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Christmas Bird Counts

Houston - Upper Texas Coast Counts

December 14, 2021 - January 5, 2022

Compilers, please send your dates and updates to Susan Billetdeaux, webmaster@houstonaudubon.org

  • 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 armandbayoucbc@gmail.com. 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): 12/15

    Wednesday, December 15, 2021
    The Attwater CBC is a wonderful opportunity to bird the Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR as well as private property in Eagle Lake, TX. This CBC is open to all birders and is one of the highest inland CBCs for diversity in the country. This count is traditionally held on the 1st Wednesday of the CBC season. If you are interested in participating, contact Sumita Prasad at sumita@utexas.edu.In 2015, our species total was 177! A hot dinner will be provided, at the Refuge, for all participants following the event.

  • 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, sheilakhebert@hotmail.com (409-767-1216).

  • 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 sgmayes@hotmail.com.

  • Brazoria-Columbia Bottomlands (TXBR)

    The Brazoria - Columbia CBC includes habitats for its namesake, Brazoria – Columbia Bottomland Hardwoods. It includes several USFW tracts, private ranch properties, large reservoirs, and many small ponds. Sites include Bar-X Ranch, Columbia Lakes, Hudson Woods USFW tract, Eagle Nest Lake USFW tract, Brazoria Reservoir, Harris Reservoir, southern Nash Ranch, amongst others, all inside Brazoria County. Please contact the Compiler if you would like to participate in the count. Compiler: Martin Hagne, mhagne@gcbo.org

  • Brazos Bend (TXBZ)

    The Brazos Bend Count Circle includes Brazos Bend State Park, and a wealth of different ecosystems in adjacent lands. Many of the properties we survey are closed to birders the rest of the year. Rarities in recent years include Zone-tailed Hawk, Great Kiskadee, Green-tailed Towhee, and more. Birders of all experience levels are welcome, and there are many teams/areas to choose from. Strong leadership will be assigned for all groups and the park entry fee is waived for participants.

  • 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, birdsondabrain@gmail.com, 713-997-9550.

  • Monday, December 20, 2021
    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, Sims Nature Center and more! All skill levels are welcome. We will have experienced birders leading the groups. The compiler is Anna Vallery. Please email Anna at avallery@houstonaudubon.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)

    Saturday, January 1, 2022
    The Cypress Creek count is traditionally held on New Year's Day. 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 Kendra Kocab (klebwoods@pct3.hctx.net). 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.

  • Freeport (TXFR)

    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 (mj_eh@comcast.net).

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  • Galveston (TXGA)

    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, lalise@earthlink.net

  • Galveston West End

    The West End of Galveston Island contains some wonderful birding habitat, including Houston Audubon's Dos Vacas Muertas Sanctuary. The compiler is Sally Pachulski. Contacts: Sally at Pachulski@gmail.com or Cynthia Hughes at cynhuz@att.net.

  • 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 (david@sarkozi.net). 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. For more information, contact huntsvilletxaudubon@gmail.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 (garymke@sbcglobal.net, telephone 409-679-1616) for more information, assignments and directions.

  • Matagorda County (TXMM): 12/20

    Monday, December 20, 2021
    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, brentortego@hotmail.com or 361-827-4691 cell, for count assignments. Resources: Count circle map (static image), Interactive map (Google Earth required).

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  • Old River (TXOR)

    The count covers all points within 7.5 miles of Lake Charlotte. This is less than an hour's drive east of Houston. The count circle for this count centers in Lake Charlotte in Chambers Co. and takes in almost all of the Wallisville Project, all the way out to the far back in of Trinity Bay and north into the southern part on Liberty Co. Please contact count compiler Paul Fagala at covebirder@yahoo.com if you'd like to participate or have any questions. Co-compiler is David Hanson, DHanson139@aol.com.

  • 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 (garymke@sbcglobal.net, 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 subdivisions. On this count, kayakers course down the most scenic rivers in the region, while other bands of birders tour subdivisions by car. A huge wilderness park is its linchpin, and large private ranches offer a birding and hiking adventure that can be the equal of anywhere in the UTC. Welcome to the San Jacinto Wilderness. For more information please contact David Henderson at embrenhar1@gmail.com (compiler - cell: 281-827-3729), or Bruce Bodson (bruce.bodson@yahoo.com, 832-882-1657 - cell) if you wish to canoe/kayak.

  • 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 (ronweeks@sbcglobal.net or phone evenings 979-299-0066) and Jennifer Wilson (jennifer_wilson@fws.gov or phone daytime 979-964-4011) to sign up.

  • Sea Rim State Park (TXSR)

    This count in Jefferson County includes Sea Rim SP, Texas Point NWR, and parts of J.D. Murphree WMA and McFaddin NWR as well as the Sabine Pass area. If not otherwise assigned in advance, meet at the stop sign on Highway 87 in Sabine Pass (where Highway 87 turns west) at 7:00 am. Be advised that public restrooms are very limited in Sabine Pass. If you are able to bring a boat for either shallow lake (Keith Lake area), the Sabine Neches Waterway, or the Gulf close in to Sea Rim SP, please contact johnawhittle@aol.com in advance. Others are also requested to contact johnawhittle@aol.com in advance if possible. Because more and more area leaders are going straight to their assigned areas, it is becoming difficult to provide those who show up without notice at the above mentioned location with meaningful assignments. Sponsored by Golden Triangle Audubon Society. Check their website for last minute updates. Contact John Whittle (johnawhittle@aol.com, 409-722-4193) for details.

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  • 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 cdmoore3i@gmail.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. We will meet at 7:00 AM at the corner of HWY 105 and FM 2518. This is about 3 miles east of the old location at a new gas station with nice bathrooms. Some folks will bird the "bottoms" so be sure to bring a sack lunch, rubber knee boots and other appropriate outdoor clothing. Birdwatchers of all levels are welcome. If you have any questions you can contact Stuart Marcus at 936/334-4754 (new cell number) or stuart.marcus13@gmail.com. If you call and Stuart doesn't know your phone number, please leave a message (too many spams).

  • 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, sheilakhebert@hotmail.com (409-767-1216).

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  • The Wharton Peach Creek CBC, established in 2020, is situated between the San Bernard River and Peach Creek, and its center located in the prime bottomland of the McNeill Tract in Wharton County. The McNeill Tract covers thousands of acres of hardwood forest. Together with the cypress and oak-lined lakes on the Harrison Burr Property, the area is home to a wide variety of species. For the inaugural count, we will be birding the Harrison Burr Property and its surrounding area. For more information about the count, visit the Wharton Peach Creek CBC website: https://www.jbhfound.org/whartoncbc. To register, please email the compiler Hannah Muegge at hannah@jbhfound.org. If you would be interested in being a group leader for this count, please indicate at time of registration.

  • BP
  • Chevron Retiree Association
  • Citgo
  • Entergy
  • Kinder Morgan Foundation
  • Land Sea & Sky
  • Shell Oil Company Foundation
  • Strabo Tours
  • Tropical Birding
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