TROPICAL BIRDING

HIGH ISLAND MIGRATION

Wonder of Wings on  the Upper Texas Coast

14 – 18 April, 2008

Leader: Jen Brumfield

 

 

King Rail - Jen Brumfeld
One of the King Rails we saw at Smith Oaks Sanctuary

Spring migration on the Upper Texas Coast is legendary. Shorebirds, gulls, and terns erupt from the south, filling the shorelines and farmlands, and neotropical passerines swarm and crowd patches of woodlands in what is surely one of the most astounding spectacles of spring migration in America. The big draw card for this tour is the abundance of fantastic migrant birds, and the Upper Texas coast offers a very real chance of seeing over 130 species in a single day. Our tour covered all the varied habitats of the region, from the oak motte migrant traps on High Island, to the inland Pineywoods and realm of the Red-cockaded Woodpecker, to coastal beaches and marshes. Trips to the world-famous Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge and Bolivar Flats added to our burgeoning list of marsh and shorebirds. The weather during our tour was terrific, with afternoon temperatures in the mid 70s to low 80s, and clear skies. We had stunning views of hard-to-see species and easily amassed a five-day trip list of 172 species seen!

 

April 14: As soon as we walked out of the airport we got to work immediately, noticing an alliance of Black and Turkey Vultures circling overhead in a deep blue Texas sky. We hadn’t made it a mile from the rental car pickup, when promptly ticked a trio of Upland Sandpipers dashing around on a strip of lawn by the roadside – a very surprising and welcome treat as these long-necked grass-plovers stood calmly not twenty feet from the car. We celebrated with a quick pizza lunch and flew off towards High Island.

 

On the hour-long drive toward the coast, we had fun sorting through an assortment of familiar roadside birds like Swainson’s Hawk, Loggerhead Shrike, Cattle Egret, and ubiquitous Great-tailed Grackles. As we drew more near to the Gulf coastal plains, the pine and deciduous woods gave way to vast agricultural lands and the target of our first stop: rice fields for shorebirds. A previously scouted location out Route 73 near Winnie was absolutely hopping with Long-billed Dowitchers and dozens of Whimbrel, and scrambling with Pectoral Sandpipers and Semipalmated Plovers. Both Black-bellied and graceful American Golden-Plovers were in attendance, some individuals sporting near perfect summer coats. Close inspection of the muddy ruts turned up at least twenty highly sought-after Buff-breasted Sandpipers, perhaps individuals that just might have recently arrived from their wintering grounds on the Ecuadorian paramo.

 

After a near clean sweep of inland shorebirds, plus a trio of swallows and a visit from a raucous murder of Fish Crows, we were on our way to the coast. Route 124 south from Winnie to High Island is a wonderfully “birdy”, twenty minute drive. The open coastal savannah and prairie seems limitless, and is pocketed by numerous agricultural waterholes and tidal marshes. From the road, we spotted Tricolored and Little Blue Herons, and numerous flocks of White-faced Ibis. Passing over the Intercoastal Waterway bridge, we enjoyed a clear and spectacular view of High Island. From here, you can begin to see what birds see. Emerging from a smooth plane of prairie is a thick, green island of oaks – a haven for migrating and nesting birds alike.

 

Our first coastal woodland birding promptly began at TOS Hooks Woods Sanctuary on First Street. We were met immediately by handfuls of Gray Catbirds, Red-eyed Vireos, and glorious Summer Tanagers. Not twenty feet into the Sanctuary, and just off the side of the trail, crept a handsome male Kentucky Warbler. Nearby a sporty male Hooded Warbler danced with flicking tail just below eye-level. From a scrubby field edge beyond the woods range a high, snappy “beee-bzzztt” – the tell-tale song of Blue-winged Warbler. Almost as soon as we had heard it, we picked up on a brilliant male Blue-winged, frantically foraging in young oaks under the warm Texas sun. High above in the moss-covered limbs of the oaks, we enjoyed a quick view of the nuthatch-like antics of the Black-and-white Warbler, before swiftly keying in on a stunning Worm-eating Warbler, a species that specializes at picking small caterpillars out from within clusters of dead leaves. The rich buff-colored underparts, boldly striped head, and long, piercing bill were studied at close range as the bird enthusiastically foraged just overhead. We studied the Worm-eater to our hearts content until, reluctantly, we pressed on for an afternoon of coastal shorebirding. A loud and hysterical White-eyed Vireo led us to the parking lot, shouting “pick-up the beer CHICK” just before we sped off.

