While prepping the land it was important to us to preserve the natural habitat for the wildlife that called this area home before us. We knew the land had species of birds that we don't see everyday so we called in a senior biologist with a local wildlife management team to guide us in preserving and maintaining the home of these beautiful bird species.
Game birds observed included White-winged and Mourning Dove as well as an incidentally detected Northern Bobwhite. The Northern Bobwhite is classified by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department as a “species of concern” due to population declines over the last several decades. The mix of grassland and woody cover provides excellent habitat for these species. Local breeding species of sparrows included Field and Lark. Because the survey was conducted in May, many wintering sparrows otherwise expected to occur on the property have already migrated north but we expect to see them back.
Bird of prey species seen consisted of the Red-tailed Hawk and Red-shouldered Hawk. The presence of these predatory species is an indicator of quality habitat. Many neo-tropical migrants were observed including the Ash-throated Flycatcher, Red-eyed Vireo, Cliff Swallow, Summer Tanager, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Chimney Swift, Black-chinned Hummingbird and Painted Bunting. Most of these birds depend on abundant and diverse insect populations as their food source. All of these species potentially nest on the property.
Cavity nesting birds were abundant and included Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Bewick’s Wren, Carolina Chickadee, and Black-crested Titmouse. The presence of supplemental nesting boxes provides additional nesting sites for these birds to rear their young. Boxes are cleaned out each fall/winter.
Overlook At Pedernales is notable for its scenic stretch of the Pedernales River, healthy and predominately native plant communities and wildlife abundance. The property lies to the Southwest of Pedernales Canyon Trail, and Pedernales Canyon Trail serves as the tract's northern boundary. The property contributes positively to the local watershed as part of the Pedernales River sub-basin of the Colorado River basin. It lies above the Trinity Aquifer. The river serves as a dependable source of water for wildlife species in the area.
The vast majority of the tree growth is live oak and Spanish oak. Other tree species include cedar elm, mesquite, ashe juniper, western soapberry and hackberry. The shrub layer is light with scattered Texas persimmons, agarito, basil, hog plum, white brush and tickle tongue. The succulent layer is compromised of moderate Texas prickly pear as well as tasajillo, Buckley yucca and twist-leaf yucca.
The herbaceous layer composed of grasses and forms is a wide mix of predominantly native species. Grass species are compromised of King Ranch bluestem, plains bristle grass, Texas winter grass, hooded windmill grass, sideoats grama, broadleaf signalgrass, Texas grama, purple threeawn, tall grama, Hall's panic, silver bluestem, Scribner rosette grass, meadow dropseed, tumble lovegrass, Texas trident, sandbar, and red grama. Forbs include cedar sedge, one-seed croton, prairie verbena, mealy blue sage, Blackfoot daisy, parralena, Mexican hat, orange zexmenia, holly croton, gray vervain, Texas thistle, wood-sorrel, Texas bluebonnets, Indian mallow and greenthread.
The Pedernales River corridor grass layer is thick, which from a soil erosion prevention standpoint, is ideal. Grasses and forbs include Bermudagrass, silver bluestem, Johnsongrass, switchgrass, knot root bristle grass, Scribner rosette grass, Vaseygrass, eastern gamagrass, King Ranch bluestem , Texas frog-fruit and palafoxia.