Located in the city of Big Spring, in the Panhandle Plains of Texas, Big Spring State Park is a birder’s paradise, with many great areas for spotting interesting and even rare birds. Bird watching habitats here include mesquite trees, shin oaks and juniper forests, and even a mountain range (the Conococheague Mountains.) There is a three mile walking trail at Big Spring State Park that will loop you around the slopes for some foothill bird watching, as well as a two-third of a mile trail that will take you more than halfway up the mountain itself. Looking for Mississippi Kites, Black-chinned Hummingbirds or Sandhill Cranes? These are just a sample of the multitude of species you may see while bird watching at Big Spring State Park in Texas. For tips on finding and identifying just a few of the birds you may glimpse, see below.
Curve-billed Thrasher. Look for this slender, long billed thrasher in the brush-filled areas of Big Spring State Park. You will recognize it while bird watching from its sickle-shaped bill and long tail. Its feathers are pale brown above, with lightly streaked, paler underparts, and its eyes are bright orange. You will see them foraging along the ground for insects while bird watching at Big Spring State Park in Texas.
Bushtit. This little bird loves the oak trees of Big Spring State Park in Texas. Look for this gregarious little bird foraging among mixed-species flocks that may also include chickadees and warblers. You can identify this tit while bird-watching from its long tail, short neck, and large head with a stubby little bill. It is a brownish-gray color all over, and the male has dark eyes while the female’s eyes are bright yellow.
Verdin. Look for this little bird (about four inches long) foraging in the trees and scrublands of the Big Spring State Park in Texas. You can recognize it while bird watching from its bright yellow head and orange shoulder patch (it is otherwise a soft gray color.) It also has a very pointed bill.
Orange-crowned Warbler. These small songbirds like to forage in the scrubby open areas of Big Spring State Park, flying actively about and sometime hovering in place. Recognize them while bird watching from their olive-grey head and back, and yellowish underparts. They have a light, broken eyering and faint streaking on their bellies.
Canyon Towhee. This native Texas Towhee tends to skulk in the brush areas of Big Spring State Park. Look for its chocolatey brown coloring and very long tail when bird watching at this Texas park. It has a reddish-orange cap on its slightly darker head. Don’t be surprised to find them under your car in the park’s parking lot when you are done bird watching at Big Spring State Park – they feed off insects found on cars’ grills!
Rufous-crowned Sparrow. This small sparrow has a brown back streaked with reddish-brown, a gray face, and reddish-brown streaks extending from each eye. It also has pinkish colored legs and a black moustache. Look for them hopping along the ground among the oak trees while bird watching at Big Spring State Park in Texas, foraging for seeds, grass stems, and insects.
Dark-eyed Junco. Look for this small sweet bird while bird watching among the oak trees at Big Spring State Park. You will recognize it by its gray head, neck and breast, with a brown back and wings and white belly. Its white outer tail feathers flash brightly as it hops, and its bill is pale pink.