Houston - Upper Texas Coast Counts
December 14, 2023 - January 5, 2023
Compilers, please send your dates and updates to Susan Billetdeaux, email@example.com.
Houston Audubon sponsors the Central Houston count. In addition, Houston Audubon staff participate in the Bolivar Peninsula, Buffalo Bayou, and Galveston counts. Details on how to participate are in the count descriptions.
- Armand Bayou (TXAY)
- Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR (TXAP)
- Beech Creek (TXBE)
- Bolivar Peninsula (TXBP)
- Brazoria-Columbia Bottomlands (TXBR)
- Brazos Bend (TXBZ)
- Buffalo Bayou [West Houston] (TXBF)
- Central Houston (TXHC)
- Cypress Creek - Katy Prairie (TXCY)
- Fort Bend (TXFT)
- Freeport (TXFR)
- Galveston (TXGA)
- Galveston West End (TXWG)
- Houston [Baytown] (TXHO)
- Huntsville [Walker Co.] (TXHU)
- Johnson Bayou - SW Louisiana (LAJB)
- Lake Houston-Humble (TXHH)
- Matagorda County (TXMM)
- Old River (TXOR)
- Orange County (TXOC)
- San Jacinto Wilderness (TXSJ)
- San Bernard NWR (TXSB)
- Sea Rim State Park (TXSR)
- Spring Creek (TXSC)
- Trinity River (TXTN)
- Turkey Creek (TXTC)
- Wharton Peach Creek (TXWH)
Armand Bayou (TXAY)
The Armand Bayou Christmas Bird Count never seems to disappoint with a large diversity of species sighted and habitats to explore. Within our circle, you will find dense woodland and prairies, local bayous, lakes and ponds, various parks, open areas and even large views of Galveston Bay; there is a little something for everyone! To register for an area or to count from your backyard (also very important), please contact Andrew Hamlett or Martha Hood at firstname.lastname@example.org. Further details will be included and discussed upon sign-up. Additionally, frequent and timely updates will be made to our Facebook page at Armand Bayou CBC & Local Birding so please like and follow us there as well.
Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR (TXAP)
This CBC provides a tremendous opportunity to bird the Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR as well as private property in Eagle Lake in Colorado County, Texas. The Attwater CBC is open to all birders and is one of the highest inland CBCs for diversity in the country. If you are interested in participating, please contact Sumita Prasad at email@example.com.
Beech Creek (TXBE)
This count takes place in Tyler and Jasper Counties and includes Steinhagen Lake, the Beech Creek unit of Big Thicket National Preserve and Martin Dies State Park. Meet at the Corps of Engineers Picnic Area on FM92 immediately north of the intersection with FM1746 in Town Bluff at 6:30 AM. Sponsored by the Big Thicket National Preserve. Compiler: Sheila Hebert, firstname.lastname@example.org. Co-compiler: Phillip Hight.
Bolivar Peninsula (TXBP)
This count circle in Chambers County includes High Island and Anahuac NWR. Newcomers are welcome to join! Compilers this year are Steve Mayes and David Sarkozi. If you are interested in participating, please contact Steve Mayes at email@example.com. The Houston Audubon coastal team will participate in this count which includes the High Island sanctuaries. Those interested in counting with us are encouraged to contact the respective count compilers, and/or Wyatt Egelhoff (firstname.lastname@example.org). Observers of all skill levels are welcome.
Brazoria-Columbia Bottomlands (TXBR)
The Brazoria - Columbia CBC includes habitats for its namesake, the Brazoria- Columbia bottomland hardwoods. It includes several USFW tracts, private ranch properties, large reservoirs, small ponds, county parks, and neighborhoods. Sites include Bar-X Ranch, Columbia Lakes, Hudson Woods USFW tract, Eagle Nest Lake USFW tract, Brazoria Reservoir, Harris Reservoir, Nash Prairie, Brazos Woods Preserve, amongst others, all inside Brazoria County. Count-down dinner will be held at area restaurant tba. Please contact the Compiler if you would like to participate in the count. Sponsored by the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory. Compiler: Martin Hagne, email@example.com
Brazos Bend (TXBZ)
We hope you'll consider joining us for a day of good company, good food, and good birding! People of all skill levels are welcome! Whether you're a regular or someone interested in joining us for the first time this year, we have a team for everyone! From leisurely walks in Brazos Bend Park to rough and tumble "backcountry" roving in species-dense areas, we've got it all. Come for the birding, stay for the thrills of the coveted Big Bird Award at our infamous Count Dinner that evening sponsored by NRG (location TBD).
REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Space on the most popular teams goes fast, so please register soon at www.brazosbendcbc.weebly.com. I am happy to answer any questions you may have about what to expect, our count in general, or other topics of interest.
LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES: We have opportunities for leadership positions this year, so if you're potentially interested in stepping in to fill a role or take on a new property, let me know!
-- Justin Bower, Count Compiler, Brazos Bend CBC. firstname.lastname@example.org (832-746-2140)
Buffalo Bayou [West Houston] (TXBF)
This is one of the few CBCs that is set almost entirely in an urban environment. The count circle does contain a few areas of undeveloped land that usually hold a few surprises since they are surrounded by development. The count circle is centered at the Houston Audubon's Edith L. Moore Sanctuary. It extends from Memorial Park on the east to beyond Hwy 6 on the west; from the Southwest Freeway at West Belt on the south to FM 529 near Jersey Village on the north. This area includes sizable chunks of excellent habitat: Houston Arboretum, Art Storey Park, Addicks & Barker Reservoirs, Bear Creek Park and Buffalo Bayou. It is possible to see up to 15 species of sparrows on this count, including the elusive Henslow's and Grasshopper Sparrows. Other "Special Birds" seen over the past several years have been: Hooded Merganser, American Bittern, Solitary Sandpiper, American Woodcock, Common Ground-Dove, Black Phoebe, Couch's Kingbird, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Spotted Towhee, Eastern Towhee, Rusty Blackbird, Purple Finch and Pine Siskin. We would like you to join in the fun and help us eclipse the high count of 132 species. There are two ways to participate: (1) Be a Field Observer - Join one of the teams in the field. (2) Be a Feeder/Yard Watcher - Because so much of the Buffalo Bayou CBC area is residential, Feeder Watchers (those who stay at home and observe their feeder, yard and/or neighborhood) are extremely important to the count and greatly increase the efficiency of the count by observing species that otherwise would not be seen, such as hummingbirds. Contact: compiler Adam Wood, email@example.com, 713-997-9550.
Houston Audubon leads the Central Houston count circle and we would love your help in one of our count areas around the city. For those of you who haven’t joined us before: The CBC is one of the longest-running community science projects in North America. Birders all over the US and Canada join forces to count birds in predefined areas known as count circles. The compiler of each circle organizes teams of volunteers to come together on one day during the count period and cover the entire circle, which is 15 miles in diameter. With your team you visit all kinds of habitats and birding spots, counting every individual bird you see. It might sound hard at first but once you get started it’s quite addictive! At the end of the day we come together, often at a local restaurant, to tally the birds for the whole circle, share stories from the field, and see what unique species were found during the day. All levels of birders are welcome to join, and all you need to bring is a pair of binoculars, weather-appropriate clothes, and a lunch. Select the top 2 areas you are interested in birding and send them to me before the end of the day on December 10. If you are a new birder or new to the CBC, please let me know so I can pair you with someone or a team that is more experienced.
Some of the locations visited in this count include: Hermann Park, Memorial Park, MD Anderson Prairie, Rice University Prairie, Hogg Bird Sanctuary, Buffalo Bayou Park, West 11th Street Park, Woodland Park, Houston Audubon's Raptor & Education Center and more! All skill levels are welcome. We will have experienced birders leading the groups. The compiler is Berri Moffett. Please email Berri at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in participating and your top two area choices (see map by clicking on the name of the CBC). Once you have been assigned to an area, the area leader will contact you with additional information on meeting location and time. We will be sending out follow-up emails as we get closer regarding countdown dinner location. This count is traditionally held on the first Monday of the CBC season.
Cypress Creek - Katy Prairie (TXCY)
If you have participated before, please contact your area leader directly. If you are new to the count or would like to switch areas, please contact an area leader of your choice or Megan Ahlgren (email@example.com). Otherwise, please be at John Paul Landing in the morning, and we will assign you to an area then. Beginners are welcome as are advanced birders and all skill levels in between. Everyone can participate and contribute. Anyone going with the North area or the KPC groups MUST sign a release or they cannot enter KPC property. It will save time if they bring a signed copy of the release form . We have maps, bird lists, and detail forms which we will send to area leaders. If you would like to have your personal copy of any of these documents just e-mail and ask. This count is traditionally held on New Year's Day.
Fort Bend (TXFT)
The Fort Bend CBC circle includes 8 of the top 13 birding hotspots in Fort Bend County – including Cullinan Park, Seabourne Creek Park and Riverpark Nature Trails. The predefined count circle is divided into sectors in Sugar Land, Richmond and Rosenberg and covers a wide range of habitats including hardwood forests, lakes, creeks, wetlands, Brazos River bottomland and coastal prairie that should yield a wide variety of species. Birders of all levels are invited to sign up for the Fort Bend CBC and join the Count organizers for a fun day of birding, friendly competition and a countdown dinner where the count tally and Best Birds of the Count will be revealed. To participate or for more information, please e-mail the count compiler: Bayard Nicklow firstname.lastname@example.org
The count is consistently one of the top ten in the country and finds the largest number of species of any on the Upper Texas Coast. Habitat includes seashore, barrier islands, prairie & woodland. The circle is divided into eight areas, each with its own leader & unique habitats. (Count Circle Map) For information & assignments, contact compiler Mike Austin (email@example.com).
