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Birding

Red bird in a treeThe geographic location of the Edwards Plateau is one of the chief reasons why so many species of birds are found on the Homer Martin Ranch. Because the Texas Hill Country is in the overlap zone of ranges of eastern and western bird species as well as some northern and southern species, the Ranch is able to provide year-round birding opportunities!

Painted Bunting in a treeThe Painted Bunting is a local favorite thanks to the male’s vibrant colors. Painted Buntings arrive on the breeding grounds in late April and remain until early September. Don’t forget that we’re located on the banks of the Llano River, where we annually spot the American Bald Eagle, who stays for a visit from Christmas through January. These rare beauties can be seen along the Bluffs of the Llano (featured on the cover of Texas Monthly), where they traverse the river looking for their next prey.

Image of bird with insect in mouthBelow is a list of birds spotted on the ranch by Mason County’s local ornithologist, Bobbye Frazier. This list was produced on a summer day, and includes just a few of the birds whose range extends into the Texas Hill Country.

  • American Bald Eagle
  • Golden Eagle
  • Green-backed Heron
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Red-Tailed Hawk
  • Northern Bobwhite
  • Killdeer
  • Mourning Dove
  • Inca Dove
  • Yellow-billed Cuckoo*
  • Black-chinned Hummingbird*
  • Ladder-backed Woodpecker
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • Ash-throated Flycatcher*
  • Scissor-tailed Flycatcher*
  • Purple Martin*
  • Barn Swallow*
  • Carolina Chickadee
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Cactus Wren
  • Bewicks Wren
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher*
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • Bell’s Vireo*
  • Red-eyed Vireo* (possible late migrant)
  • MacGillivray’s Warbler (very late migrant)
  • Summer Tanager*
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Pyrrhuloxia
  • Blue Grosbeak*
  • Painted Bunting*
  • Canyon (Brown) Towhee
  • Cassin’s Sparrow*
  • Field Sparrow
  • Lark Sparrow
  • Black Throated Sparrow
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Eastern Meadowlark
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • Orchard Oriole*
  • House Finch
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • House Sparrow

(* summer residents)

Unless otherwise noted, birds are year-round residents of Mason County.

Photography courtesy of Paul Bozzo