 

To the west of High Island, along the coast, lies Rollover Pass. This artificial channel cuts through the Bolivar Peninsula, linking the East Bay to the Gulf Coast. Extensive tidal mudflats offer exceptional habitat for thousands of foraging and roosting shorebirds, gulls, terns, and herons and egrets. We hit the tides just right, with masses of Black Skimmers, Willets, and Common, Forster’s and Caspian Terns resting just offshore, offering first-rate scope views. Troops of Brown and American White Pelicans were in good supply, as were Ruddy Turnstones, Lesser Yellowlegs, and Short-billed Dowitchers.

 

Bolivar Flats has been christened as the “crown jewel of shorebird habitats” on the Upper Texas Coast. We were eager to the hit the mudflats to rack up big numbers, and sure enough, Bolivar produced big-time. The shorebird horde was dominated by Western and Semipalmated Sandpipers, Sanderlings, and loads of Dunlin. We took time to sort through the peeps, finding glorious summer coats on the majority of the Western Sandpipers, while Dunlin were still working on their rich ruddy upperparts and black belly patches. Short-billed Dowitchers “stiched” their way through the shallows while regiments of Piping Plovers pattered charmingly across the higher, sandier beach. A roosting flock chock full of Royal Terns and Laughing Gulls offered crisp views of less abundant Sandwich Terns, Least Terns, and, a bombshell band of Fulvous Whistling-Ducks contrasting against the blue Gulf’s shores. Just offshore, in the frothing Gulf, a band of Lesser Scaup held two prizes: two Surf Scoters and a single  White-winged Scoter. A colossal wave of feeding American Avocets, perhaps four thousand strong, moved together like one living beast. The final performance of the day came in the form of an elegant, dancing Reddish Egret – an uncommon species tied strictly to the Gulf Coast.

 

The last show of the day was a special one – a trip to the HAS Smith Oaks Rookery for an evening concert of herons and egrets. The Rookery at Claybottom Pond is a magnet for colonial waterbirds; nowhere else in Texas can you so closely observe hundreds of nesting herons, egrets, spoonbills, ibis, and cormorants. In the fading golden light, we had point-blank scope views of Neotropic Cormorants, Little Blue Herons, Black-crowned Night-Herons, White Ibis, and stunning studies of several dozen Roseate Spoonbills. We ended the first day of the tour with a spectacular 90 species!

 

 

April 15: The Live Oak stands at HAS Smith Oaks sanctuary was our first stop of the morning. After walking just ten feet from the car, motion in the moss-covered limbs above our heads revealed a dazzling male Cerulean Warbler. We spent plenty of time following this highly sought-after eastern warbler, enjoying great looks (some at eye level!) of this canopy species. Moving slowly down the boardwalk, a fine buzzy ‘zeeeeeeIP!’ alerts us to the presence of a Northern Parula, and close by we find a Black-throated Green Warbler showing off its brilliant golden cheeks. A platoon of Summer Tanagers – gorgeous rosy red males and orangish-green females – moved loudly through the crowns of the trees alongside numerous Red-eyed Vireos, while Gray Catbirds, multiple Brown Thrashers, and Carolina Wrens scratched in the leaf litter and shrubs below. The slight sound of the crinkling of dead leaves alerted us to another secretive Worm-eating Warbler foraging steadily a mere five feet from the trail. Across the woods we could hear the strong, sharp “SchWEET SchWEET SchWEET” notes belting out from the windpipes of a male Prothonotary Warbler. Promptly tracking him down turned up stunning views of this golden swamp warbler as he proudly proclaimed his territory.

