Bird Watching in the Texas Hill Country

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Birdwatching in the Texas Hill Country

Enjoy Birds, Blooms & More in Dripping Springs, TX

Central Texas and the Texas Hill Country is known as a birding hot spot and one of the top locations to bird in the Lone Star State.

If you want to view some of the most exciting spring migration in the country, visit Texas and the Texas Hill Country. Dripping Springs is located where two of the migration patterns cross. When you visit Dripping Springs you can have easy access to some of the best bird watching sites in the Hill Country.

Dripping Springs and the Texas Hill Country is known for it's varied ecological regions, from limestone geology, canyons brimmed with dense oak and Ashe-junipers, clear fern-lined streams and creeks to beautiful, spring-fed rivers. In the spring months, the wildflowers explode with vibrant hues of orange, yellows, blues and pinks, signaling an optimal time for birding.

According to Audubon, Texas’s bird list of nearly 650 ranks second among the states (behind only California) and is home to rare species that can only be found in the Texas Hill Country. Want to see Golden-cheeked Warbler, Black-capped Vireo or Painted Bunting? Visit Dripping Springs, TX to see one of these coveted and elusive species.
Birdwatchers at the Dr. Pound Farmstead

Dripping Springs has extensive birding and wildlife trails in the area. here are the best places to bird in the Texas Hill Country:


Charro Ranch Park

Located off of RR150, just south of Dripping Springs is Charro Ranch Park. The 64-acre park is a great place to bird watch and will take about 2 hours to trek the entirety of the park if you are moving slowly. Two miles of flat trail winds throughout park, allowing for plentiful birding in all habitats and areas of the park, including the bird viewing station. The park is mostly dominated by live oak woodlands and clumps of shrubby agarita and Texas persimmon separated by open grasslands. Shrubby areas provide good shelter for many songbirds, while the taller oaks offer perches high up off the ground. Over 115 species of birds have been reported at Charro Ranch Park.

DRIPPING SPRINGS RANCH PARK

Bird watching enthusiasts can be happy to find many lovely songbirds living in the wooded areas and along the seasonal creeks at the Dripping Springs Ranch Park. One of the main features at the Dripping Springs Ranch Park is a new bird-viewing station that includes covered seating and a nearby bird feeder and water station. The station is accessible by a trail and overlooks a pond in the north section of the park. Birders can also take the 5-mile loop around the park that weaves through dense Ashe juniper and oak groves, through pockets of open prairie grasslands that host a variety of native grasses and wildflowers during the spring months.

MILTON REIMERS RANCH PARK

Located in western Travis County, Milton Reimers Ranch boasts almost 3-miles of continuous frontage along the Pedernales River. Over 18 miles of trails through the classic Central Texas landscape, allowing for abundant birding in all habitats and areas of the 2427-acre park. Throughout the preserved space, birders will see and hear many year-round residents of the Edwards Plateau. The endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler can also be found at Reimers Ranch. The Golden-cheeked Warbler is an endangered species that nests in central Texas between March and September, migrating to Mexico or northern Central America for the winter. This medium sized warbler likes the mature oak and juniper forests found in the Hill Country and uses the bark of the mature Ashe-juniper (commonly called a cedar tree) to build its nest.

Black-capped Vireo, while no longer considered endangered, are still a vulnerable species. The Black-capped Vireo disappeared from many former haunts by the 1980s owing to loss and degradation of habitat and heavy nest parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds. This small bird nests in Texas during April through July, and can be found, if you are lucky, at Reimers Ranch.

WESTCAVE OUTDOOR DISCOVERY CENTER

Located in Travis County, Westcave Preserve provides a unique patchwork of different habitats for resident and migrant bird species alike, including the Golden-cheeked warblers, which reside in Ashe juniper and oak woodlands of the preserve. Golden-cheek Warblers are the only bird species that nest exclusively in Texas. Every spring, this warbler species returns only to the Texas Hill Country to nest and raise young. Westcave Preserve provides the unique habitat required to sustain this species’ population and has implemented a monitoring program intended to census bird species including the Golden-cheeked Warbler.

Within Westcave, two distinct ecosystems meet on the Preserve. The Preserve's grasslands are scattered with wildflower meadows, Ashe- junipers, oaks and cactus bordering a sheltered limestone canyon punctuated with rare plants and cypress trees. The grotto, the highlight of the preserve is its 40-foot waterfall backed by caves, tumbling over fern-covered limestone travertine columns into an emerald green pool. Westcave hosts a variety of birding events throughout the migratory seasons including birding walks.

PEDERNALES FALLS STATE PARK

There are several active bird blinds and more than 150 species of birds that can be found in the state park. About one-third of the birds found at Pedernales Falls are permanent residents. Birds seen throughout the year include ravens, vultures, herons, quail, doves, owls, roadrunners and wild turkeys, as well as Rufous-crowned Sparrows and Woodhouse’s Scrub Jays. The endangered Golden-cheeked Warblers nest in the park and arrive to nest in mid-March.

The ecological environment at the state park is impressive and offers a great backdrop for all levels of birders. View the Pedernales Falls from the scenic overlook at the north end of the park. From the lookout, you can view the cascading river as it drops about 50 feet in elevation over a distance of 3,000 feet. The Pedernales River flows over tilted, layered stair steps of limestone.

DR. POUND HISTORICAL FARMSTEAD

Located near the Dripping Springs Sports Park, The Dr. Pound Historical Farmstead is a destination where the interests of birders and history buffs collide. Nestled on five beautifully shaded, oak-filled acres, the 1854 farmstead - built by one of Dripping Springs' founding families- offers a fascinating and informative glimpse into the Hill Country's historic past. The historical site serves as a great backdrop for birding and the canopy of the oaks and other native species offers plenty of opportunity to witness some of the year-round dwellers and migrating species in the region.
A man peering through binoculars bird watching.


BIRDING IN DRIPPING SPRINGS, TX

If you are interested in learning more about birding in Dripping Springs and the Texas Hill Country, consider joining the Dripping Springs Birding Club. The Dripping Springs Birding Club is a Dripping Springs area social bird-watching club. It is dedicated to the joy of birding, highlighting birds and bird-watching opportunities in local natural areas and parks. It is intended for members to post pictures, comments and stay informed via Facebook about field trips and events.

The Club partners with Wild Birds Unlimited Dripping Springs. Wild Birds Unlimited specializes in bringing people and nature together through the hobby of backyard bird feeding and nature products. The store offers the highest quality products including bird food, bird Baths and bird houses.

We welcome birders of all levels to come visit and stay in Dripping Springs on your next briding adventure.

Central Flyway for Bird Migration

A map of the US that shows bird migration patterns.

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