The land surrounding the ponds is being developed for recreational use and wildlife preservation. Work began in 2004 with a $750,000 grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. A nearly $400,000 federal grant in 2012 is being used for habitat restoration, signs, parking lots and educational research. The park is expected to be completed in 2015, but visitors already can walk the trails, have picnics at tables and gazebos, walk their dogs down the bayou or just enjoy the scenery. As the home to 190 species of birds, the park has become a favorite spot for bird-watchers.

The Willow Waterhole Bird Survey was started in June 2007 and is held on the third Saturday of each month. During the 2-hour count, the number of species identified can range from around 30 in summer to over 50 in the winter. The survey begins in the parking lot of the Gathering Place at 5310 South Willow Drive. As of the beginning of 2014, the survey had recorded over 160 species total.

Related Links: 

Houston Audubon | Bird Watching Leader: Nature Discovery Center | Survey Results

Gallery of Willow Waterhole Birds | Photos by Ben Hulsey

Ornithology Group of Houston's Outdoor Nature Club

Birds of the Upper Texas Coast

Visit our Events page for upcoming bird watching and survey events