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Bird Surveys

Rice University Bird Survey

Leaders: Cin-Ty Lee, Stuart Nelson, and Mark Kulstad

Bi-Weekly Census on Tuesday Mornings
Next survey: October 22, 2019 at 7:30 AM

We're conducting a biweekly census on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month. During migration periods, we may schedule more frequent counts. Meeting time varies with the season. Meet at Intramural Field 6, which is between the Tudor Field House and Wiess College. Park in the Moody Center Visitor Lot, which is accessed from the entrance to campus at the intersection of University Blvd and Stockton St. From the Moody Center parking lot, walk east along the paved road past Reckling baseball park to the intramural area. We begin at Harris Gully. From there, we will make a circuit around campus and end at the café at the Brochstein Pavilion. 

If you'd like to participate in the survey, please contact: Cin-Ty Lee at to be put on the mailing list. Our posted schedule is tentative and subject to updates.

Latest Report: October 9, 2019

We did well today with many participants and many birds, thanks to a nice cold front that came last night. That front brought in Eastern Phoebe, Marsh Wren, warblers (Yellowthroat, Hooded, Black-and-white, Nashville, Glack-throated Green, Redstart, Wilson's), White-faced Ibises, Catbirds and very brief looks of a rare Bell's Vireo. We also had one sparrow this morning, which we couldn't identify, but I went back in the afternoon and refound it - Lincoln's Sparrow.

From now into November, expect the fronts to come in periodically... the birding will get better and better. Each new front will bring in a new set of birds. The sparrows will soon arrive in full force.

View the checklist online on eBird.

Previous survey reports are on my blog.

-- Cin-Ty Lee

Background Information

228 species of birds have been recorded at Rice. It ranks as one of the top migrant traps in Harris County. At the right time of the year and with the right weather patterns, numerous migrating songbirds and sometimes migrating hawks and waders can be seen. For an urban environment, Rice stands out for the number of unusual birds that have shown up over the years. Oddities have included Wood Stork, Zone-tailed Hawk, Harris’s Hawk, Swallow-tailed Kite, American Woodcock, Virginia Rail, Vermilion Flycatcher, Western Kingbird, Calliope Hummingbird, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Rufous Hummingbird, Sprague’s Pipit, Bell’s Vireo, Cassin’s Vireo, Townsend’s Warbler, Eastern Towhee, Grasshopper Sparrow, LeConte’s Sparrow, Clay-colored Sparrow, Harris’s Sparrow, and Western Meadowlark.

The map below shows the meeting location. The coordinates are 29.714735, -95.402145