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7 Great Places for Bird Watching in The Hill Country

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7 Great Places for Birding in The Hill Country

The Texas Hill Country has a fascinating network of ecosystems, which includes limestone geology, clear streams and beautiful, spring-fed rivers. In the spring months, the wildflowers explode with color, signaling and optimal time for birding.

The Hill Country is home to approximately 430 bird species. Two of these are particularly interesting to birders: the Golden-cheeked Warbler and Black-capped Vireo. Both are on the endangered species list and highly protected, so catching a glimpse of these tiny birds is always a treat.

With observation platforms, enclosed shelters, and traditional birding blinds, these sites offer some of the best bird watching in The Hill Country.

1. Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge – Marble Falls, TX

7 Great Places for Birding in The Hill Country

Photo: Flickr/Jason Crotty

The primary mission of Balcones Canyonlands is to protect the nesting habitats of the golden-cheeked warbler and black-capped vireo, which are endangered, migratory birds. Golden-cheeked warblers reside in Ashe juniper and oak woodlands of the refuge and are the only bird species that nest exclusively in Texas. The savannahs of the refuge provide the brushy tickets crucial to the black-capped vireo. Additionally, the refuge is home to a myriad other species including spoonbills, hawks, eagles, ducks and geese, falcons, turkeys, and many more.

Balcones Canyonlands is one of only 14 designated refuges where professionals, such as land managers, go to learn about cutting-edge habitat management techniques and technology.

2. Fredericksburg, TX

7 Great Places for Birding in The Hill Country
Photo: Flickr/HarmonyonPlanetEarth

Fredericksburg is located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, so it is an optimal birding location. It is also home to the new Live Oak Wilderness nature trail in Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park, which is located three miles south on Texas Highway 16. More than half of the birds residing in Gillespie County were spotted in the park, including rare species like the zone-tailed hawk, yellow-crowned night heron and MacGillvray’s warbler.

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