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Welcome to Friends of
BalconesCanyonlands
National Wildlife Refuge

about_refuge_photo1.gifAbout the RefugeFWS logo


The refuge falls at the juncture of the Great Plains and Gulf Coast bioregions. In addition, the refuge straddles the divide between the Colorado and Brazos watersheds. Beneath the land lies a mysterious labyrinth of caves. Add the unusual limestone geology of the Edwards Plateau and it’s not surprising to find plants and animals adapted to live here and nowhere else. At least a third of the state’s threatened and endangered species live or migrate through the area. Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge offers some of the best bird watching and habitat left in Texas for two endangered songbirds-the Black-capped Vireo and the Golden-cheeked Warbler. Try stopping at the Doeskin Ranch for a hike along the Rimrock trail to see Golden-cheeked Warbler country.


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Mid-March
Male Golden-cheeked Warblers arrive, followed by the females.


Late-March to Mid-April
Black-capped Vireo males arrive followed by the females.


Mid-April to Late May
Males warblers defend their territories while female warblers build their nests. Babies hatch late during this period. Male and female vireos build their nest together during this time.


Mid-May to September
The vireo nestlings hatch and stay close to their nests and adults throughout the summer until the vireos migrate south.


June to Mid-July
The adult Golden-cheeked Warblers feed their young for about a month. By mid-July the whole family flies south towards Mexico and Central America.


Spring-Fall
A variety of hill country wildflowers bloom at different times through this time period. The various flowers each attract specific types of wildlife, including butterflies and dragonflies. The timing of when the wildflowers are in bloom depends on rainfall and temperatures but there are always interesting wildflowers to be viewed along the various trails.


Fall
Thousands of monarch butterflies and hawks migrate south through the refuge in fall.


Winter
Vast flocks of wintering robins and waxwings can be viewed. Winter is also a great time to hike the various trails and just enjoy the beauty of the hill country without the heat of summer.


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