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Christmas Bird Counts

Houston - Upper Texas Coast Counts

December 14, 2022 - January 5, 2023

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

  • Armand Bayou (TXAY): 12/17

    Saturday, December 17, 2022
    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): 12/14

    Wednesday, December 14, 2022
    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 sumita@utexas.edu.

  • Beech Creek (TXBE): 12/20

    Tuesday, December 20, 2022
    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. Co-compiler: Phillip Hight.

  • Bolivar Peninsula (TXBP): 12/15

    Thursday, December 15, 2022
    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): 12/31

    Saturday, December 31, 2022
    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, mhagne@gcbo.org

  • Brazos Bend (TXBZ): 12/17

    Saturday, December 17, 2022
    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. justinbower@gmail.com (832-746-2140)

  • Buffalo Bayou [West Houston] (TXBF): 12/30

    Friday, December 30, 2022 (tentative)
    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 19, 2022
    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 bmoffett@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): 1/1

    Sunday, January 1, 2023
    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 (cypresscreekcbc@gmail.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.

  • Freeport (TXFR): 12/18

    Sunday, December 18, 2022
    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. This count is traditionally held on the first Tuesday of the count period.

  • Galveston West End (TXWG): 1/2

    Monday, January 2, 2023
    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, kyle.ohaver@tpwd.texas.gov. The co-contact is Cynthia Hughes, cynhuz@att.net.

  • Houston [Baytown] (TXHO): 1/3

    Tuesday, January 3, 2023
    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): 12/14

    Wednesday, December 14, 2022
    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.

  • Lake Houston-Humble (TXHH): 1/2

    Monday, January 2, 2023
    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): 12/19

    Monday, December 19, 2022
    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): 1/2

    Monday, January 2, 2023
    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 covebirder@yahoo.com. 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 - covebirder@yahoo.com and David Hanson – dhanson139@aol.com

  • Orange County (TXOC): 1/1

    Sunday, January 1, 2023
    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): 1/1

    Sunday, January 1, 2023
    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 embrenhar1@gmail.com (compiler - cell: 281-827-3729)
    Paddlers: contact Bruce Bodson at bruce.bodson@lowerbrazosriverwatch.org (cell: (832) 882-1657)

  • San Bernard NWR (TXSB): 12/16

    Friday, December 16, 2022
    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 979-285-8824) and Jennifer Wilson (jennifer_wilson@fws.gov or phone daytime 979-964-4011) to sign up.

  • Sea Rim State Park (TXSR) - canceled

    Access issues caused by storms, habitat loss and other issues have led us to cancel the count this year. 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 (johnawhittle@aol.com).

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  • Spring Creek (TXSC): 12/17

    Saturday, December 17, 2022
    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): 12/28

    Wednesday, December 28, 2022
    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 stuart.marcus13@gmail.com.

  • Turkey Creek (TXTC): 12/17

    Saturday, December 17, 2022
    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. Co-compiler: Nancy Angell.

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  • Wednesday, December 21, 2022 (tentative)
    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 hannah@jbhfound.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.

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