- Golden Eagles make regular appearances here
- Good spot for Ferruginous Hawk
At a pull-off along Highway 385 is a Texas historical marker, which is surrounded by wide open grassland and bare dirt. Prairie dogs can be easily seen running in between their burrows in the bare dirt, sometimes very close to the road. While they can be fun to watch on their own, the real prizes here are the predators they attract.
Raptors can be seen patrolling this area, most notably Golden Eagles. They aren’t always here, but this is certainly one of the easiest and most accessible locations in the state to look for one. It’s perfect for any birders going to or leaving Big Bend National Park.
During winter months, Ferruginous Hawks are typically the most numerous raptor here. Burrowing Owls are occasionally found here as well.
Winter is raptor season in Texas. If Golden Eagle is your target, you’ll have the best luck from mid-November to mid-April. Same goes for any hawk or falcon species.
Birding here is mostly just a waiting game. You can pull over at the historical marker sign and wait for birds to fly over. Waiting outside your vehicle is strongly recommended, as you’ll always see more compared to just watching out your window. Some birders even bring camping chairs and eat lunch/snacks here while they sit and watch for birds.
A scope isn’t necessary here to see the raptors, but is helpful for all smaller birds. Sometimes sparrows, longspurs, and Lark Buntings can be seen on the ground away from the road.
If you’re lucky enough to be present when a Prairie Dog kill is made, this can attract raptors in numbers as they all try to get a scrap of food. A single kill can bring in 4+ hawks. Hawk activity will usually attract the eagles, sometimes 2 or 3 eagles at once. This is an unusual event, but is very exciting and action packed when it happens!
Overall, some birders just make a quick 10 minute stop here to check for birds, while others set up chairs and wait for hours for something good like a Golden Eagle to appear.