Although this count has very limited land area and a particularly small amount of wooded areas, it still typically is a top 20 or near top twenty U.S. CBCs. This count undoubtedly produces the most species for the available land area (much of the count circle is water) of all U.S. CBCs. The compilers are Lalise and Greg Mason, firstname.lastname@example.org or call Greg at 713-725-4562. This count is traditionally held on the first Tuesday of the count period.
The Houston Audubon coastal team will participate in this count which includes the Bolivar Peninsula sanctuaries. Those interested in counting with us are encouraged to contact the respective count compilers, and/or Wyatt Egelhoff (email@example.com). Observers of all skill levels are welcome. This count is an excellent opportunity to study winter shorebirds as it includes Bolivar Flats.
Galveston West End (TXWG)
The West End of Galveston Island contains some wonderful birding habitat, including Houston Audubon's Dos Vacas Muertas Sanctuary. The compiler and primary contact is Kyle O'Haver, firstname.lastname@example.org. The co-contact is Cynthia Hughes, email@example.com.
Houston [Baytown] (TXHO)
This count includes the area around Baytown. Area leaders, please email your availability so we can plan accordingly. David Sarkozi is the compiler. Those wishing to participate should contact David (firstname.lastname@example.org). CBC Map by David Sarkozi
Huntsville [Walker Co.] (TXHU)
This is a wonderful time to introduce children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, neighbors, family members, and friends to the wonderful world of birds. Sponsored by Huntsville Audubon. Carol Reed is the coordinator. For more information, contact Carol at email@example.com or check our website/Facebook page.
Johnson Bayou - SW Louisiana (LAJB)
Johnson Bayou CBC has a rich history beginning in 1976 to present. Though the count is located just across the state line in Louisiana, most participants are from Texas and everyone is welcome. While much of the area is private, local landowners have allowed access to their property for this count, areas rarely birded and normally inaccessible to birders at other times offering a good chance for rarities. Areas covered include beach, coastal cheniers, marsh and grasslands. Johnson Bayou is located off Hwy 82 in Louisiana just across from Pleasure Island, TX (east of Sabine Pass). From Port Arthur take Hwy 82 east for about 15 miles into LA. Please contact Gary Kelley (firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone 409-679-1616) for more information, assignments and directions.
Lake Houston-Humble (TXHH)
Join fellow nature enthusiasts to identify and document all kinds of species (we have wide-open-spaces, woodlands and water – Oh My!). Bring water, binoculars and a field guide and wear close-toed shoes. Three meeting locations on January 2, 2023: 7:45 a.m. at Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center (20634 Kenswick Dr), 9 a.m. at Alexander Deussen Park Senior Center (123030 Sonnier St) and 4 p.m. at Edgewater Park (202 Hamblen Rd). Note: Lisa Gonzalez, Executive Director of Audubon Texas, will join us! Contact Alicia Mein-Johnson at Alicia.Mein@pct3.hctx.net or 281-446-8588 for further information and to register.
Matagorda County (TXMM)
Most of the count is on private land and participation in the CBC is the only way to gain access to some very productive wildlife lands. The diversity of the CBC is great and most sections have multiple exclusives. The CBC features extensive native grasslands, brushlands, floodplain forests, beaches and coastal marshes. We need skilled birders to scan for pelagics over the Gulf from land, skilled shorebirders to ride on boats to survey expansive mudflats and marshes of the delta of the Colorado River, and birders to survey narrow forest areas along the river for lingering neotrops. The count is always held on the first Monday of the CBC season. Contact compiler Brent Ortego, email@example.com or 361-827-4691 cell, for count assignments. Resources: Count circle map (static image), Interactive map (Google Earth required).
Old River (TXOR)
The count circle centers on Lake Charlotte in Chambers County and includes almost all of the Wallisville Lake Project, south to include northern portions of Trinity Bay, north into the southern parts of Liberty Co., east to include Hankamer and portions of Anahuac and west to include portions of Mont Belvieu, all less than one hour drive east of Houston. There are many habitats including Trinity Bay, Trinity River, lakes, bayous, pine forests, hardwood forest and grassy prairie. Much of the count area requires walking in wet conditions, so bring waterproof footwear. Scopes are recommended in many locations. Join our Facebook group for the most up-to-date information and a map of the count circle. Search for Old River Christmas Bird Count (TXOR)
How to Join the Count
1. Contact Paul Fagala at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will get you in touch with an area leader who needs help in his/her area, and the area leader will contact you to let you know when and where to meet.
