Golden-cheeked Warbler Area
The best time to catch a glimpse of the endangered golden-cheeked warbler at Dinosaur Valley State Park is between March and July, when they come to the park to raise their young before heading to Mexico and Central America for the winter.
They are a small bird measuring only 4.5 inches long, and are characterized by having a yellow face with a black line through the eye. Their diet consists of spiders and insects.
Golden-cheeked warblers are the only species of bird that breed exclusively in Texas. They nest only in mixed Ashe-juniper and oak woodlands in ravines and canyons. Woodlands with tall Ashe juniper (commonly known as cedar), oaks, and other hardwood trees provide habitat for the golden-cheeked warbler. Females strip bark from mature Ashe juniper trees and bind it with spider webs to camouflage the outside of the nest. Females lay 3-4 eggs during the nesting season.
The golden-cheeked warbler has been listed as endangered since 1990, due primarily to habitat loss. Many juniper and oak woodlands have been cleared for farmland, reservoirs, residential areas, shopping centers and other developments.
Because of the endangered status of these birds, be sure to be respectful of their space as you hike. Try not to flush birds from their nests or disturb young. Golden-cheeked warblers should be viewed only from a distance with binoculars.
*Information gathered from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.