Are eagles rare in Texas? No, they aren’t scarce in the Lone Star State, especially as the place is the wintering ground for some eagle species. That said, you’ll see only a few types. 

How many species of eagles are in Texas? There are only three, although many sources consider only two as the Steller’s sea eagle is a rare find. The other two are the bald and golden eagles.

Whether soaring in the sky or perched on surfaces, all three eagles have an intimidating figure because of their large wings, fierce eyes, sharp talons, and fearsome beaks. They even earned the title “king of the birds,” which is a nod to their majestic form and reputation. One of them, the bald eagle, became an iconic American symbol. Learn more about these eagles in Texas in this article. 

1. Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle perched on a tree branch
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Genus: Haliaeetus
  • Species: Haliaeetus leucocephalus

The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is the United States’ national bird and symbol of freedom, chosen for its fierceness and strength. As an adult, it has a distinct and recognizable figure, consisting of a white head and tail, brown body, and golden-yellow beak and talons. It has a wingspan of as long as eight feet, an impressive figure achieved chiefly by females, as they are generally larger than males. 

As they often prey on fish, you are likely to come across bald eagles soaring above lakes and other bodies of water. They may also pounce on small mammals, birds, and other creatures they find tasty. 

There are two types of bald eagles in Texas: breeding and non-breeding, or wintering (i.e., migrants from Canada or other areas). The breeding or year-round population is prominent in the state’s eastern region. 

The bald eagle population was once seriously threatened by shooting, human disturbance, and harmful insecticides like DDT. Active efforts and new policies help salvage the species, so it isn’t threatened or endangered any longer.  

Bald Eagle Range Map
Source: The Cornell Lab |

2. Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle Lands on a tree branch
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Genus: Aquila
  • Species: Aquila chrysaetos

Are there golden eagles in Texas? Yes, there are Aquila chrysaetos or golden eagles in Texas. You can also find this bird on other continents, from Europe to Asia. 

As chicks or juveniles, they’re hard to differentiate from bald eagles, but once they’ve become adults, the difference is much more distinct. Golden eagles are prominently brown, from head to beak to plumage, and their feathers cover pretty much everything, even their legs. 

Golden eagles are more fond of meat than fish, so they usually go after mammals, like rabbits, prairie dogs, and even goats. Like the bald eagles, their population faced threats, mainly human shooting or trapping. They have also died from electrocution because many built nests on the telephone or electric poles. Thankfully, their numbers were restored over time and, hopefully, that shall be maintained by laws that protect both golden and bald eagles.   

Golden Eagle Range Map
Source: The Cornell Lab |

3. Steller’s Sea Eagle

Steller's Sea Eagle Flying over a body of water
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Genus: Haliaeetus
  • Species: Haliaeetus pelagicus

Among the three, the Steller’s, or Pacific, sea eagle (Haliaeetus pelagicus) is usually left off articles talking about types of eagles in Texas. That’s because it isn’t native to the state. It’s only been spotted once in the state, specifically at Coleto Creek Reservoir, Victoria. 

It’s pretty hard to miss a sea eagle, as it’s a gigantic bird, weighing twice as much as a bald eagle. It has an orange beak, a dark brown body, a white tail, and white shoulders. 

But why is it such an interesting fact to see one in Texas? That’s because seeing this sea eagle in the Lone Star State is almost miraculous, as this enormous bird mainly lives in Asia and prefers to be near the coast, rather than inland, as it feeds on fish and ducks. 

Why has it come so far then? The widely accepted explanation is that the bird got lost, probably caught by a cold front or its internal compass went haywire. What’s even more interesting is it didn’t just stop in Texas. The same Steller’s sea eagle is also believed to have been sighted at and wandering through Alaska, Canada, Nova Scotia, Massachusetts, and Maine! So far, many fellow bird watchers are eager to see where this traveling eagle is bound to go next.  

Steller's Sea Eagle Range Map
Source: The Cornell Lab |


There are two types of eagles in Texas: bald and golden. You’re most likely to see the bald eagle, as it can be seen across the state. The golden eagle, however, usually stays in Western Texas. There has been only one sighting of the Steller’s sea eagle in Texas.  


Where Are Eagles in Texas?

You can find eagles, specifically bald eagles, all across Texas. Specific types prefer certain areas (e.g., breeding bald eagles are more common in Eastern Texas). Meanwhile, you’re more likely to see golden eagles in Western Texas. 

What US State Has the Most Eagles?

As bald eagles are the most common eagle species in the US, the state with the highest number of bald eagles is Alaska, which is home to 30,000 of these birds. 

Do Eagles Live in Dallas?

Yes, bald eagles in Dallas, Texas, are common there, as they live and find food there. Golden eagles in Dallas are much rarer, as they usually stick to the state’s western region. But now and then, they wander around Dallas, so it is possible to see them there. 

Do Eagles Live in Austin?

Bald eagles typically winter in Austin, Texas, rather than live there, as the city is in Central Texas. Golden eagles are even rarer in Austin, as they prefer Texas’ western region. If you want to see eagles in Austin, Texas, make sure to visit when the bald eagles are emigrating. 

What Is the Biggest Bird in Texas?

The American white pelican is often considered the biggest bird in Texas, as it can grow up to 65 inches in length. A close second and taller species is the whooping crane, which can grow up to 59.1 inches in length and 5 feet in height.  

Are There Mexican Eagles in Texas?

Mexican eagles (Caracara plancus cheriway) are in Texas, and they are more abundant in the state, specifically Gonzales County, than anywhere else in the USA. However, they are not included in this list, as they are not true eagles. They are also called crested caracaras and are falcons.