The Golden-cheeked Warbler is one of the most at-risk species in North America. It breeds exclusively on or near the Edwards Plateau of central Texas, requiring Ashe juniper habitat, much of which has been lost or altered due to urban sprawl and land management practices. Birders make the pilgrimage from all over the world to see this special songbird.
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The Golden-cheeked Warbler appears to be completely insectivorous. Hopping over small branches and twigs, it plucks insects from all surfaces. It can reach its prey by flying out to snatch it from the air or hovering in front of a leaf or twig to grab it.
Home Sweet Home
Golden-cheeked Warblers nest only in central Texas, where they establish territories in mature Ashe juniper forests with various oaks. This habitat grows on limestone hills and canyons. The warblers spends the winter in foothills and mountains from southern Mexico to Guatemala and Honduras.
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Golden-cheeked Warblers have declined significantly as juniper-oak woodlands have been cleared for fencing material, fuel, grazing, and urban sprawl. This warbler is on the U.S. endangered species list, and habitat preservation is the key to its survival.
Listen to the Golden Cheeked Warbler
Help from Audubon
Travis Audubon Society owns and manages 680 acres of vital Golden-cheeked Warbler habitat. Audubon's support for the Endangered Species Act and the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act support the recovery of this species, and Audubon shade-grown coffee helps protect the Golden-cheeked Warbler's winter habitat in Central America.
Golden-cheeked Warblers require the stringy bark of Ashe juniper trees to build their nests. Females stack strips of juniper bark in a forked branch and then weave a cup of bark strips, lined with thin pieces of grass, animal hair, or down. The nest is stuck together with spider silks and insect cocoons.