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Parks & Outdoor

Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza Park, a Birdwatching Paradise

Posted: January 19, 2018 at 4:32 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Yes, Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza Park is a birdwatching paradise, but it is also so much more!

This 362.5 acre park located at 4025 Eldridge Pkwy., Houston, Texas 77082 has miles of paved trails which encircle large detention ponds.  In those ponds and wetland areas are islands.  Many migratory birds can be spotted there as well as resident birds who seem to like this particular area on a year round basis.

Many birds on one of the islands at Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza Park…Photo taken with a zoom lens of my camera.

The topography of Houston is pretty flat so hills are far and few between.  The dredging out of some retention ponds near Brays Bayou is undoubtedly responsible for the creation of this large hill.  At least that would be my educated guess.

Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza Park large hill

Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza Park large hill

View of paved trail leading up the hill at Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza Park

We have always parked near the Highway 6 entrance to the park.  The hill is one of the largest in Houston even surpassing the one in Spotts Park which is closer to downtown Houston.  A paved path circles round and round leading up to the top of the hill.

People running up and down the hill in Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza Park

Of course people wishing to exercise their legs even more strenuously jog up and down the hill bypassing the paved pathway.

View looking down the hill on pathway halfway up the hill at Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza Park

Another view looking down the hill on pathway nearing the top at Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza Park

There are picnic tables and a swing at the top of the hill.  The pathway continues in circular fashion going back down the hill.  The views are different from all angles.  You can tell from the color of the grass and trees that we have visited this park on several occasions.

View of Chong Hua Sheng Mu Holy Palace & Distant Galleria Buildings from Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza Park

Notice that golden dome in the photo above?  Using the zoom lens on my camera I took this image of the Chong Hua Sheng Mu Holy Palace.  Those buildings in the distance show the Galleria.  The Williams tower is the tallest one.  Many tourists flock to the Galleria and also like to visit the Williams Water Wall.

After walking to the top of the hill and back down we followed the trail taking us to the other end of the park off of Eldridge.  This is some of the scenery we viewed on the way.

Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza Park

Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza Park

Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza Park

Muscovy Duck in Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza Park

Great Blue Heron at Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza Park

Neotropic Comorant in Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza Park

Neotropic Comorants in Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza Park – One has a fish in its mouth!

These neotropic comorants were fishing near a bridge where we have always seen people also trying to catch fish.  There must be an abundance of catfish and crappie in these waters according to this posted sign pictured below.

Fishing regulations in Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza Park

Right off of the Eldridge Parkway is another parking lot and the children’s playground is located here.  It seems to be well utilized each time we have visited this part of the park. Restrooms and a water fountain are also located here.

Children’s Playground in Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza Park

Children’s Playground in Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza Park

Shaded paths near children’s playground in Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza Park

Walking back we enjoyed more views of the park as well as watching the fun that people seemed to be having.  Everyone seemed to be very polite and this is certainly a family oriented park.

Dogs being walked in Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza Park

Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza Park

Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza Park

Family fun in Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza Park

White Ibis and Tricolored Heron at Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza Park

Exercise stations are placed at various areas in the park for those who wish to do more than hiking, biking and the like.

What delighted me most in addition to getting some fresh air and exercise was getting to see all of the birds.  There seems to always be an abundance of them.  Ornithologists who scientifically study birds, as well as those birders who create lists of ones that they identify in certain areas and times of the year would like visiting this park.

American White Pelican at Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza Park

There were also ducks and seagulls in abundance.  Every time we have visited this park I spot different types of birds.  I have seen plenty of brown pelicans but had never noticed the American white pelicans before visiting here. It is truly a birdwatchers paradise in Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza park!

Flock of American White Pelicans at Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza Park

The drone video below shows this park from the Eldridge point of view.

The development of the hill part of the park towards Highway 6 was a later development.  At least you get some idea of the amount of water there is for migrating and resident birds to call home.