Birding Sites in and around San Antonio, Texas
The following information should answer many of the questions that visiting and new birders have about birding in and around San Antonio, Texas (Bexar County). Clicking on the red location marker on each map will take you to a larger interactive map from where you can zoom in or out and obtain driving directions.
Quick Links Index
San Antonio Metro Area
|Castroville Regional Park||Choke Canyon|
|Cibolo Nature Center||Guadalupe River State Park|
|Helton Nature Park||Jackson Nature Park|
|Joshua Springs Park and Preserve||Kerr WMA|
|Kreutzberg Canyon Natural Area||Lost Maples|
Easy walking= level walking, good conditions
Hiking= more difficult walking, paths may be steep or in rough condition
Auto= can be birded from a car
Please report broken links to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bamberger Nature Park and Leon Creek Greenway (Easy walking)
Description: Both areas are in northwest San Antonio (inside Loop 1604 and west of IH-10). From 1604, exit at Babock and drive south about 1.6 miles to the Bamberger Nature Park lot on the left. From IH-10, exit at DeZavala and drive west about 1.75 miles to the light at Babcock, turn right and the Greenway parking lot is about 0.7 miles on the left. Oak trees and brush with some open areas attract many resident birds and migrants.
Bamberger Nature Park is located at 12401 Babcock Road, where Babcock crosses Leon Creek. Over 70 acres with paved walking trails.
The Buddy Calk Trailhead, the first completed phase of the Leon Creek Greenway, is across the road and a little south at 12160 Babcock. The parking area just east of the creek on Babcock provides trail access to the Earl Scott ("Oxbow") Pond area. Some areas can be muddy in wet weather, so wear appropriate footwear.
Species: Resident birds and migrants including warblers, tanagers, orioles, and flycatchers.
Additional Info: Bamberger Nature Park Website
eBird Hotspot List (Bamberger Nature Park / Leon Creek Greenway NE of Babcock rd.)
eBird Hotspot List(Leon Creek Greenway--Buddy Calk Trailhead/Earl Scott Pond area)
Brackenridge Park, Avenue A (Easy walking, Auto)
Description: Avenue A, at the south end of Brackenridge Park (south of Mulberry), has become known for migrating passerines. Avenue A runs through the park across the San Antonio River from River Road. You can park on Ave A or River Road and walk. There is a footpath over the dam at the southern end of Ave A, so you can bird both sides of the river along both Avenue A and River Road. [Warning: If you park on Ave A, don't leave valuables in sight inside your vehicle.] The street runs along the west side of the Brackenridge Golf Course, and the logical northern extension goes up towards the San Antonio Zoo.
Species: migrant passerines, Red-shouldered Hawk, Golden-fronted and Ladder-backed Woodpecker, White-winged Dove, Wood Duck, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Carolina Wren, Green Heron, Black-crested Titmouse, Carolina Chickadee, and a combination of riparian and open field birds. American Robins have been nesting here in recent years.
Braunig Lake (Easy walking, Auto) - entry fee required
Description: Both Braunig Lake and Calaveras Lake are warm-water outlets from power plants with some wetland habitat surrounded by Tamaulipan scrub habitat and some open grassland. Victor Braunig Lake is in SE Bexar County, adjacent to IH 37 as one heads southeast towards Corpus Christi. The park entrance is about five miles SE of the intersection of IH 37 and Loop 410. From IH 37 south, take the Southton Road exit, go under IH 37 and travel south on this currently two-way access road to the park's entrance, 17500 Donop Road.
Species: The brushy areas of Braunig Lake park have a good selection of permanent resident birds, including Pyrrhuloxia, Bewick's Wren, Curve-billed Thrasher, Greater Roadrunner, etc. Birders often find stray gulls on this lake in the fall and winter and it is a good place to check for seabirds blown in by storms.
Additional Info: There is an entrance fee at this park that is also good for the same day at Calaveras Lake. See website for details: Braunig and Calaveras Lakes.
Calaveras Lake (Easy walking, Auto) - entry fee required
Description: Calaveras Lake is located in SE Bexar County. Take IH 37 south past the Loop 410 intersection. Take the Hwy 181 exit to Floresville (exits right, but loops over.) Proceed to Loop 1604 (Anderson Loop). Take 1604 north (left) to Stuart Road. Turn north (left) on Stuart and take the first left into the park. 12991 Bernhardt Road.
