McAlister Park, Lubbock

McAlister Park, Lubbock

Lubbock, Texas 79424

Official Website

Birds of Interest

Burrowing Owls, hawks, fycatchers, Northern Shrike, shorebirds and waders, ducks, mergansers, geese, sparrows, and the ocassional Short-eared Owl. 

About this Location

This park has four entrances: the Bob Mills parking lot off of the TX-327 access road at the southeast corner, Milwaukee Avenue along the western edge, and two off the Marsha Sharp Freeway (US-62/US-82) access road at the far northwest and northeast corners of the park. The park can be birded from the road that runs along its perimeter, the Bob Mills parking lot, or on foot. There are parking lots on both the north and south sides of the park. You can also park along 57th Street, near the skateboard park, and enter the park on foot from there. Restrooms are located at the dog park in the northeast section.

This park shines during migration and winter, although development both around and within the park has resulted in a decline in birds since 2020. This used to be one of the best parks within city limits to see all of our overwintering hawks and falcons including almost all morphs and subspecies of Red-tailed Hawks including Harlan's, Rough-legged, Ferruginous, Sharp-shinned, Cooper's, Peregrine Falcon, Prairie Falcon, Northern Harrier, American Kestrel, and Merlin. This park still provides the opportunity to see these raptors but they are becoming less frequent. Check the edges of the surrounding buildings, light poles, and tree tops for perched hawks. Scan the grasslands in the eastern half of the park (see areas 4, 5, and 7 on the map) for Northern Harrier. Short-eared Owls are also occasionally found in this area during migration. Swainson's hawks can be seen soaring overhead in the summer and occasionally nest within the park. Burrowing Owls breed here, and a couple overwinter, but they are also decreasing in numbers. They can be found in the Prairie Dog areas along both the northern and southern perimeters and near the Skateboard Park off 57th Street. Almost any flycatcher can show up, particularly during migration, and a variety of sparrows can be found. An American Tree Sparrow was even found here in February 2022. Sparrows can be anywhere but they particularly like the area on both sides of the Bob Mills parking lot and the sunflowers along the southern edge of area 7. If the water levels are right, this can be a great spot during shorebird migration. Area 5 along the "Library Inlet" can be excellent for shorebirds and phalaropes. This park and Lake 6 are our deepest water bodies so they are good bets for finding diving waterfowl and rarities. Areas 3 and 8 are particularly deep and will have cormorants, grebes, ducks, mergansers, and the very occasional scoter. In the winter, thousands of Cackling and Canada Geese will congregate here during the day. Careful scanning can find Snow, Ross', Greater White-fronted, and hybrid geese, too. This park has evolved into a very hit-or-miss location, but when it is good it can be really good. 

Notable Trails

There are dirt walking trails running throughout the park but vehicles and motorbikes frequently speed down these trails. With the occasionally high grasses and a few blind curves be sure to stay aware of your surroundings.


  • Restrooms on site

  • Roadside viewing

Content from Jennifer Miller

Jennifer Miller