Many of the parks are favorites for bird and animal watchers and native plant enthusiasts because of the variety of terrain and habitat included within park borders. Creatures that call Travis County home either year round, seasonally or as a migratory rest stop make up a significant sampling of North American wildlife species from all points of the naturalist's compass. The roadrunner, bobcat, canyon wren, coyote, armadillo, Mexican freetailed bat, diamondback rattlesnake and others typical of the southwestern U.S., are common to the area. Wildlife more typical of the eastern states, including the wild turkey, white-tailed deer, red fox, opossum, raccoon and a variety of hawks, share habitat with their western neighbors.
The American bald eagle, a winter visitor from the northern states, can sometimes be seen along the Pedernales River. An occasional osprey might be spotted at one or two of the lake parks or at Webberville Park. Also a variety of migrant ducks, geese, and songbirds en route along the central flyway animate the skies twice a year. Monarchs and other butterflies are abundant as well during their spring and fall migrations.
Announcing the arrival of spring, numerous migratory bird species that winter in Mexico and Central America return home to nest in Travis County. These include cliff swallow, painted bunting, and two endangered species - the black-capped vireo and golden-cheeked warbler. Several of the parks include habitat critical to the survival of these birds.
The following files are available in PDF format, which require Acrobat Reader (free from www.adobe.com) to view or print.
Birds of Hamilton Pool Preserve
- A Field Checklist (55k/3 pages)
- Arkansas Bend (13k / 4 pages)
- Bob Wentz (16k / 5 pages)
- Cypress Creek (22k / 7 pages)
- Dink Pearson (9k / 2 pages)
- Fritz Hughes (11k / 3 pages)
- Hamilton Pool (13k / 4 pages)
- Hippie Hollow (10k / 3 pages)
- Mansfield Dam (12k / 3 pages)
- Mary Quinlan (10k / 3 pages)
- Pace Bend (24k / 7 pages)
- Sandy Creek (20k / 6 pages)
- Selma Hughes (10k / 3 pages)
- Tom Hughes (12k / 3 pages)
- Wild Basin (14k / 4 pages)
- Windmill Run (12k / 3 pages)