Species: Look for Marsh Wrens, Swamp and Lincoln Sparrows and Common Yellowthroats in the reeds along the lake. Also keep an eye out for Bittern in the reeds. Osprey and American White Pelicans are common on the lake. In the winter, this is a good place to find out-of-range Gulls. The scrubby areas along the roads are good for Common Ground-Dove, Pyrrhuloxia, Bewick's Wrens, and Sparrows. Also a good place to check for wayward seabirds after major storms coming from the coast.
Additional Info: There is an entrance fee at this park that is also good for the same day at Braunig Lake. The northern parts of the park get less public impact. See website for details: Braunig and Calaveras Lakes.
Comanche Lookout Park (Hiking)
Description: This is a historic park located off of Nacogdoches Road (FM 2252) north of Judson Road in NE San Antonio, inside Loop 1604. This park has good trails, on hilly terrain with varying habitat and a good variety of migrants. Some trails are concrete. Great views from the top!
Species: Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Black-crested Titmouse, Long-billed Thrasher, White-eyed Vireo, Lesser Goldfinch, Bewick's Wren
Converse North Park (Easy walking, Hiking)
Description: Take I-35 north towards Austin from Loop 410, exit to Judson Road, and turn right at the first stop sign after you get off of IH-35. After about a mile, Judson Road joins with Topperwein to become Topperwein. You will see signs for the Live Oak City Park, but continue on Topperwein past Kitty Hawk and take a right at Windburn Trail. The first street on left is Balanced Rock, take this street and as it turns to the right it becomes Spring Town St. Stay on Spring Town and it will run into the park. There are restrooms at the parking lot; playground for kids. Local police patrol the park. Birding the park can include difficult walking, especially in wet weather with lots of mud. Wear appropriate footwear. Habitat includes a pond, dam, and open and wooded areas. You may want to bird this park together with Live Oak City Park on the same day, as they are near each other.
Species: Good in spring and fall for migrants. Notable for a diversity of sparrow species in the winter and a year-round variety of waterfowl and wading birds in the pond.
Additional Info: Converse North Park Website
Crescent Bend Nature Park (Easy walking)
Description: This Bexar county-owned park is managed by the city of Schertz and is located on Schaefer Road just on the south side of Cibolo Creek. Once a trailer park, recent hundred year floods proved the land uninhabitable. The county purchased the park through available funds from FEMA. Two bird blinds are maintained in the park by Friends of Crescent Bend Nature Park and can be good any time of the year.
Species: Good diversity of sparrows in the winter, and great place to find migrants in spring and fall. Lots of snags attract flycatchers, woodpeckers, and raptors. Lesser Nighthawk is known to roost in the park in the summer.
Additional Info: Friends of Crescent Bend Nature Park
Crownridge Canyon Natural Area (Easy walking, Hiking)
Description: Located northwest of San Antonio, outside of Loop 1604, this 207 acre nature park opened March 2006 (no pets allowed). The trailhead is located at the parking lot. Most trails are gentler climbs than nearby Friedrich Park or Eisenhower Park. The main trail (1.3 miles) is wide and paved; at the high point of the main trail is rough nature trail (.5 mile), a little more challenging. Restrooms and a water fountain are available at the trailhead.
Species: Birders have found Bushtit here, and expect Golden-cheeked Warblers to be vocal during breeding season. Also found here are Spotted Towhee, Wild Turkey, Hutton's Vireo, Lark Sparrow, Painted Bunting, Curve-billed Thrasher, Canyon Towhee, and Audubon's Oriole.
Additional Info: Crownridge Canyon Natural Area Website
Denman Estate Park (Easy walking)
Description: Located at 7735 Mockingbird Lane. This shady park has fine walking trails, a pond, and a Korean pavilion. There are no restroom facilities at this park.From outbound I-10. Exit to Callaghan and go left one block to Horizon Hill Blvd. Turn right on Horizon Hill Blvd .Go to Mockingbird Lane and turn left to the park on your right. From Fredericksburg Rd at Callaghan proceed to Mockingbird Lane and turn right and follow the road around to the park on your left.
Species: See eBird Hotspot List below.
