Birds might well be nature’s most authentic and best ambassadors. What other creature do you see so many varieties in so many places on any given day?

To me, they’re just the coolest.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says our state has more than 600 bird species that beckon us to learn about their ecosystems and habitats. The best part is you don’t have to travel far to quench your birding passion.

Whether you’re a beginner toting your first pair of binoculars or an expert searching for your nemesis bird, Lick Creek Park in College Station ranks among the region’s most outstanding birding destinations. Last year, a Rufous Hummingbird attracted a crowd for several days in the butterfly gardens.

Other popular birdwatching species that frequent the park include Red-bellied and Downy Woodpeckers, Blue Jays, Chickadees, Titmouses, Wrens, Mockingbirds, Cardinals, and Painted Buntings.

Adding birdwatching to your hike not only enhances your quest for physical fitness, but it’s an ideal stress reducer. The sounds of birds singing all around you can soothe the soul and calm your mind as you start or end your day.

If you’ve been considering joining the ranks of the 47 million American birders, the Lick Creek Nature Center has two appealing options to get you started:

  • Young Explorer Backpacks: Stop by the Nature Center and borrow a young explorers’ adventure backpack. Each pack is equipped with everything a beginning birder needs, including binoculars. You can also take part in a scavenger hunt.
  • Binoculars: For beginning birders, we’ll lend you binoculars to enjoy on your hike. You’ll want to practice identifying the birds through sight and sound.

The materials are available at the Lick Creek Nature Center from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1-6 p.m. on Sunday. All you need is a driver’s license for us to keep until you return the items.

Just remember that the trails close at dusk, so get started early. 

The Lick Creek Nature Center staff is there to answer your questions and would love to hear about your adventures and bird sightings. For more information on our programs, visit or call 979.764.6216.

By Brooke Littlefield, Assistant Recreation Supervisor