Golden-cheeked Warbler
Golden-cheeked Warbler

In a Lacey Oak, one of its favorite trees.



Besides next two pictures below that I didn't take, here are some bad pictures of a good bird ... hundreds of people a year spend thousands of dollars to come to the Edwards Plateau to see this bird. And it is worth it. I could not say that it was not a factor in me living here. It is really a very neat, very unique warbler.

It is the only species whose entire known breeding range lies within Texas. It is one of the most restriced-range species in North America. It is a beautiful and fascinating warbler that is only here early March to early August, but is harder to see by early or mid July, and actually can start getting dicey by late June. You have a roughly 90 day window when it is pretty sure and easy, and a couple or few weeks past that it is usually gettable with more effort, but harder, and not as sure a thing.

I am sometimes available to guide individuals or groups in seeing this very special warbler. If you desire expert level professional bird guiding services, send an e-mail. I am intimately familiar with its every chip note.   :):)


Golden-cheeked Warbler

The above picture was digi-scoped (digital camera up to telescope) by Kelli Levinson and used with permission. All rights reserved.



Golden-cheeked Warbler

This great photo of blooming live-oaks, oh, and a male Golden-cheeked Warbler was taken by Dianne Papet, April 2015, at one of my favorite roadside stops a few miles from Utopia. Knowing where to stop can come in handy.   ;)



Golden-cheeked Warbler

In an Ashe Juniper, the peeling bark of which the female makes the nest from.


Golden-cheeked Warbler

The cheek is so bright it is easy to have it get blown out
in overexposure in full sun at the wrong angle. The green in
the back and pale in chin indicate a first spring male, as do
worn brown primaries.


Golden-cheeked Warbler



The easiest, prettiest place to see them is at Lost Maples State Natural Area. Walk the Can Creek trail to the ponds area and just beyond, and you should hear many and see some mid-March to mid-June. I have seen them as late as early August there, rarely. Many are leaving by later June, and mid to late July are usually when the last few seen. Do not play tapes in Texas State Parks, or for endangered (or threatened) species anytime anywhere.

Golden-cheeked Warbler
Singing "she says I'm so laaa-zzzeee"
In a Buckley (aka Spanish and Red) Oak, another favored tree.



The following photos were all taken post-breeding, late June to early August, mostly in July, of birds in our former front yard on Thunder Creek Road, where they don't breed. The numbers seen at this non-descript non-breeding site during the 6 weeks after breeding and before migrating out of the country (over 20 birds in 6 weeks) were pleasantly surprising.

Note how green the back might appear, and none of these show the juvenile females back well. They are as green as a Black-throated Green Warbler but a darker shade, less yellow olive toned. All the field guides depict *first winter* birds for immatures in which the back is much blacker than juveniles. Odd since the first winter plumage they show is not really seen in the U.S., and what is, is not shown.   sheesh ... experts.



Golden-cheeked Warbler

Golden-cheeked Warbler Golden-cheeked Warbler

Golden-cheeked Warbler Golden-cheeked Warbler

Golden-cheeked Warbler Golden-cheeked Warbler

Golden-cheeked Warbler Golden-cheeked Warbler

Golden-cheeked Warbler

Golden-cheeked Warbler
Golden-cheeked Warbler male feeding fledgling in June (taken through telescope from safe distance)

Golden-cheeked Warbler
At first while being fed still they can have a lemony cast on breast (May).

Golden-cheeked Warbler
They're on their own as their back turns green from the initial gray.
(leaf cutting off face)
Golden-cheeked Warbler   Golden-cheeked Warbler
Golden-cheeked Warbler (juvenile)
At first they don't even have a golden cheek this juvenile is about half way there.

One last spring male shot.
Golden-cheeked Warbler
Golden-cheeked Warbler, the Edwards Plateau's most endemic
bird species, it breeds nowhere else.


Now you have virtually seen a Golden-cheeked Warbler!


If you have arrived here from our Bird Photos page, you may close your browser to return to the Bird Photos index.

Other visitors may click your "Back" button on your browser or select a link to keep visiting!
All photographs within this site are copyrighted
and may not be used without permission.
All Rights Reserved.
© M. and K. Heindel 2004-2015
www.utopianature.com