A temperate climate and a location in the direct travel path of many migratory bird species combine to make Lewisville a convenient and productive destination for many birders, eager to record a once-in-a-lifetime spotting or just spend a quiet morning watching their feathered friends.
More than 270 bird species can be found in Lewisville throughout the year, including some rarely seen in other parts of Texas. From the American Bittern to the Wood Thrush, the Lewisville area serves as a permanent or temporary home to many of the most beautiful and most fascinating creatures on two wings.
The most famous part-time winged resident of Lewisville is the Purple Martin. This beautiful migratory songbird arrives each year between mid-February and early March, staying for half the year to feed, nest and mate before leaving in August or early September for a nonstop flight across the Gulf of Mexico to Brazil. More than 100,000 birds perform their aerial acrobatics each evening in the skies over Lewisville, and such groups as the Purple Martin Landlords of North Texas have documented several easily-accessible locations where visitors are sure to spot this remarkable bird.
Lewisville Lake Park is open to the public and has been the site of such rare avian visitors as a Snow Bunting (spotted for two weeks in 2005) or such common species as ducks, egrets and swallows. The city's Parks and Recreation Department works with local master birders, Audubon Society and Scouting groups to preserve vital habitat areas and to document locally-viewed species.
Just east of the park along the lakeshore, the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area is a 2,000-acre federal wildlife preserve brimming with bird life, including a flock of wild turkeys that was re-introduced to the area in 2004. Birders of all types are invited to participate in organized bird walks held monthly throughout the year and guided by local master birders. Visitors also can conduct their own search for birds through the LLELA wilderness, featuring a blend of prairie, forest and wetlands. LLELA is open to the public on daily and also offers fishing, hiking, camping, kayaking/canoeing, picnicking and other outdoor activities.
With so many options, and its unique blend of urban convenience and pristine wilderness, Lewisville offers the ideal North Texas destination for casual or serious birders alike.
To learn more about Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area visit the LLELA website.