2. If you live inside the count circle, stay at home and watch your feeders. E-mail your results to the count compiler or come to the count dinner.
Count Dinner: The count dinner will be at Tony’s BBQ and Steakhouse at 9545 N. Hwy. 146, Mont Belvieu, TX 77523. We will meet there between 5:30-6:00 PM.
Old River CBC Compilers: Paul Fagala - email@example.com and David Hanson – firstname.lastname@example.org
Orange County (TXOC)
Habitat covers marsh, woodlands, and the Cow Bayou watershed. All are invited, even if you are not an experienced birder or are only able to bird for part of the day. Feeder watchers are welcome to participate. Let us know in advance and we will find a suitable group for you to join. The more pairs of eyes in a group, the more birds will be seen. Contact Gary Kelley (email@example.com, telephone 409-679-1616), for more information.
San Jacinto Wilderness (TXSJ)
Juxtaposed across three counties, this unique inland circle is situated where Big Thicket meets Coastal Prairie. A broad and complex ecotone, it's laced through and through with wild rivers and bottomlands, as well as extensive farms and ranches. On this count, kayakers course down the most scenic rivers in the region, while other bands of birders canvass a huge wilderness park, and large private ranches offer a birding and hiking adventure that can be the equal of anywhere in the the entire Upper Texas Coast. Welcome to the San Jacinto Wilderness.
Plan for a full day of birding, beginning at 7am and ending with a countdown dinner around 6pm.
Rendezvous points: please contact David Henderson, using the contact information below.
Park and Ranch birding groups: contact David Henderson at firstname.lastname@example.org (compiler - cell: 281-827-3729)
Paddlers: contact Bruce Bodson at email@example.com (cell: (832) 882-1657)
San Bernard NWR (TXSB)
Although this count still provides the small count atmosphere, it has plenty of big count diversity with 190 or more species most years. Contact the co-compilers Ron Weeks (firstname.lastname@example.org or phone evenings 979-285-8824) and Jennifer Wilson (email@example.com or phone daytime 979-964-4011) to sign up.
Sea Rim State Park (TXSR)
This count in southern Jefferson County included Sea Rim SP, Texas Point NWR, and parts of J.D. Murphree WMA and McFaddin NWR as well as the Sabine Pass area. Contact John Whittle (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Spring Creek (TXSC)
This count, sponsored by the Piney Woods Wildlife Society, covers a 15-mile diameter circle that is roughly centered in The Woodlands at I-45 and Rayford-Sawdust road. This includes The Woodlands, the ExxonMobil campus in SpringWoods, much of Spring, part of Hooks airport, part of Klein and Pundt parks, Jones State Forest, Mercer, SC Greenway and E of San Jacinto River. Feeder watchers are also encouraged to participate. Contact compiler Claire Moore at email@example.com for more information or to sign up.
Trinity River (TXTN)
Areas to be counted include the Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge, Tarkington Prairie, and Gaylor Lake. Our meeting location is the Shell Fuel Stop station located at the intersection of Hwy 105 and FM 2518 at 7:00 am. Some folks will bird the "bottoms" so be sure to bring a sack lunch, rubber knee boots, and other appropriate outdoor clothing. This year we'll have the countdown dinner at the same Fuel Stop. They have BBQ and other items available. Birdwatchers of all levels are welcome. If you have any questions you can contact Stuart Marcus at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Turkey Creek (TXTC)
This count in Hardin and Tyler Counties includes the Turkey Creek and Hickory Creek Savannah Units of the Big Thicket National Preserve. Meet at the Big Thicket Visitor Center on US69 at FM420, about 7 miles north of Kountze at 6:30 AM. Sponsored by the Big Thicket National Preserve. Compiler: Sheila Hebert, email@example.com. Co-compiler: Nancy Angell.
The Wharton Peach Creek CBC, established in 2020, is situated between the San Bernard River and Peach Creek, with its center located in the prime bottomland of the McNeil Tract in Wharton County. Pack a sack lunch and come join us in Wharton County as we look to build upon our inaugural count record of 91 species observed. For more information about this count, visit https://www.jbhfound.org/whartoncbc. To register, contact Hannah Muegge at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are looking for a few volunteers to serve as team leaders who would be responsible for keeping their team’s record of all observations and any unusual/rare observations and then reporting them to the count compiler. If you would be interested, please let us know at time of registration.