but the vegeation was lush even though the Texas Panhandle had been undergoing a drought. I saw numerous bird species; unfortunately, I don't have my list here as I write this to list them. NOTE: The prarie dog town on the east side of the park is not accessible. The trail and interpretive markers are still there, but there is not really a place to park, and reaching the trail entails hopping a barb wire fence.

Buffalo Lake National Wildlife Refuge & Canyon Prairie Dog Colony Photos

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Several options
Trail Type
Best Mid-April to mid-June for spring migrants and nesting activities; October to mid-February for winter birds
Best Times
Buffalo Lake National Wildlife Refuge;
Local Contacts
Texas Atlas & Gazetteer, DeLorme
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jun 2018