Whimbrel - Jen Brumfeld

Whimbrel

 

With some impressive warblers already under our belt, we headed to HAS Boy Scout Woods by way of the Tropical Birding Information Center and observation tower, where both Inca Doves and Eurasian Collared-Doves took time out to rest in the shade below a Magnolia. The water drip near the grandstand benches was stirring with several Yellow-throated Warblers, Gray Catbirds, and Song Sparrows. Above our heads, glittering Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Summer Tanagers, and a striking male Scarlet Tanager gorged themselves on ripe mulberries. A molting male Indigo Bunting gave us a proper farewell as we skipped over to TOS Hooks Woods in search of more magnificent migrants. Hooks Woods was pumping with more Red-eyed and White-eyed Vireos, and we immediately keyed in on a golden-faced Swainson’s Thrush that was intent on having a meal of a female Eastern Pondhawk dragonfly. We were again treated to a stylish male Kentucky Warbler lurking through the undergrowth, and an equally well-dressed Hooded Warbler alighted just inches from the boardwalk.

 

As the afternoon air began to cook and the winds picked up, it made sense to try our hand at birding Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge, a 34,000-acre playground for birds and birders. Here, shorebirds, rails, and other waterbirds find refuge filled in the massive systems of coastal fresh and saltwater marshes and rare coastal prairie. We were treated immediately to a flock of stately Black-necked Stilts, a feeding frenzy of White-faced Ibis, and scattered pods of Pied-billed Grebes, Northern Shovelers, and Blue-winged Teal. A specialty of the Upper Texas Coast and Mallard look-alike, the Mottled Duck, was found in good numbers in the rich cattail marshes. While a few Northern Harriers stealthily drifted over the vast marshes, a loud and raucous chorus of Marsh Wrens rang out from the alligator-infested roadside gullies. The warm Texas sun shown brilliantly down upon dozens of Common Moorhens as they sported their red frontal shields for all to see. Perhaps the showiest bird of the marsh, the Purple Gallinule, showed off its acrobatic antics by sitting at eye-level atop a bunch of cattails, mere feet from the open car window. As if that wasn’t cool enough, one of the highlights of the day came in the form of a boisterous pair of King Rails – who kindly strutted the cattail edges for unobstructed, superb views. A visit to the Shoveler Pond boardwalk provided excellent studies of Wilson’s Snipe, elegant pairs of Black-necked Stilts, hordes of Blue-winged Teal, a small pod of Fulvous Whistling-Ducks, and prolonged studies of a preening Virginia Rail. The evening hours were spent watching the Boy Scout drip; ending the day with bathing Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Summer Tanagers,and a White-eyed Vireo.

Purple Gallinule - Jen Brumfeld

Purple Gallinule

 

 

April 16:  Today’s journey started with a morning venture to HAS Boy Scout Woods and Smith Oaks. Migrant activity was slowed by south winds and clear skies, so we once again aimed our sights on open plain birding. To the west of High Island, across Galveston Bay, sits a jewel in the form of Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge. Well-known for two coastal prairie raptor specialties – White-tailed Hawk and Crested Caracara – this cousin to Anahuac always harbors a ton of shorebirds, herons, egrets, waterfowl, and more. It made sense to hit Rollover and Bolivar Flats on the way to help rack up a big day list.

 

The drive south along the Gulf was full of sights, from prolonged roadside looks at Long-billed Curlew, to a flock of sporty Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks. A grand surprise came in the form of an immature Crested Caracara – a hoped-for tick at Brazoria – that came early. Rollover Pass was loaded with activity from Sandwich and Least Terns to Black Skimmers and pelicans and cormorants. The black-and-white coat and massive orange bill of an American Oystercatcher was superbly studied. Nearby Bolivar Flats was at max capacity. We easily found the hot ticket items – Snowy, Wilson’s, and Piping Plovers – and enjoyed further looks at turnstones, Sanderlings, Short-billed Dowitchers, and peeps galore. After a windy ride across Galveston Bay we were well on our way to the sunny coastal prairie of Brazoria.

