Nature & Environment

A Bird’s-Eye View of the Trinity

Dallas can become the biggest birding city in the country. Here's how.

Re-wilding the Trinity floodway would reveal a regional characteristic that is largely unknown: Dallas is located directly in the path of the Central Migratory Flyway of North America. Every fall and spring, this migratory superhighway conveys waterfowl, pollinators, hummingbirds, and many other species from as far north as Point Barrow on the Arctic coast of Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico and Central America.

But for anyone in Dallas to really appreciate the spectacle of millions of migrating birds, people have to drive great distances to get out of the city and see it unfold at reservoirs or places such as the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center in Seagoville. The current landscape in the floodway is generally insufficient and unaccommodating for the migrations. The birds need protective cover from predators, and they need a food source (millets, grains, insects).

Re-wilding the approved Balanced Vision Plan, as former city councilwoman Angela Hunt is advocating (p.70), would bring the migrations to Dallas. It all starts with reestablishing a more natural ecosystem, one with blackland prairie grasses and wetland plants that can serve as a food source and cover.

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