In 2018, West 11th Street Park was added to the Buffalo Bayou Loop of the Upper Texas Coast - Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. The site number is UTC 093A. Texas Parks and Wildlife documents regional sites where a wildlife enthusiast can explore, first hand, the unique wildlife of a given location.
What species of birds can you expect to see or hear in the park? Well that depends on the both the time of day and time of year you visit. Knowing the best time for bird watching each day and each season can help you see a larger number and more kinds of birds.
Four species of woodpeckers have been observed year-round in the park: Red-headed, Red-bellied, Downy and Pileated. Woodpeckers can be seen during daylight hours but spring months are best since they will be actively mating and nesting. During that time you can hear woodpeckers drumming on dead trees calling for a mate. Nesting sites for Pileated woodpeckers are in the center of the park in large standing dead pine tree snags.
During winter months Red-Tail hawk, Cooper’s hawk and Orange-crowned warbler visit the park. Northern Flicker and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker woodpeckers can be seen during the winter through spring months.
Spring and fall migration are two of the best times to see the most number of species of birds. Breeding birds have brighter plumage and they are more active in their behavior to claim territories and attract mates, making them easier to identify.
As the sun rises and warms up insects, birds can be easily seen foraging for food. Late evening is similarly active for feeding birds as they store energy for the night. Birds that practice sunning are often easy to find in the mid-afternoon when the sun is at its highest. Birds may drink at any time of day, but they are more likely to visit water sources in the heat of the day.
The best time of day to see or hear owls is one hour before dawn or one hour after dusk when they are more active and thus more easily seen. A moonlit night can also be a great time for seeing Great Horned or Eastern Screech owls or hear flying squirrels in the park.
Understanding the basics of bird behavior is an easy way to learn when and where to go birding.
For more information about birds that have been observed in the park and about the spring and fall migrations, go to Stop #51.