Wilson's Plvoer - Jen Brumfeld

Wilson's Plover

 

The visit proved wonderfully fruitful – especially in the way of shorebirds! But first we took advantage of the glorious weather to enjoy ace views of White-faced and White Ibis, moorhens, Little Blue Herons, Tricolored Herons, Pied-billed Grebes, and hordes of Northern Shovelers and Blue-winged Teal. In the far corner of the refuge we came upon an outstanding open mudflat absolutely teaming with waders. Immediately we picked up on the large buffy figures of Marbled Godwits, towering above a swirl of Dunlin, Long-billed Dowitchers, Western Sandpipers, and both yellowlegs. Careful scrutiny of the “dow” flocks turned up over twenty Stilt Sandpipers – a “stitcher” like dowitchers but more elegant and slim in figure. A tight flock of Wilson’s Phalaropes buzzed directly overhead and put down on the mudflats for extended views of their tell-tale spinning and swirling through the water and nervous dashing across the shore.

Little Blue Heron - Jen Brumfeld

Little Blue Heron

 

As the afternoon faded we made our way out of the refuge, but not before a near-adult Bald Eagle cruised overhead – an uncommon breeder on the upper Texas coast. Searching the skies turned up our final highlight  - a White-tailed Hawk floating and gliding overhead. Another fine day was a wrap – with a total of 103 species under our belts on today’s journey alone.

April 17: An extra early start to the day was in order, with our sights set on the Pineywoods region and its black-and-white prize – the Red-cockaded Woodpecker. The two-hour journey north to the outer limits of Houston was filled with great anticipation for the new set of species harbored in this special and unique Loblolly Pine ecosystem. W.G. Jones State Forest is carefully managed by the Texas State Parks. Jones is a “demonstration forest” where prescribed fires are set annually, and mature forests are burned every three to five years. The cleared understory and forest floor of these woods makes for near-perfect Red-cockaded habitat.

 

Upon entering the forest we quickly spotted common and resident Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, and White-breasted Nuthatches. A very vocal family of Pine Warblers put on a show near the roadside, not far from a  secretive Pileated Woodpecker poking its head out from around the side of a nearby set of pines. All at once the high nasal squeaking of a Brown-headed Nuthatch alerted us to a flurry of activity overhead. A troop of Red-headed Woodpeckers were joined by Indigo Buntings and Summer Tanagers, while a background chorus of Northern Parulas, Eastern Wood-Pewees, and Worming-eating and Hooded Warblers filled the cool and moist woods surrounding us. Temperature soon heated up and we new we needed to zero in our target. A long walk through a thick portion of the forest left us with a horde of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, a pair of Eastern Bluebirds, and numerous White-eyed Vireos – but empty in the cockaded camp. With the sun peaking high and hot overhead, we made our way to the ranger headquarters and found a sandy trail leading into a recently burnt section of pine woods. Here we found a series of man—made and natural woodpecker cavities – with tell-tale entrances soaked in thick tree sap. Red-headed Woodpeckers and Pine Warblers were seemingly everywhere. We keyed in on a rambunctious family of noisy Brown-headed Nuthatches – by far the most adorable and sprightly bird of the Pineywoods. A well-deserved rest on a trailside bench soon reminded us that patience is key. As we sat enjoying a trio of Mississippi Kites gliding just over the canopy, motion stirred from a sap-encrusted cavity across the woods. A pair of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, with their classy zebra coats and vivid white cheeks – zipped out of the shadows and onto the sun-streaked trees just ahead of us. We gasped in surprise and triumph and spent over five full minutes watching the pair flake away bark in an active “lunchtime” frenzy. Superior scope views were had, and we were victorious! As patience would play out, we had caught the pair at a perfect moment – the “changing of the guard”: it appeared as if the male and female might have been trading duties of the nest. 