Additional Info: Denman Estate Park Website
Eisenhower Park (Easy walking, Hiking)
Description: Located on the northwest side of town 1.1 miles outside of Loop 1604 on NW Military Hwy (19399 NW Military Hwy). The park entrance is on the left before the US Army Camp Bullis entrance. The Dwight D. Eisenhower Natural Area Park was formerly part of Camp Bullis, a training ground for the US Army. It was opened to the public in 1988 with a 5-mile trail system of varying difficulties, an overlook tower on the high point at the rear of the property, restrooms, picnic areas, some primitive camping, and a large reservable pavilion. The park covers over 300 acres. A large signboard at the trailhead shows all the trails. The area is mostly dry and rocky with cedar (Ashe Juniper), scrubby oak and Texas Mountain Laurel. The best walk for birds is the Hillview Trailup along the south fence, a grassy old road, and back down the paved trail. Listen for the Canyon Wrens in the quarry across the fence. The Scrub-Jays are most easily found near the big trailhead sign and the childrens' playground behind the picnic tables.
Species: Black-crested Titmouse, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay, Spotted Towhee, Dark-eyed Junco, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Bewick's Wren, and Canyon Wren.
El Dorado Ponds, aka "Golden Pond" (Easy walking)
Description: These two small ponds are in Northeast San Antonio on Beitel Creek, accessible to birders thanks to the El Dorado Subdivision homeowner's association, which cares for the area. This is PRIVATE PROPERTY and privileged visitors should act accordingly.
From the intersection of Nacogdoches Road and Thousand Oaks, go northeast on Nacogdoches (away from the city). Take a right turn (to the east) on Leonhardt Road.* Stay on Leonhardt past the dam which you will see on the left. Turn left on El Arroyo, then an immediate left on Linda Colonia, and park in the cul-de-sac. Walk along the lower pond on the right side to get to the upper pond.
Species: Wintering ducks, wading birds, and Red-shouldered Hawks. Warblers in the Spring and songbirds year-round.
Additional Info: None.
Evans Lake (Easy walking, Auto)
Description: Small ponds on Post Oak Creek in southwest Bexar County. This is private property and must be viewed from the road.
From Loop 410 (between I-35 to Laredo and TX 16 to Poteet), turn south on Somerset Road (Rt.2790). After you cross the Medina River, turn right on Von Ormy Road, and then left on South Evans Road to the ponds on your left. Park carefully off the road. Evans Road continues on to meet Somerset Road again.
From Loop 1604 in Somerset, turn north onto Somerset Road, drive about 2 miles and then left onto South Evans Road, and the ponds will be on your right.
Species: Depending on the water level, this can be a good place for shorebirds and ducks in the winter. Also good for sparrows.
Additional Info: None.
Friedrich Wilderness Park (Easy walking, Hiking)
Description: The most accessible place in Bexar County to get Golden-cheeked Warblers. Located on 233 acres in NW Bexar County, the Emilie and Albert Friedrich Wilderness Park is about 15 miles from downtown San Antonio. Take Interstate Highway 10 west past Loop 1604. Take the Dominion Drive exit # 552. Drive approximately 1.5 miles and take the turn-around under the Interstate, then take the second right turn on Milsa. Milsa makes a left turn. Friedrich Park will be on your right about 600 yards down. The main loop trail is easy walking, but expect other trails to be steep and rocky. Don't miss the water hole and bench at the windmill on the Water Trail. Pick up a map at the sign-in place just before the trails. Dogs are not allowed.
Species: Blue-gray Gnatcatchers have bred here and Woodhouse's Scrub-Jays are resident. Sometimes the parking lot is the most birdy because it has the most diversity of habitat. Look for Painted Bunting and Lesser Goldfinch. At present, Black-capped Vireos do not nest here. Golden-cheeked Warblers are quite vocal from mid-March to mid-May. Although they are present through early July, they become increasingly quieter as their nestlings progress. The young in the "brancher" stage look like a fat, dumpy Verdin. As they get older, they start to look like scruffy adults as they molt into adult plumage. By the time the young leave for the tropics, they are hard to distinguish from adults.
Government Canyon State Natural Area (Hiking)
Description: Government Canyon is located in northwest Bexar County and boasts the only known dinosaur tracks on public land in Bexar County. The area is huge and has many trails of varying degrees of difficulty; wear appropriate clothing and footwear and bring water. . With a visitor's center, educational exhibit and store. There is a fee per person unless you have a Texas State Parks Pass. Be sure to check the website before going (link below) for closures and hours.
