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The Bird Fauna

There are close to 500 species of birds in the region where Cedar Hill State Park is located. This diversity is partially explained by the fact the local area is a transitional biome situated between forested habitats to the east and the prairies that dominate the landscape to the west. Elements of the bird faunas from both regions can be found in the Osage Plains ecoregion (also called the Western Cross Timbers), which includes Cedar Hill State Park within its boundaries.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has published a checklist (there is a link at the bottom of this page) that includes all of the bird species known from the Osage Plains and Oaks-and-Prairies ecoregions. This pamphlet includes information about each species' presence and abundance during each month of the year. The checklist contains more species than you would ever see in Cedar Hill State Park but the booklet is a useful resource because of its local regional focus.

If you are visiting the park to do some birdwatching you should be aware that there are some other good birding places near the park. The Cedar Mountain Preserve shares a common border with the Cedar Hill State Park but you do not have to pay an access fee to walk its trails. The Cedar Ridge Preserve, managed by Audubon Dallas, is also nearby.

Out-of-state birders are attracted to Texas in part because there are there are a large number of migrant bird species that visit the state. Neotropical migrants pass through Texas in the spring and fall. During the winter other migrants escape the cold northern winter by overwintering here. These seasonal changes in the bird fauna are an important reason why many avid birders revisit good birding locations, like Cedar Hill State Park, throughout the year.

The bird fauna in and around the park is changing in response to alterations humans have made to the landscape. Water retention projects, like Joe Pool Lake, have created opportunties for a number of bird species to live in the Osage Plains that could not have lived in this region in the past. Some species are also in the process of being pushed out because the habitats they need to forage and breed have been destroyed, degraded, or reduced in size.

Birds of the Oaks & Prairies and Osage Plains of Texas.

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