 

After a celebratory sit-down lunch, we sped back south to HAS Boy Scout Woods. A quick walk along the boardwalk turned up a few new additions to the tour – an orange-coated Veery, a surprise Philadelphia Vireo, and an absolutely stunning Painted Bunting! After prolonged looks at the dazzling reds, blues, and greens of this local bunting, we headed straight to Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge for a late afternoon full of marsh birding. Anahuac never disappoints. We cleaned house in herons and egrets, and enjoyed further looks at passing Northern Harriers. Blue-winged Teal and Mottled Ducks barely outnumbered the masses of American Coots. Clear blue skies over Anahuac produced crisp, sunny views of troops of Black-necked Stilts, platoons of Common Moorhens, and feeding parties of Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, and Long-billed Dowitchers. As the sun fell heavy towards the horizon, we made our way towards the saltmarsh and Yellow Rail Prairie, hoping to score a rail or two. Several Soras announced their secretive presence, and we picked up on the short, rough call of a Seaside Sparrow – conspicuously “teed up” not fifty feet from the car. Mere seconds afterward, a Clapper Rail made a few dashes back and forth across the road - pausing at the gully’s edge for killer looks before slinking back to secrecy. On the way out, sharp-eyed Barbara zeroed in on a posing American Bittern, which nervously took to the air, giving us a farewell flap out of the refuge.

Sora - Jen Brumfeld

Sora

 

April 18 : Our final day of the tour was to end early due Barbara’s late afternoon departure out of Houston. With only a partial day to work with we made the best call we could due to weather: return to Anahuac for more big diversity! Heading straight to the refuge’s mudflats and flooded fields was a fruitful choice – as we soon landed great views of both American Golden-Plovers and Black-bellied Plovers, not to mention a small horde of fashionable Semipalmated Plovers to boot. The Dowitcher brigade was joined by a host of other species  - with Semipalmated and Western Sandpipers, Dunlin, and Pectoral Sandpipers crawling everywhere.  Picking carefully through the flocks turned up lesser numbers of Least Sandpipers, a few Stilt Sandpipers, and several Wilson’s Snipe – all of which put on a superb show in the scope. Though highlights came aplenty, a small pod of Wilson’s Phalaropes fed excitedly a mere hundred feet away, giving us dramatic views. A blood-billed Caspian Tern basked in the sun near the shorebird flock, while a swarm of Roseate Spoonbills, White Ibis, and White-faced Ibis swirled through the shallows in the heat haze.

 

The cattail marshes were absolutely bursting with birds – from coots and moorhens to Marsh Wrens, Belted Kingfishers, and Common Yellowthroats, to Eastern Kingbirds and Orchard Orioles. We could tell it was to be a first-rate day for rails and bitterns! Sure enough, our luck began with point-blank studies of a golden-billed Sora, which was followed by half-dozen Purple Gallinules, and finally, a jaywalking King Rail! Our fine afternoon continued with gallinules aplenty, crowds of Savannah Sparrows, a flyover Osprey, and Gull-billed Terns, a Wilson’s Snipe, and a pack of Fulvous Whistling-Ducks at famed Shoveler Pond. As we made our rounds through the refuge, the cattail-brimmed ditches and impoundments continued to explode with activity. In the mix were several miniature Least Bitterns – no doubt one of the trip favorites. As the afternoon wore on, we prepped ourselves for the ride back to Houston, but not before spending time listening to the rough windpipes of a Seaside Sparrow harmonizing with the strange accents of nearby coots and Pied-billed Grebes. On the way out of the refuge, two Franklin’s Gulls cruised by high overhead, as if sending us a final farewell from high up in the deep blue Texas skies.