Species: Golden-cheeked Warbler, Black-capped Vireo, Common Raven, Canyon Wren, Canyon Towhee, Scott's Oriole, Turkey, and Roadrunner
Additional Info: Government Canyon State Natural Area
Judson Nature Trails, Olmos Park (Easy walking)
Description: Located in Alamo Heights at the intersection of Viesca and Greely, the San Antonio Audubon Society maintains theJack Judson Nature Trailsand has their Beginners' Bird Walkhere. From the 5900 block of Broadway, turn west on Ogden near Cambridge Elementary School, proceed west to Greely, turn south (left) one block to Viesca, then right to the parking lot on the left.
Across Jones Maltsburger is Olmos Park, which will have many of the same birds as Judson Nature Trails.
Species: Judson Nature Trails - The Scout-improved trails are good for warblers during migration. During the winter, you can expect to find Hermit Thrush, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, White-throated and Lincoln's Sparrows, and Wood Duck. Winter Wren and Brown Creeper can be found here in the winter, but they are a bit more unusual. Barred Owls and Red-shouldered Hawks nest in and around the trails and can be found there year-round.
Olmos Park - Lesser Goldfinches are more common here. The back side of the baseball field on the north side of Alamo Heights Blvd quite often produces Verdin and Long-billed Thrasher. In summer, the fields west of US 281 opposite Olmos Park and south of the Olmos Golf Course have been good for Painted Buntings, Western Kingbird, Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, and other birds typical of grassy, weedy fields.
Additional Info: Olmos Basin Park
Live Oak City Park (Easy Walking)
Description: This 75 acre park has open areas, a large lake, a small pond, and woods yielding a wide variety of species. Walking the dam gives you views of a wet, brushy area on one side and the lake on the other. Note that there are two parking areas for this park. Restrooms are located adjacent to both parking areas. If walking off the concrete paths please be aware of flying discs from people playing on the disc golf course.
Species: This park can be good in all seasons and attracts passerines, waterfowl, wading birds, and raptors. Bronzed Cowbird is often found here in the summer with careful observation of blackbird flocks. Scissor-tailed Flycatchers love to sit on the tall lightpoles in the sport field areas.
Additional Info: Live Oak's Main City Park
McAllister Park (Easy Walking)
Description: Formerly the Northeast Preserve, this area now has improved trails and a variety of habitat. There is also a second entrance off west-bound Starcrest Dr. north of the San Antonio International Airport. Restrooms and picnic areas are abundant. Be aware of mountain bikers using dirt trails throughout the park at high speed, and check to make sure no special events are happening during your planned visit that may take over the entire park.
Species: Barred Owls nest here, along with many other resident and breeding species. The stormwater retention pond on the west edge of the park can be good for shorebirds and waterfowl in the fall and winter.
Additional Info: McAllister Park
Medina River Natural Area (Easy Walking, Hiking)
Description: This relatively new park (15890 Hwy 16 South, San Antonio, TX 78264) is part of theE old Applewhite Reservoir site and is often a great birding spot. Trails of varying difficulty wind through a nice natural area and along the river. Remember to stay on the trails and be aware of where you place your feet. An additional Medina River Greenway trailhead is located off Applewhite Rd. at Old Applewhite Rd. It is 3 miles of paved trail from the Medina River Natural Area park office to Applewhite Rd.
Species: Green Kingfishers, Least Grebe, Verdin, Painted and Indigo buntings, warblers, orioles and tanagers are regularly found here in season, as well as many woodpeckers, vireos, wrens and sparrows throughout the year.
Mission San Juan and Espada Dam - Acequia Park (Easy Walking)
Description: This park is located along the San Antonio River between Mission San Jose and Mission San Juan Capistrano, which is within the National Park Service's San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, along with the 255-year-old, still functioning, Espada Acequia. It is managed by the San Antonio River Authority and is part of the San Antonio River Mission Reach Ecosystem Restoration and Recreation Project. Port-a-potties available.
Species: Resident birds include herons, egrets, Wood Ducks, owls, and woodpeckers among others. The riparian vegetation provides habitat for migrating warblers and flycatchers.
