The Papalote Escondido Wildlife Photography and Birding Blind

Located 3 miles west of the Sauceda Headquarters/Bob Armstrong Visitor Center and Bunkhouse, the new blind will provide visitors to the park’s interior with a shaded and screened viewing area from which to photograph and view numerous species of wildlife, birds and pollinators. An existing hand-dug well is being adapted with a solar pump to supply a water drip. Ideal for attracting wildlife, birds and pollinators in a typically arid landscape. A stone “pila” tank, an intriguing arroyo and dramatic topography shaped by the region's geologic history contribute to the location's scenic quality. People can help complete the project by registering for an upcoming weekend on the events page or through donations.


Volunteers gather for work early Saturday, January 27th at the new Papalote Escondido Wildlife Photography and Bird Watching site in Big Bend Ranch State Park. Photo by Lora Reynolds, San Antonio, Texas


Volunteers Charlie Angell and Chris Childs break ground at the new Papalote Escondido Wildlife Photography and Bird Watching Blind in Big Bend Ranch State Park. Photo by Lora Render, San Antonio, Texas



Sparks flew! Volunteer and Compadres del Rancho Grande Board Member Chris Childs of Kerrville, Texas welds a cross member at the Papalote Escondido Wildlife Photography and Bird Watching site. Photo by Sara Guidetti, Alpine, Texas



Volunteer Chris Childs of Kerrville drives the PunJar, a specialty jack hammer designed for excavating rock at recalcitrant job sites. Volunteers Chris Carlin of Alpine, Charlie Angell of Redford, TPWD Staff and others took punishing turns on the device. The PunJar delivered results at the predominantly volcanic bedrock work site. Photo by Sara Guidetti, Alpine, Texas


Persistence paid at the predominantly volcanic bedrock work site: The pictured posthole took 6 people two hours in alternating shifts to achieve required depth. Photo by Lora Render, San Antonio, Texas


All work and no lunch make grumpy volunteers! Compadres del Rancho Grande Board Members Bibiana Gutierrez of Alpine and Robyn Gold of Lajitas pause for a shade moment with Alpine volunteer and Nurse Practitioner Sara Guidetti at the Papalote Escondido Wildlife Photography and Bird Watching site in Big Bend Ranch State Park. (Note SMILES!) Photo by Susan Cochran, San Antonio, Texas




The frame nears completion! Photo by Susan Cochran, San Antonio, Texas

Ta da!!!! What can 20 energetic volunteers, a few truckloads of gear and 48 hours accomplish? Miracles!!!! Photo by Leslie Hopper, Marfa, Texas

The Papalote Escondido Wildlife Photography and Bird Watching blind in Big Bend Ranch State Park stands ready for the next chapter when volunteers and TPWD staff will install weather-resistant roofing, perimeter fencing (to keep feral livestock from degrading the site), screening and a gravity-powered, drip-fed shallow water feature designed to attract wildlife, birds and pollinators to the site.

The project is funded by Compadres del Rancho Grande, friends of Big Bend Ranch State Park from proceeds of the group’¬ís annual fundraising activities, including the Big Bend Ultra trail run. To support this project and other initiatives visit www.parkfriends.org/join-support.


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