 

Least Bittern - Jen Brumfeld

Least Bittern

 

BIRD LIST

 

Total species: 176

heard only: 4

 

 

WATERFOWL: Anatidae

 

Fulvous Whistling-Duck                                           Dendrocygna bicolor

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck                                    Dendrocygna autumnalis

Mottled Duck                                                            Anas fulvigula

Blue-winged Teal                                                    Anas discors

Northern Shoveler                                                   Anas clypeata

Lesser Scaup                                                         Aythya affinis

Surf Scoter                                                             Melanitta perspicillata

White-winged Scoter                                              Melanitta fusca

 

GREBES: Podicipedidae

Pied-billed Grebe                                                     Podilymbus podiceps

 

HERONS, EGRETS & BITTERNS: Ardeidae

Great Blue Heron                                                    Ardea herodias

Great Egret                                                              Ardea alba

Reddish Egret                                                          Egretta rufescens

Tricolored Heron                                                     Egretta tricolor

Little Blue Heron                                                      Egretta caerulea

Snowy Egret                                                           Egretta thula

Cattle Egret                                                              Bubulcus ibis

Green Heron                                                           Butorides virescens

Black-crowned Night-Heron                                             Nycticorax niycticorax

Yellow-crowned Nigh-Heron                                              Nyctanassa violacea

Least Bittern                                                            Ixobrychus exilis

American Bittern                                                     Botaurus lentiginosus

 

IBIS & SPOONBILLS: Threskiornithidae

White Ibis                                                                 Eudocimus albus

White-faced Ibis                                                      Plegadis chihi

Roseate Spoonbill                                                   Platalea ajaja

 

PELICANS: Pelecanidae

American White Pelican                                           Pelecanus erythrorhynchos

Brown Pelican                                                         Pelecanus occidentalis

 

CORMORANTS: Phalacrocoracidae

Double-crested Cormorant                                      Phalacrocorax auritus

Neotropic Cormorant                                               Phalacrocorax brasilianus

 

ANHINGA: Anhingidae

Anhinga                                                                   Anhinga anhinga

 

NEW WORLD VULTURES: Cathartidae

Black Vulture                                                           Coragyps atratus

Turkey Vulture                                                        Cathartes aura

 

OSPREY: Pandionidae

Osprey                                                                    Pandion haliaetus

 

HAWKS, EAGLES, & KITES: Accipitridae

White-tailed Kite                                                      Elanus leucurus

Mississippi Kite                                                        Ictinia mississippiensis

Bald Eagle                                                               Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Northern Harrier                                                      Circus cyaneus

Cooper’s Hawk                                                       Accipiter cooperii

Broad-winged Hawk                                               Buteo platypterus

Swainson’s Hawk                                                   Buteo swainsoni

White-tailed Hawk                                                   Buteo albicaudatus

Red-tailed Hawk                                                      Buteo jamaicensis

 

FALCONS & CARACARAS: Falconidae

Crested Caracara                                                   Caracara cheriway

 

RAILS, GALLINULES, & COOTS: Rallidae

Clapper Rail                                                             Rallus longirostris

King Rail                                                                  Rallus elegans

Virginia Rail                                                             Rallus limicola

Sora                                                                        Porzana carolina

Purple Gallinule                                                        Porphyrio martinica

Common Moorhen                                                   Gallinula chloropus

American Coot                                                        Fulica americana

 

OYSTERCATCHERS: Haematopodidae

American Oystercatcher                                         Haematopus palliates

 

AVOCETS & STILTS: Recurvirostridae

Black-necked Stilt                                                    Himantopus mexicanus

American Avocet                                                    Recurvirostra Americana

 

PLOVERS & LAPWINGS: Charadriidae

American Golden-Plover                                      Pluvialis dominica

Black-bellied Plover                                                 Pluvialis squatarola

Semipalmated Plover                                      Charadrius semipalmatus

Wilson’s Plover                                                        Charadrius wilsonia

Killdeer                                                                    Charadrius vociferus

Piping Plover                                                            Charadrius melodus

Snowy Plover                                                         Charadrius alexandrinus

 

 

 

 

 