Additional Info: Acequia Park
Mitchell Lake Audubon Center (Easy Walking, Auto Tour)
Description: Mitchell Lake is located at 10750 Pleasanton Road on the south side of San Antonio and is part of the National Audubon Society. The 1200-acre complex has a mixture of brushland, grassland, mud flats, shallow ponds, deep ponds, and a deep water lake. Their hours vary seasonally, and they host a variety of educational programs throughout the year including birding field trips. Entrance fee is nominal, and yearly memberships are available. Check the website link below for up-to-date information.
Summer heat and sun can be brutal at Mitchell Lake. Plan accordingly and bring water, hat, sunscreen, and bug spray. The auto tour often becomes closed to vehicles after a heavy rain, so be sure to call before visiting if these conditions exist. They also keep their Facebook page up-to-date, so this is also a great source of information on events, hours, and conditions.
Species: Expect to see Crested Caracara, Black-necked Stilt, Inca, White-winged, and Mourning Dove and Common Ground-Dove, Cave, Cliff and Barn Swallows, Vermilion Flycatcher (winter), many species of ducks (winter), warblers (spring and fall migration and some wintering species), wintering sparrows, both night-herons, and several species of herons and shore birds. Neotropic and Double-crested Cormorant will be here along with American White Pelicans. Least Grebes nest here in wet years. Painted Buntings usually nest here during the summer. It would not be surprising to see a Roseate Spoonbill on shorelines. Groove-billed Anis have nested in July at numerous places in the polder-decant basin area. A number of species have been seen here only after hurricanes. The area is famous for the shorebirds that can be seen on its mud flats. This is especially true in winter and during spring and fall migration. Mitchell Lake has taught us that spring migration lasts until early June, and that fall migration starts in late July.
eBird Hotspot List- general hotspot
eBird Hotspot List- visitor's center area
OP Schnabel Park (Easy Walking)
Description: Entrance is at 9600 Bandera Road (TX 16) opposite Braun Road. Several different habitats, 4.5 miles of walking trails of various difficulty levels, and access to French Creek and Leon Creek provide opportunities to find a variety of native species most of the year. Restrooms, playground, and pavilion.
Species: Spotted Towhee, Hermit Thrush, Greater Roadrunner, Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay, warblers and sparrows in season.
Additional Info: O.P. Schnabel
Phil Hardberger Park (Easy walking)
Description: This 311-acre park is an oasis in a heavily developed part of north central San Antonio. Wurzbach Parkway divides the park into two sections with entrances at 13203 Blanco Road and 8400 NW Military Hwy. Amenities in both sections include playgrounds, dog parks, picnic tables, water fountains and restrooms. Much of this park remains undeveloped with extensive trail systems on both sides providing access to a variety of habitat including restored savannas, wooded areas and open fields with lots of edge. The Urban Ecology Center on the NW Military side and Salado Classroom on the Blanco side are good places to start birding walks. A Bird Water Featurewith bird blind near the Salado Classroom provides a dependable source of water for birds and was initiated and partially funded by SAAS.
Species: The restored savannas on the NW Military side have attracted a good variety of winter sparrows. Migrating and winter warblers are seen in the wooded areas. There are a number of year-round residents and summer residents as well. Over 145 species have been seen in the park.
eBird Hotspot List- Hardberger Park North
eBird Hotspot List- Hardberger Park South
San Antonio Botanical Garden (Easy walking) - entry fee required
Description: Located at N. New Braunfels & Funston (555 Funston Place), the San Antonio Botanical Gardens cover 35 acres. The front section contains ornamental gardens which are good for hummingbirds. The northeast part demonstrates three biotic ecosystems of the state along the Texas Native Trail. The hilltop location gives a good view of the San Antonio River valley.
Species: You should be able to find Long-billed Thrasher, Verdin and Bell's Vireos in season. The Bell's Vireos and Verdin have nested near the pair of adobe houses. Locate both by call. Verdin has a single, sharp, high pitched chip. Bell's Vireo asks a question with its call. This is a good migrant trap. The pond is a great place to find Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks, Wood Ducks, Green Heron, and Common Moorhen.
Additional Info: There is a very nice field trip to the garden on the third Saturday of each month (except in summer months) with a leader from the SA Audubon Society. Visit the San Antonio Botanical Garden website for more information on fees and hours.
