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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.