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The Amateur Birder's Journal - Stories & Photographs by J R Compton

Map of Dallas, Texas' Southwest Medical School Rookery

Aerial Map of Rookery Using Google Map © 2014 Google
You can see this map in city context via this link.
What Google calls "Bird Sancturary" is The Rookery.

With My Annotations showing Usual Breeding Areas  (although bird populations move around year to year) and Other Points of Interest.
Please do not enter the rookery itself. Stay on the path around it. Obey the "No Trespassing" signs.

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Even I use Site Search to find anything here, but you may also get art-related finds, because the Google Search includes DallasArtsRevue.

A - Black-crowned Night-Herons, Snowy Egrets and other birds
- Little Blue Herons
C - White Ibises used to be here, but now they nest on the left, facing the Inwood side of The Rookery.
D - A full-pay Elevated Parking Garage on the North East of The Rookery with exterior stairways that can be comparatively easily climbed. We walk to it, then climb to the top, where are low, concrete walls that help stabilize telephoto lenses.
E - The top of the higher trees in the middle of The Rookery where are mostly Great Egrets, although other bird populations can also be found.
Towards D from E is where Anhinga may sometimes be seen, usually at some distance from the composite path. In general, watch for leafless deciduous trees for Anhingas.
F Offers the shade of that tree, the shade of the basketball court or the comfort of extended, hard seats and backs from which to watch or photograph egrets and other birds flying low or high on this side — although lately the authorities have installed bird-noisy audio to scare away the pigeons and other birds — the result of a fairly unenlightened understanding of a rookery. But then they are slowly cutting the trees back all around the periphery of the rookery.
G - The free, five-story high Parking Garage just South of the Rookery.
H are the Rest Rooms southeast of the basketball court, behind the littlest building, along a sidewalk that angles away and up a slight hill toward Butler Street.
J - White Ibis (if any) can be sometimes be found along the northern edge of the rookery. Anhingas can be seen in the taller trees well back from the edge.

 ABC Map of the rookery - Photograph Copyright 2015 by J R   All Rights Reserved.

Photographed from the top of the free-parking five-story garage [G] opposite the basketball court [C] 

This is a slight areal view of The Rookery, which Google Maps calls "Bird Sanctuary" near Inwood Road and Harry Hines Blvd. in western Dallas, Texas, USA, south of Love Field Airport.

Anna Palmer Photo of Tricolored Heron Young

Tricolored Heron Young at the SW Medical Center Rookery  photo by Anna Palmer
Most Tricolored Heron photos are from when they nested at the rookery's edge.

Adult Female Anhinga Sitting Nest - Photograph Copyright 2015 All Rights Reserved.

Adult Female Anhinga Sitting Nest

This is a view from the top of the five-story, drive up and around and up and around Parking Garage.

Rookery Rules

The main rule is not to enter the woods inside the obvious No Trespassing Signs. We all want to get closer, but inside the path is the bird's home turf, where juvenile and adult birds wander, fly and feed. Leave them alone, and stay on the path. Humans not allowed. Most people keep to the outer edges. If you do not, you will likely get yelled at, and there are people in the surrounding buildings who watch the rookery with great care and have the campus police on their speed dial.

Signs showing the variety of species and rookery rules are posted on two sides. I'll post a pic of that here, soon as I get one.

If you have any corrections for this map and/or story or comments, send them to the latest email on the contact page.

Last time we visited, it looked like the grounds-people had been busy cutting down trees around the outer edges. This and the supply of water have long been at issue. What "looks nice" is not always best for birds, who need  habitat as well as protection. Whenever birders complain, groundsmen promise not to cut back any more, then we get lax in our vigilance, and they cut down more trees. At this rate, I don't know how long it would take to destroy the entire rookery, but it often seems that's some people's goal.

I have mixed feelings about rescuing injured or sick juveniles pushed out of nests by their parents to favor stronger siblings for the survival of their species. But Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation will help and while you're there, a donation will help. They recommend $50 per bird you leave off. They're at 1430 E. Cleveland Rd., Hutchins, TX 75141, just south of the Metroplex off I-45. In summer, there are often corpses hanging from the trees.

Adult Breeding Cattle Egret at the rookery - Photograph Copyright 2015 All Rights Reserved.

Adult Breeding Cattle Egret at the Medical Center Rookery

Index of Pages  White Rock Lake Map    

All text and photographs Copyright 2015 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction in any medium without specific written permission from and payment to the writer or photographer.

I am an amateur. I've only been birding since 2006, and most of it is documented in this Journal. I've been photographing professionally and semi-professionally yet always amateurishly since 1964.


hits since May 25, 2015 when I screwed the first instance of this page.