San Antonio Zoo (Easy walking) - entry fee required
Description: Located at the north end of Brackenridge Park, 3903 N. St. Mary's.
Species: Red-shouldered Hawk, Golden-fronted and Ladder-backed Woodpecker, White-winged Dove, Wood Duck, Carolina Wren, Green Heron, Black-crested Titmouse, Carolina Chickadee, plus some native species in some of their walk-through areas. Yellow-crowned Night-Herons and Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks nest here.
More info: Visit the website of the San Antonio Zoo to find out more information on one of San Antonio's premier attractions.
Southside Lions Park (Easy Walking, Auto)
Description: Located on the near-southeast side of San Antonio, Southside Lions Park includes a variety of habitats over 600 acres. A small lake, the Salado Creek wooded streamside, a dry thicket, some open land, and an adjacent cemetery provide habitat for many different birds. The park is on both sides of Pecan Valley Dr., although the portion with the lake on the east side of the road is the most heavily birded.
Species: The Salado Creek on the east has been home for Golden-fronted, Ladder-backed, and occasionally a Red-bellied Woodpecker, with Downy Woodpecker and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in season. Flycatchers, phoebes, goldfinches and warblers of various kinds are found along the streamsides and in the tops of these old trees. The small lake has ducks in winter in a small enough area to see them well. The upper stream leading into it often has egrets and herons in season. The thicket in the north portion is good thrasher and warbler habitat in season.
Additional Info: Southside Lions Park
eBird Hotspot List-Salado Creek Greenway - South Side Lions Park (around lake)
eBird Hotspot List- Salado Creek Greenway - South Side Lions Park East (east of lake)
Tom Slick Park (Easy Walking)
Description: Formerly a part of Southwest Research Institute but now cut off by Highway 151, the best area in this park for birding is reached from the south entrance off of Timbercreek Dr.. A gravel path encircles a quarry pond and travels through woods. The ball fields and a larger parking area are reached off Hwy 151.
Species: See eBird list below for species list.
Additional Info: Tom Slick Park
Walker Ranch Historic Landmark Park (Easy Walking)
Description: 12603 West Avenue between Salado Creek and Panther Springs Creek, just north of Nakoma Drive. About 1.5 miles of paved and natural-surfaced trails. Good in all seasons. Restrooms and playground.
Species: See eBird list below
Warbler Woods Bird Sanctuary (Easy Walking, Hiking, Sitting)
Description: Susan and Don Schaezler welcome visitors to their 126-acre property in the Cibolo/Schertz area, northeast of San Antonio. Wooded and open areas and water features attract many species. The property has many blinds with chairs and/or benches to sit and enjoy the birds when you get tired of walking. Relaxing atmosphere with a variety of trails. Watch where you step! All visits are by prior appointment only, and directions for visiting must be followed very carefully. Request a visitation time and day via email. All information is located on the Warbler Woods website given below.
Species: This property is especially good for spring warblers, and can have some interesting plants, insects, and fungi. Long-billed Thrashers are residents, and many sparrows and raptors are seen here. Northern Bobwhite is doing well here. Nocturnal species such as Barred, Great-horned, and Eastern Screech-Owls, Common and Lesser Nighthawks, Common Paraque, and Chuck-Will's-Widow are often detectable during spring and summer.
Additional Info: Warbler Woods Bird Sanctuary (click here for visiting directions)
Western Bexar County - Mechler and Jungman Roads (Auto)
Description: These roads are an easy drive from town and on the northern edge of the brush country. Drive west on US 90 to justbefore the Medina County line and turn left (south) on Mechler Road. One landmark has been an irrigation pump on the east side of Mechler Road, approx. 2 miles south of US 90 (see photo). To make a loop: At the end of Mechler, turn left on Gross Lane, which ends at the Macdona Lacoste Road. Turn left and then left again onto Jungman Road, which will return to US 90. NOTE: These are county roads with private property on all sides. Stay on the road at all times.
Species: This is a good spot for winter birds of open, plowed fields and fence rows. Burrowing Owl has been regular here, as have American Pipits, Mountain Plovers, and longspurs. Watch for Merlins among the ubiquitous American Kestrels, along with Say's Phoebe, Horned Larks, Vesper and Savannah Sparrow, and Brewer's Blackbirds.
