Paul Davis owns 1,500 acres in the Hill Country of Texas that he manages, not for cattle, but as habitat for warblers and vireos. He’s preserving stands of native juniper. He says: “We have two birds down there that are very, very localized. The Golden-cheeked Warbler and the Black-capped Vireo. That’s what the Hill Country’s famous for – those two birds. The main thing I can do is not chop down any more juniper. I can’t say that I’m doing anything; it’s that I’m not doing anything.”
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Texas Hill Country - Conserving Rare Warblers and Vireos
An Interview with Paul Davis
Written by Todd Peterson and Bob Sundstrom
This is BirdNote.
[Song of the Black-capped Vireo]
Some birds are now so rare you can find them in only a few places in the entire country. [Song of Golden-cheeked Warbler in background]
Paul Davis owns 1,500 acres in central Texas that he manages, not for cattle, but as habitat for warblers and vireos. He’s controlling parasitic cowbirds and feral pigs and preserving stands of native juniper.
“My place in the Hill Country, it’s just natural that I take care of it. We have two birds down there that are very, very localized. A bird called the Golden-cheeked Warbler [song of Golden-cheeked Warbler] and that’s the probably the only area in the United States to see that bird. …And another bird is a little bird called the Black-capped Vireo [song of Black-capped Vireo] and it has a little larger range, but still, that’s what the Hill Country’s famous for…is those two birds.”
“The main thing I can do is not chop down any more juniper. That’s a big deal in that part of the world – is clearing the land. And if you take juniper down…you can run more cattle, or whatever, on the land.”
[Songs of Golden-cheeked Warbler and Black-capped Vireo]
“I can’t say that I’m doing anything; it’s that I’m not doing anything. …I just think that’s the way the land ought to be. That’s the way it was, long time ago…and I’m going to do my best to keep it that way.”
Do you know someone like Paul Davis who’s made a choice to favor birds? Tell us at birdnote.org.
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Song of Golden-cheeked Warbler  recorded by G.A. Keller; song of Black-capped Vireo  recorded by J. F. Bolsinger. Ambient is from Golden-cheeked Warbler  by J. F. Bolsinger.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2014 Tune In to Nature.org August 2018 Narrator: Michael Stein
ID# texashillcountry-01-2012-08-22 texashillcountry-01