SANDPIPERS: Scolopacidae

Wilson’s Snipe                                                         Gallinago delicata

Short-billed Dowitcher                                               Limnodromus griseus

Long-billed Dowitcher                                               Limnodromus scolopaceus

Marbled Godwit                                                       Limosa fedoa

Whimbrel                                                                 Numenius phaeopus

Long-billed Curlew                                                  Numenius americanus

Upland Sandpiper                                                    Bartramia longicauda

Spotted Sandpiper                                                  Actitis macularius

Solitary Sandpiper                                                   Tringa solitaria

Greater Yellowlegs                                                 Tringa melanoleuca

Willet                                                                        Tringa semipalmata

Lesser Yellowlegs                                                  Tringa flaviples

Ruddy Turnstone                                                    Arenaria interpres

Sanderling                                                               Calidris alba

Semipalmated Sandpiper                                         Calidris pusilla

Western Sandpiper                                                 Calidris mauri

Least Sandpiper                                                      Calidris minutilla

Baird’s Sandpiper                                                    Calidris bairdii

Pectoral Sandpiper                                                  Calidris melanotos

Dunlin                                                                      Calidris alpine

Stilt Sandpiper                                                         Calidris himantopus

Buff-breasted Sandpiper                                         Tryngites subrificollis

Wilson’s Phalarope                                                  Phalaropus tricolor

 

GULLS & TERNS: Laridae & Sternidae

Ring-billed Gull                                                         Larus delawarensis

Herring Gull                                                             Larus smithsonianus

Laughing Gull                                                          Larus atricilla

Franklin’s Gull                                                          Larus pipixcan

Least Tern                                                               Sternula antillarum

Gull-billed Tern                                                        Gelochelidron nilotica

Caspian Tern                                                           Hydroprogne caspia

Common Tern                                                          Sterna hirundo

Forster’s Tern                                                         Sterna forsteri

Royal Tern                                                               Thalasseus maximus

Sandwich Tern                                                       Thalasseus sandvicensis

 

SKIMMERS: Rynchopsidae

Black Skimmer                                                         Rynchops niger

 

PIGEONS & DOVES

Rock Pigeon                                                            Columba livia

Eurasian Collared-Dove                                           Steptopelia decaocto

Mourning Dove                                                        Zenaida macroura

White-winged Dove                                                 Zenaida asiatica

Inca Dove                                                                Columbina inca

SWIFTS: Apodidae

Chimney Swift                                                         Chaetura pelagica

 

HUMMINGBIRDS: Trochilidae

Ruby-throated Hummingbird                                     Archilochus colubris

 

KINGFISHERS: Alcedinidae

Belted Kingfisher                                                     Megaceryle alcyon

 

WOODPECKERS: Picidae

Red-headed Woodpecker                                           Melarnerpes erythrocephalus

Red-bellied Woodpecker                                            Melarnerpes carolinus

Red-cockaded Woodpecker                                      Picoides borealis

Pileated Woodpecker                                                 Dryocopus pileatus

 

TYRANT FLYCATCHERS: Tyrannidae

Eastern Wood-Pewee                                             Contopus virens

Eastern Kingbird                                                      Tyrannus tyrannus

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher                                         Tyrannus forficatus

 

SWALLOWS: Hirundinidae

Tree Swallow                                                         Tachycineta bicolor

Purple Martin                                                           Progne subis

Northern Rough-winged Swallow                         Stelgidopteryx serripennis

Barn Swallow                                                         Hirundo rustica

Cliff Swallow                                                          Petrochelidon pyrrhonota

 

KINGLETS: Regulidae

Ruby-crowned Kinglet                                            Regulus calendula

 

WAXWINGS: Bombycillidae

Cedar Waxwing                                                      Bombycilla cedrorum

 

WRENS: Tryglodytidae

Carolina Wren                                                         Thryothorus ludovicianus

House Wren                                                            Troglodytes aedon

Sedge Wren                                                            Cistothorus platensis