Additional Info: N/A
eBird Hotspot List- Jungman Road
eBird Hotspot List- Mechler Road
Woodlawn Lake Park (Easy Walking)
Description: This 62 acre city park just northwest of downtown includes a good-sized pond. The road that surrounds the park is Josephine Tobin Drive. Restrooms and picnic areas are available, as well as a walking track around the pond.
Species: The lake attracts water birds, including cormorants, herons, egrets, and both domestic and wild waterfowl.
Additional Info: Woodlawn Lake Park
Birding sites outside the San Antonio Metro Area
Castroville Regional Park(Easy Walking, Hiking, Auto)
Description: This 126 acre park is a great birding place any time of year. From US 90 west, turn left at Athens Street and follow the signs. The ponds at the top of the hill (only accessible on foot) on the west may have Osprey and Egrets, and Black Phoebe has been seen here regularly. [Look for the bench with the SAAS name on it!] Ridge-top trails require effort and good shoes. A walk or drive around the paved perimeter road will touch many kinds of habitat. The little ditch on the right always has water and usually has Green Kingfisher and warblers. This ditch ends at the bald cypress-lined Medina River, which you can follow on around to the left. Picnic benches Eand restrooms available.
Species: Osprey, egrets, Black Phoebe, Green Kingfisher, warblers, Eastern Bluebirds, Ash-throated and Great-crested Flycatchers, Vermillion Flycatcher, Verdins, and orioles (even Audubon's Oriole). Couch's Kingbirds have nested in the Pecan trees and Westerns have nested on the power poles.
Additional Info: Castroville Regional Park
Castroville: Landmark Inn State Historic Site (Easy Walking)
Description: This is a 5 acre historic property along the Medina River. Grounds are open during daylight hours and a small fee applies if you wanted a guided historical tour of the property. Picnic benches and restrooms are available.
Species: Look for Canyon Wren, Eastern Phoebe, Green Kingfisher, and Black Phoebe near the river in the back of the property. Hummingbirds and butterflies come to the plantings on the grounds behind the Inn.
Additional Info: Landmark Inn State Historic Site
Choke Canyon State Park (Easy Walking, Hiking, Auto)
Description: This park is about 75 miles south of San Antonio via IH 37 near the town of Three Rivers. It has a lot of good South Texas specialties. The park has two "units," the South-Shore Unit and the Calliham Unit. You need to go about 10 miles west of the South-shore Unit to get to the Calliham Unit. The Calliham Unit is usually more birdy, and includes a nature trail that can have many of the species listed below.
Species: Great Kiskadee, Couch's Kingbird, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Curve-billed Thrasher, Long-billed Thrasher and Cactus Wren. The camping/picnic area below the dam at the South Shore Unit has Green Jays, Audubon's Oriole, and Green Kingfisher.
Additional Info: Choke Canyon State Park
eBird Hotspot List- Calliham Unit (McMullen Co.)
eBird Hotspot List- South Shore Unit (Live Oak Co.)
Cibolo Nature Center and Farm- Boerne (Easy Walking)
Description: Follow signs to Boerne City Park and Cibolo Nature Center and park at the end of the road. There are casts of dinosaur tracks found locally; prairie, woods, pond, and creek habitats and easy trails offer something for everyone, including many warblers during migration. A short boardwalk winds through marsh habitat. Restrooms available.
Species: Breeding Painted Buntings, Yellow-throated Warblers and Northern Parulas in the summer. Other warblers during migration. Can be good for raptors and a few wading birds.
Additional Info: Cibolo Nature Center
Guadalupe River State Park (Easy Walking, Hiking)
Description: This State Park is located 32 miles north of San Antonio, near the town of Spring Branch. The Park is open year-round and offers facilities for overnight camping and day use. With 12 miles of hiking trails and a species list of over 240 there are birding opportunities in bald cypress lined riparian areas, Ashe Juniper-oak woodlands, and grassland savannahs. There are two sections to the park, the main recreational section which is in Comal Co. and the northern section which is in Kendall Co. (the northern section is often closed for hunting in the fall). The park also features a year-round bird blind. In the summer months the park often closes by late morning hours due to being full, and it often closes trails due to rain events or poor conditions, so check the status before you go. The adjacent Honey Creek State Natural Area is also a wonderful place to visit, but it is only open to the public during official hikes. See the park website for details.
