The Golden-cheeked Warbler


The Golden-cheeked Warbler is a true Texas native. Federally listed as Endangered in 1990, this tiny songbird breeds in only 32 counties in Texas and nowhere else in the world.  This warbler faces an uncertain future and is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation.

While at Baker Sanctuary you will see mature oak and native Ashe Juniper trees – commonly called Cedar – that provide the breeding habitat needed for the Golden-cheeked Warbler’s survival.  Shredded bark from old growth Ashe Juniper trees and spider webs are used to build its nests while the caterpillars and spiders found on the oak trees provide food.

Golden-cheeked Warblers can be identified by their distinctive buzzy song, which the males use to establish territories.  As the breeding season draws to a close in July, the warblers prepare to journey south to their wintering grounds in the pine forests of southern Mexico and Central America, returning again to Texas each March.

Current Threats

June 5, 2017: The Texas General Land Office officially filed suit against the U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to de-list the Golden-cheeked Warbler as an endangered species.

The suit claims that warbler populations have recovered and no longer need protection. However, no new evidence has been presented and Golden-cheeked Warbler habitat continues to diminish each year.

In 2016 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that, “Due to ongoing, widespread destruction of its habitat, the species continues to be in danger of extinction throughout its range.” Travis Audubon stands by the Service’s decision to uphold the listing of the Golden-cheeked Warbler.

August 1, 2017: Travis Audubon Society, the Texas Ornithological Society, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Defenders of Wildlife filed a motion to intervene into the suit to oppose the effort to delist the Golden-cheeked Warbler.

Read the lawsuit here

Read the Motion to Intervene here

Press coverage:


Why The Warbler Matters

Texans and international visitors treasure the Hill Country, but its value goes far beyond beauty and includes critical ecosystem services to our communities.

Here’s what protecting the warbler means for you:

Water quality. Protecting Golden-cheek Warbler habitat also protects critical drainage and recharge zones for the Edwards Aquifer.

Air quality. The juniper-oak woodlands serve as air filters for the area and reduce carbon dioxide while increasing oxygen content. An acre of trees on average absorb the same amount of carbon dioxide produced from driving a car 26,000 miles, and releases over 2000 pounds of oxygen!

Recreational income. The Golden-cheeked Warbler attracts birders – and bird and nature watchers contribute an estimated $300 million to the Texas economy annually.

Texas heritage. The Golden-cheeked Warbler is an iconic part the Texas landscape. Protecting the bird and its habitat leaves a legacy for generations to come.


Flock with us…

• SPEAK UP: We invite you to join Travis Audubon’s Advocacy Committee. Please contact Jordan Price at

• TAKE ACTION: Call or email George P. Bush at the General Land Office urging him to withdraw the lawsuit!   Phone: 512-463-5009   Email:

• CONTRIBUTE: In the face of repeated threats to Central Texas birds and wildlife, your help is needed more than ever! Help Travis Audubon to respond during these critical times.

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