Cedar Hill is a 2023 addition to the state’s flock of Bird City Texas certifications, the Audubon of Texas and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department announced. Austin also was named as a Bird City this year.
The certification program recognizes the efforts of cities to ensure birds, wildlife, and people thrive in their communities.
“Where birds thrive, people prosper,” Chloe Crumley, Audubon Texas engagement manager, said in a news release. “Human-dominated landscapes can support functioning ecosystems. Bird City Texas is an opportunity for communities to commit to standards that elevate urban areas to be ecologically richer and in turn offer us more beautiful, resilient, and healthful places to live. We are excited to see more cities across Texas commit to this program.”
Cedar Hill, roughly 17 miles south of downtown Dallas, is being recognized for having displayed leadership as a Bird Friendly City by excelling in three criteria areas: community engagement, habitat enhancement and protection, and creating safer spaces for birds, Texas Parks and Wildlife said.
The Cedar Hill and Austin Bird City Texas certifications will continue through 2026, the state agency said.
Since the Bird City Texas program started in 2020, several cities have been certified. Dallas, Bastrop, Houston, and Port Aransas were the inaugural cities. Three new communities were certified in January 2021: Galveston, San Antonio, and Surfside Beach.
Certified cities participate in the community-focused program to protect birds and their habitats where people live, work, and recreate. To do this, TPWD said that cities employ science-based bird initiatives and community-centric action. It said that Bird City Texas communities are able to leverage this designation to attract 2.2 million bird watchers in Texas, a major component of the $1.8 billion economic impact from Texas wildlife viewing across the state.
“As development continues across the state, reducing viable habitat for resident and migratory birds, cities that engage their community to maintain or create habitat are crucial for our dwindling bird populations,” Judit Green, TPWD urban wildlife biologist, said in a statement. “We need everyone’s help! We all have the ability to make a difference in our homes, schools, businesses, and public city spaces by adding native plants and following environmentally friendly practices that support safe, healthy areas for birds and us.”
As spring nears, certified communities will host a variety of events across the state in support of breeding birds migrating back to northern nesting territories as well as World Migratory Bird Day on May 13, TPWD said.
According to Cedar Hill, birding locations in the area include:
- Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center (Google Maps)
- Cedar Hill State Park (Google Maps)
- Cedar Mountain Preserve (Google Maps)
- Cedar Ridge Preserve (Google Maps)
- Lester Lorch Nature Preserve (Google Maps)
- Windmill Hill Nature Preserve (Google Maps)
Priority birds in the area include the painted bunting, summer tanager, red-shouldered hawk, carolina chickadee, golden-crowned kinglet, brown creeper, hermit thrush, and white-throated sparrow, the city said on its birding website.
For more birding information from Cedar Hill, go here.
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