Species: Summer breeding highlights include Golden-cheeked Warblers, Painted Buntings, Vermillion Flycatchers, Blue Grosbeaks, Canyon Wrens, and Eastern Bluebirds. Spring migrations can be very birdie with over 24 warblers reported. Winter is sparrow season with over 20 species reported.
eBird Hotspot List- Guadalupe River State Park (Comal Co.)
eBird Hotspot List- Guadalupe River State Park - Northern portion (Kendall Co.)
eBird Hotspot List- Honey Creek State Natural Area
Helton Nature Park (Easy Walking, Hiking)
Description: This 98-acre nature park in Wilson County is owned and maintained by the San Antonio River Authority. A majority of the trails are in the floodplain, so trails may be covered with water or muddy in places depending on recent weather. Trails wind through forest and riparian habitats, with some productive edges around the parking area. The park is open daily from dawn to dusk, and bathrooms are available by the playground area.
Species: Painted and Indigo Buntings, Summer Tanager, and Great Crested Flycatcher during breeding, Barred Owl, Eastern Bluebird, and many migrants in spring and fall.
Additional Info: Helton Nature Park
Jackson Nature Park (Hiking)
Description: This small 50 acre park belongs to the San Antonio River Authority and is located at the CR 401 crossing of the Cibolo Creek in Wilson county near Stockdale. There is some riparian habitat and some open fields. Good trails, but are not handicap accessible and sometimes aren't mowed well. There is a porta potty and some picnic tables on the site. The admission fee is $1 in a dropbox.
Species: see eBird list below
Additional Info: Jackson Nature Park
Joshua Springs Park and Preserve (Easy Walking, Hiking)
Description: This 365-acre park and nature area in Kendall County is often overlooked and rarely busy. Little Joshua Creek runs through this property and attracts all kinds of Hill Country wildlife. Hours change slightly seasonally, and may be closed on major holidays so check website below before visiting. Restrooms and shaded picnic areas are available.
Species: Winter can attract some ducks, but sparrows can also be plentiful. Bushtits can be found here as well as wading birds, flycatchers (including Vermilion), Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay, and Painted Buntings just to name a few.
Additional Info: Joshua Springs Park and Preserve
Kerr Wildlife Management Area (Hiking)
Description: The Kerr Wildlife Management Area in Kerr County is a research site for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and is 6,493 acres, representative of the Edwards Plateau habitat type of Texas. The Kerr WMA is 20-30 miles northwest of Kerrville, which is about 60 miles northwest of San Antonio. Address: 2625 FM 1340, Hunt, TX 78024. Open year round, except closed for Special Permit hunts or maintenance. The office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Species: Golden-cheeked Warblers and Black-capped Vireos in season. Also Wild Turkey, Northern Bobwhite, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay, and many migrants.
Kreutzberg Canyon Natural Area(Hiking)
Description: This Kendall county park is 117 acres with 3 miles of hiking trails. It has several viewing blinds (one of which is ADA accessible), an Interpretive Garden, frontage on the Guadalupe River and upland woods. No potable water so bring your own. Address: 143 Mark Twain, Boerne, TX 78006. Park Hours: Dawn to Dusk.
Species: Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay, Zone-tailed Hawk, Sparrows, Indigo and Painted Buntings, Golden-cheeked Warbler and many other species.
Additional Info: Kreutzberg Canyon Natural Area
Lost Maples State Natural Area (Easy Walking, Hiking)
Description: Lost Maples State Natural Area is about 60 miles west-northwest of San Antonio in Bandera County, near the town of Vanderpool. Lost Maples is open year round but can get very crowded in the Fall when the Maple leaves are turning and in the Spring when hikers and birders hit the trails. The rangers there are very bird-aware and will be able to help you locate the birds you wish to find.
Species: Nesting populations of both Golden-cheeked Warblers and Black-capped Vireos. Other birds that are fairly easy to find there are Green Kingfisher, Red-eyed Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo, Eastern Pewee, Indigo Bunting, Painted Bunting, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Canyon Wren, Acadian Flycatcher, Lesser Goldfinch, Scott's Oriole and Blue Grosbeak.
Additional Info: Lost Maples State Natural Area
eBird Hotspot List- East Trail
eBird Hotspot List- West Trail