Last week I spent a couple of days at Fort Hood researching some of the work being done on habitat and bird conservation. Located about 60 miles north of Austin, it is primarily a training area for armored divisions of the U.S. Army. At 340 square miles, it covers a lot of area.
About 4-5% of the land has been set aside for recreation and conservation purposes. Two endangered bird species, the Black-capped Vireo and Golden-cheeked Warbler, nest on the fort.
Strangley enough, the Black-capped Vireo is thriving in the area. The Black-capped Vireo nests in early stage re-growth areas. Tanks and mortar fire keep large areas in a "disturbed" state, helping to create excellent breeding territory for the vireo.
The Nature Conservancy has a staff of 13-14 on the base. Working with an army representative, they offer birding trips in the spring. If you ever want to see these two endangered bird species, Fort Hood is the place to go early each year. Contact the Fort Hood information office for details.
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