Marsh Wren                                                            Cistothorus palustris

 

MOCKINGBIRDS & THRASHERS: Mimidae

Gray Catbird                                                            Dumetella carolinensis

Northern Mockingbird                                              Mimus polyglottos

Brown Thrasher                                                     Toxostoma rufum

 

 

 

THRUSHES: Turdidae

Eastern Bluebird                                                      Sialia sialis

Veery                                                                      Catharus fuscescens

Swainson’s Thrush                                                 Catharus ustulatus

Wood Thrush                                                          Hylocichla mustelina

 

GNATCATCHERS: Sylviidae

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher                                            Polioptila caerulea

 

CHICKADEES & TITS: Paridae

Carolina Chickadee                                                 Poecile carolinensis

Tufted Titmouse                                                      Baeolophus bicolor

 

NUTHATCHES: Sittidae

Brown-headed Nuthatch                                       Sitta pusilla

 

SHRIKES: Laniidae

Loggerhead Shrike                                                  Lanius ludovicianus

 

CROWS & JAYS

Blue Jay                                                                  Cyanocitta cristata

American Crow                                                       Corvus brachyrhynchos

Fish Crow                                                               Corvus ossifragus

 

STARLINGS: Sturnidae

European Starling                                                    Sturnus vulgaris

 

VIREOS: Vireonidae

White-eyed Vireo                                                    Vireo griseus

Philadelphia Vireo                                                    Vireo philadelphicus

Red-eyed Vireo                                                       Vireo olivaceus

 

NEW WORLD WARBLERS: Parulidae

Blue-winged Warbler                                             Vermivora pinus

Tennessee Warbler                                                 Vermivora peregrine

Northern Parula                                                       Parula americana

Black-throated Green Warbler                                 Dendroica virens

Yellow-throated Warbler                                         Dendroica dominica

Pine Warbler                                                            Dendroica pinus

Cerulean Warbler                                                    Dendroica cerulean

Black-and-white Warbler                                       Mniotilta varia

American Redstart                                                  Setophaga ruticilla

Prothonotary Warbler                                             Protonotaria citrea

Worm-eating Warbler                                             Helmitheros vermivorum

Ovenbird                                                                 Seiurus aurocapilla

Kentucky Warbler                                                   Oporornis formosus

Common Yellowthroat                                           Geothlypis trichas

Hooded Warbler                                                     Wilsonia citrine

 

TANAGERS: Thraupidae

Scarlet Tanager                                                      Piranga olivacea

Summer Tanager                                                     Piranga rubra

 

SPARROWS & ALLIES: Emberizidae

Chipping Sparrow                                                   Spizella passerine

Savannah Sparrow                                                Passerculus sandwichensis

Seaside Sparrow                                                    Ammodramus maritimus

Swamp Sparrow                                                    Melospiza georgiana

White-throated Sparrow                                         Zonotrichia albicollis

 

CARDINALS & ALLIES: Carinalidae

Northern Cardinal                                                    Cardinalis cardinalis

Rose-breasted Grosbeak                                        Pheucticus ludovicianus

Blue Grosbeak                                                        Passerina caerulea

Indigo Bunting                                                          Passerina cyanea

Painted Bunting                                                       Passerina ciris

 

BLACKBIRDS & ORIOLES: Icteridae

Red-winged Blackbird                                             Agelaius phoeniceus

Eastern Meadowlark                                               Sturnella magna

Boat-tailed Grackle                                                  Quiscalus major

Common Grackle                                                     Quiscalus quiscula

Great-tailed Grackle                                                Quiscalus mexicanus

Brown-headed Cowbird                                         Molothrus ater

Baltimore Oriole                                                       Icterus galbula

Orchard Oriole                                                        Icterus spurious

 

FINCHES & ALLIES: Fringillidae

American Goldfinch                                                 Carduelis tristis

 

OLD WORLD SPARROWS: Passeridae

House Sparrow                                                      Passer domesticus