Big Spring State Park, Comanche Trail Park, Perimeter Road, and Sandhill Crane Sanctuary

Big Spring, Texas

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Scenic Mountain dominates the state park (382 acres). It is an erosional limestone-capped remnant of the northern edge of the Edwards Plateau. The Llano Estacado (pronounced yawn-o esta-ka-do), or Staked Plains, lies to the west, and the Rolling Plains lie to the north and east. A Scenic Mountain (self-guided) trail booklet provides information on the area’s flora and fauna. Historic, turn-of-the-century carvings, left by cattle drovers and immigrants, can be found along the caprock. The spring served as the only watering place for herds of bison, pronghorn, and wild horses within a 60-mile radius. Comanches regularly used the spring as a campsite on their raids to the south. Key birds: Scaled Quail, Greater Roadrunner, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Vermilion Flycatcher, Western Scrub-Jay, Chihuahuan Raven, Cactus and Rock Wrens, Curve-billed Thrasher, Pyrrhuloxia, Canyon Towhee, and Lesser Goldfinch are present year-round. Mississippi Kite, Swainson’s Hawk, Snowy Plover, American Avocet, Burrowing Owl, Common Poorwill, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Painted Bunting, Dickcissel, Cassin’s Sparrow, and Lark Bunting occur in summer. Ferruginous Hawk; Prairie Falcon; Sandhill Crane; Shorteared Owl; Say’s Phoebe; Sage Thrasher; Eastern, Western, and Mountain Bluebirds; Townsend’s Solitaire; Phainopepla; and Greentailed Towhee can usually be found in winter.

Big Spring State Park, Comanche Trail Park, Perimeter Road, & Sandhill Crane Sanctuary Professional Review and Guide

"Scenic Mountain dominates the state park (382 acres). It is an erosional limestone-capped remnant of the northern edge of the Edwards Plateau. The Llano Estacado (pronounced yawn-o esta-ka-do), or Staked Plains, lies to the west, and the Rolling Plains lie to the north and east. A Scenic Mountain (self-guided) trail booklet provides information on the area’s flora and fauna. Historic, turn-of-the-century carvings, left by cattle drovers and immigrants, can be found along the caprock. The spring served as the only watering place for herds of bison, pronghorn, and wild horses within a 60-mile radius. Comanches regularly used the spring as a campsite on their raids to the south.

Key birds: Scaled Quail, Greater Roadrunner, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Vermilion Flycatcher, Western Scrub-Jay, Chihuahuan Raven, Cactus and Rock Wrens, Curve-billed Thrasher, Pyrrhuloxia, Canyon Towhee, and Lesser Goldfinch are present year-round. Mississippi Kite, Swainson’s Hawk, Snowy Plover, American Avocet, Burrowing Owl, Common Poorwill, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Painted Bunting, Dickcissel, Cassin’s Sparrow, and Lark Bunting occur in summer. Ferruginous Hawk; Prairie Falcon; Sandhill Crane; Shorteared Owl; Say’s Phoebe; Sage Thrasher; Eastern, Western, and Mountain Bluebirds; Townsend’s Solitaire; Phainopepla; and Greentailed Towhee can usually be found in winter."

Activity Type: Birding
Nearby City: Big Spring
Trail Type: Several options
Best Times: Best April and May for spring migrants and nesting activities; late October for migrating Sandhill Crane
Local Contacts: Big Spring State Park;
Local Maps: Texas Atlas & Gazetteer, DeLorme
Driving Directions: Directions to Big Spring State Park, Comanche Trail Park, Perimeter Road, & Sandhill Crane Sanctuary

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May 2018