Eaton Hill Wildlife Sanctuary
PO Box 555
Sonora, Texas 76950
eatonhill@sonoratx.net
www.eatonhill.blogspot.com   

Hit the Trails!

Sonora is located at the western edge of the magnificent Texas Hill Country. The landscape is a unique convergence of the Hill Country and the Chihuahuan Desert, containing flora and fauna from both of these extraordinary regions.   Eaton Hill Wildlife Sanctuary is a 37 acre nature park offering over 3 miles of hiking trails and showcasing a diverse array of plant and wildlife. In addition to the many wildflowers and varieties of cactus, visitors will encounter numerous points of interest along the trails as the terrain transforms with nearly every footstep. Admire Old Glory flying high atop the hill, explore Native American culture at the replicated dwelling, discover Sonora's wilder history along the Outlaw Trail, see a painted bunted or perhaps even a Texas horny toad, and examine marine fossils preserved in the limestone rocks.   Several picnic areas await you.   Eaton Hill Wildlife Sanctuary trails conveniently connect with the Historic Downtown Walking Tour featuring the magnificent Sutton County Courthouse, as well as the beautiful Community Prayer Garden.

Open sunup 'till sundown, your visit to Eaton Hill Wildlife Sanctuary is free of charge.

 

Education through Fascination

"In every walk with nature, one receives more than he seeks."
 John Muir

The educational opportunities continue to expand on Eaton Hill, serving students as an outdoor science lab, art classroom, and interactive field trip destination for Pre-K through college levels.   A variety of organizations including artists, birders, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts have utilized the sanctuary and the possibilities are limited only by our imaginations.   Call to arrange a guided tour or special emphasis for your group or organization.

We are interested in  your feedback, please share your photos and comments .  

 

 

Geocaching

Join the world-wide treasure hunt using your own GPS unit!   Two caches are hidden on Eaton Hill and others can be found around town.   Visit www.geocaching.com for our coordinates and to learn more about this exciting family adventure.

UP ON EATON HILL
"When the Wren Calls"

One of the most audacious of our feathered neighbors happens to be the Bewick’s Wren.   Pronounced like the car – Buick, this little wren was named by James Audubon in honor of his friend Thomas Bewick; an English naturalist and skilled woodcarver/engraver who died in 1828, before the bird was documented in Louisiana.

The Bewick’s Wren is a cavity nester and is known to take advantage of most anything including old shoes!   We have observed the busy little birds attempting to build inside the pocket of a pair of jeans hung out to dry on the railing of our back porch.

Three species of wrens are readily found in this area: the House Wren, the Cactus Wren and the Bewick’s Wren.   The Cactus Wren is easily distinguished from the other two by its much larger size and speckled breast.   The House and Bewick’s wrens are similar at a glance; however, House Wrens appear much more monochromatic in comparison to the Bewick’s Wren.   The Bewick’s sports a tell-tale white stripe above the eye, white tips on the corner tail feathers, black and white barring along the outermost tail feathers, and brown and black mottling on the wing and tail.   Like the House Wren, the Bewick’s is a brownish gray above and lighter beneath.   Both display the wrenish bill – long and slightly curved.

The Bewick’s Wren dines mainly on insects and spiders which it gleans from the underbrush and along the foliage of shrubs and trees.    The Male’s song is loud and lovely, consisting of up to 15 distinct melodies.   Ornithologists have noted that the number and length of the Bewick’s repertoire varies inexplicably from one region to the next.

Said to have “personality”, the Bewick’s Wren seems to radiate a gleeful energy, making them a favorite to observe.   Less gleeful might be their occasional habit of raiding the nests of other birds – even other Bewick’s.   We all have a dark side I suppose.   Certainly, the Bewick’s Wren has found Eaton Hill a quite suitable habitat, for they are abundant up on the hill.   Just listen for the loud-mouth song and watch for the sassy tail feathers held up behind the head, you’ll know you’ve spotted a little Cadillac of the Wren Family, the beloved Bewick’s.   

Hit the Trails!

The Birds of Eaton Hill  
" Birding Sonora "

Sonora lies in a major migratory flyway and Eaton Hill provides birders with excellent opportunities to enjoy migratory birds as well as our many year-round and nesting residents.   Painted Buntings, Roadrunners, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Orioles, Hummingbirds and Black-capped Vireos are a few of the birds who make their homes on Eaton Hill.   

 

 

Eaton Hill Wildlife Sanctuary Bird List

1

American Kestrel

 

25

Lesser Goldfinch

2

Ash-throated Flycatcher

 

26

Loggerhead Shrike

3

Bell's Vireo

 

27

Mexican Jay

4

Bewick's Wren

 

28

Mockingbird (Texas State bird)

5

Black-capped Vireo

 

29

Orchard Oriole

6

Black-chinned Hummingbird

 

30

Painted Bunting

7

Black-crested Titmouse

 

31

Pyrrhuloxia

8

Black-throated Sparrow

 

32

Red-tailed Hawk

9

Bob White Quail

 

33

Roadrunner

10

Bullock's Oriole

 

34

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

11

Cactus Wren

 

35

Rufous Hummingbird

12

Canyon Towhee

 

36

Rufous-crowned Sparrow

13

Cedar Waxwing

 

37

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

14

Chuck-Wills-Widow

 

38

Scott's Oriole

15

Cliff Swallow

 

39

Scrub Jay

16

Northern Cardinal

 

40

Spotted Towhee

17

Common Raven

 

41

Summer Tanager

18

Cooper's Hawk

 

42

Vermilion Flycatcher

19

Golden-fronted Woodpecker

 

43

Western Kingbird

20

Great Horned Owl

 

44

White-crowned Sparrow

21

Hooded Oriole

 

45

White-winged Dove

22

House Finch

 

46  

Wild Turkey

23

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

 

24

Lark Sparrow

   

Send comments to eatonhill@sonoratx.net
This page created by HTC : 6/2006
Updated 06/23/08