Balmorhea

Birds

brochure Balmorhea - Birds

Birds at Balmorhea State Park (SP) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.

TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE BIRDS OF BALMORHEA S T A T E P A R K A FIELD CHECKLIST 2015 Cover: Illustration of Snowy Plover by Patrick Stark. INTRODUCTION B almorhea State Park is situated in the heart of the Trans-Pecos Region. The Davis Mountains form a scenic backdrop to this extensive agricultural areas. Balmorhea is best known for the 24 million gallon per day spring located within the park. San Solomon Springs flow into a swimming pool constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps and is the home of two endangered fish, the Comanche Springs pupfish and the Pecos mosquito fish. Two man-made refugia, the Hubbs and San Solomon Ciénegas, within the park are designed to provide long-term, safe habitat for these fish. The native vegetation of the region is dominated by creosote bush, mesquite, and mimosa as well as saltbush and yucca. The park contains a few acres of Chihuahuan Desert scrub as well as old cottonwoods that line the channels radiating from the spring. The Hubbs and San Solomon Ciénegas offers marsh habitat and have a few scattered cottonwoods around them as well. This concentration of habitat offers excellent birding opportunities year-round. Four miles northeast of the state park is the town of Balmorhea, which offers birding opportunities in the winter and during migration. The small town has many mature trees to which birds are attracted. Balmorhea Lake is located about 2 miles east of town. This springfed lake is one of the largest bodies of water in the Trans-Pecos. As a result, large numbers of birds congregate here. The lake functions as a storage facility for irrigation and as a result, the water level fluctuates greatly. In dry years the lake can be very low by mid-summer, while in wet years the lake may overflow in to several areas. One of those areas is located on the west side of the lake at the base an earthen 1 dike. This pond is part of an extensive marsh and offers good birding opportunities. The southern edge of the lake is excellent for shorebirds in dry years when water levels are low. The east end of the lake is where the dam is located. This end of the lake is favored by loons, diving ducks and Clark’s and Western Grebes in fall and winter. Below the dam is an area of sedges, reeds and salt cedar. Overall, the lake attracts large numbers of waterbirds, especially in winter. This checklist is compiled for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department by Mark Lockwood of Alpine, Texas. Nomenclature and organization for this checklist are based upon the A.O.U. Check-list of North American Birds (7th edition) as currently supplemented. You may contribute to our knowledge of the park’s birdlife by reporting sightings of unusual records or changes in status to the park’s office. Please request Bird Sighting Report Forms available at the park headquarters. Return the completed form or lists of sightings to the Natural Resources Program, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744 or leave them at the park headquarters for forwarding. Please help us protect the natural avian communities in our parks by refraining from using playback tapes of bird songs. Frequent use of these tapes disrupts normal avian activity patterns, disrupts essential territorial behavior and may mead to nest failure. Thank you for your cooperation. 2 LEGEND A – Abundant – should be seen on 75% or more of trips in proper habitat and season C – Common – should be seen on 50% or more of trips in proper habitat and season FC – Fairly Common – should be seen on 25% or more of trips in proper habitat and season U – Uncommon – should be seen on about 10% or more of trips in proper habitat and season R – Rare – not seen annually but expected to occur again Ca – Casual – three to five records in past ten years X – Accidental – only one or two records in past ten years I – Irregular – absent or in low numbers some years, but may be numerous in others / – (in summer column before status designation) indicates that the bird’s presence in summer is due to early southbound migrants * – (in summer column) breeds Sp – S – F – W – Spring (March-May) Summer (June-August) Fall (September-November) Winter (December-February) 3 CHECKLIST Sp ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ S F W Black-bellied Whistling-Duck.................... X Fulvous Whistling-Duck............................. X X X Greater White-fronted Goose..................... Ca Ca R Snow Goose............................................... R R U Ross’s Goose.............................................. R R R Canada Goose............................................ U R FC Wood Duck................................................ R Gadwall..................................................... C C A American Wigeon...................................... C C A Mallard...................................................... C FC* C C Blue-winged Teal....................................... C C Ca Cinnamon Teal........................................... C Ca C R Northern Shoveler..................................... C C A Northern Pintail......................................... C R C C Green-winged Teal..................................... C C C Canvasback................................................ FC FC U Redhead.................................................... FC FC U Ring-necked Duck..................................... C Ca C FC Greater Scaup............................................ R X R R Lesser Scaup.............................................. FC FC FC Surf Scoter................................................. X R Ca White-winged Scoter.................................. X X X Black Scoter.............................................. X Long-tailed Duck....................................... X X Bufflehead................................................. U U FC Common Goldeneye................................... R R Hooded Merganser.................................... R X R R Common Merganser.................................. R U U 4 Sp ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ S F Red-breasted Merganser............................ U U Ruddy Duck............................................... C Ca C Wild Turkey............................................... R R R Scaled Quail.............................................. A A* A Northern Bobwhite.................................... Ca Ca Ca Montezuma Quail...................................... X Red-throated Loon..................................... Ca Ca Pacific Loon .............................................. Ca X Ca Common Loon........................................... R X U Yellow-billed Loon..................................... X Least Grebe................................................ X Pied-billed Grebe....................................... C U* C Horned Grebe............................................ R R Eared Grebe.............................................. C R C Western Grebe........................................... C C* C Clark’s Grebe............................................. C C* C Neotropic Cormorant................................. R R Double-crested Cormorant........................ FC C American White Pelican............................. U FC Brown Pelican........................................... X X X American Bittern....................................... R Ca R Least Bittern.............................................. R Ca R Great Blue Heron....................................... A U A Great Egret................................................ U R U Snowy Egret............................................... U R U Little Blue Heron....................................... Ca Ca Tricolored Heron....................................... X R Ca Reddish Egret............................................ Ca R R Cattle Egret................................................ U FC FC Green Heron.............................................. FC FC* FC 5 W U C R A Ca Ca Ca U X C R C C C R C U R R C R R Ca Ca Ca Sp ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ S F Black-crowned Night-Heron...................... U U U Yellow-crowned Night-Heron..................... R X R White Ibis.................................................. X X Glossy Ibis................................................. X X White-faced Ibis......................................... C U C Roseate Spoonbill...................................... X X Turkey Vulture........................................... C C C Osprey....................................................... FC U White-tailed Kite........................................ X Mississippi Kite.......................................... X X Bald Eagle................................................. X Ca Northern Harrier....................................... R Ca FC Sharp-shinned Hawk................................. R R Cooper’s Hawk.......................................... R R Harris’s Hawk............................................ R R Red-shouldered Hawk............................... X Swainson’s Hawk....................................... C FC* C Zone-tailed Hawk...................................... R R Red-tailed Hawk........................................ C U* C Ferruginous Hawk..................................... U U Rough-legged Hawk................................... Ca Golden Eagle............................................. R R R King Rail.................................................... X X X Virginia Rail............................................... U R U Sora........................................................... U R U Common Gallinule..................................... Ca Ca American Coot........................................... A R* A Sandhill Crane........................................... R R Black-bellied Plover.................................. R X U American Golden Plover............................ Ca Ca 6 W R Ca R X R R FC U U R X A U Ca R X FC U Ca A R Sp ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ S F Snowy Plover............................................. U U* U Semipalmated Plover................................. U /U U Piping Plover............................................. X X Killdeer...................................................... A C* A Mountain Plover........................................ X X Black-necked Stilt...................................... C C* C American Avocet........................................ C C Spotted Sandpiper..................................... FC /FC FC Solitary Sandpiper..................................... U /U U Greater Yellowlegs..................................... FC /FC FC Willet......................................................... R /R U Lesser Yellowlegs....................................... C /C FC Upland Sandpiper...................................... R R Whimbrel.................................................. Ca Long-billed Curlew.................................... FC /U C Hudsonian Godwit..................................... X Marbled Godwit......................................... Ca R Ruddy Turnstone........................................ X X Red Knot.................................................... /X X Stilt Sandpiper........................................... R /U FC Sanderling................................................. X X Dunlin....................................................... X Baird’s Sandpiper...................................... U /U U Least Sandpiper......................................... C /C A White-rumped Sandpiper........................... R Pectoral Sandpiper.................................... FC /U FC Semipalmated Sandpiper........................... R R Western Sandpiper..................................... C /C C Short-tailed Dowitcher............................... /X X Long-billed Dowitcher............................... C /U C 7 W X A X X U U R X U U U Sp ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ S F W Wilson’s Snipe........................................... C C C Wilson’s Phalarope.................................... U U Red-necked Phalarope.............................. R Red Phalarope........................................... X Pomarine Jaeger........................................ X Parasitic Jaeger.......................................... X X Black-legged Kittiwake............................... X X Sabine’s Gull.............................................. X R Bonaparte’s Gull........................................ R U U Laughing Gull............................................ X X X Franklin’s Gull........................................... R U Mew Gull................................................... X Ring-billed Gull......................................... C R A A California Gull........................................... Ca X X Herring Gull.............................................. R R Ca Thayer’s Gull.............................................. X Lesser Black-backed Gull.......................... X X Slaty-backed Gull....................................... X Least Tern.................................................. Ca Ca Ca Caspian Tern.............................................. Ca X Black Tern................................................. U U Common Tern............................................ Ca Ca X Arctic Tern................................................. X Forster’s Tern............................................ U U R Elegant Tern.............................................. X Black Skimmer.......................................... X Rock Pigeon.............................................. A A* A A Band-tailed Pigeon.................................... X Eurasian Collared-Dove............................. A A* A A White-winged Dove.................................... A A* A A 8 Sp ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ S F W Mourning Dove.......................................... A A* A A Inca Dove.................................................. R R* R R Common Ground-Dove.............................. X X Ruddy Ground-Dove.................................. X Yellow-billed Cuckoo................................. R R* R Greater Roadrunner.................................. C C* C C Barn Owl................................................... R R* R R Flammulated Owl....................................... X Western Screech-Owl................................. Ca Great Horned Owl...................................... U U* U U Burrowing Owl.......................................... R R* R Ca Long-eared Owl......................................... Ca Short-eared Owl........................................ Ca Lesser Nighthawk....................................... C C* C Common Nighthawk.................................. U U* U Common Poorwill...................................... R R R Ca White-throated Swift.................................. R R R R Blue-throated Hummingbird...................... X Lucifer Hummingbird................................ X X Ruby-throated Hummingbird..................... X Ca Black-chinned Hummingbird.................... A A* C Anna’s Hummingbird................................. Ca Ca Broad-tailed Hummingbird........................ Ca /U U Rufous Hummingbird................................ /U U Calliope Hummingbird.............................. Ca Ca Belted Kingfisher....................................... C C C Lewis’s Woodpecker.................................. X X X Yellow-bellied Sapsucker........................... R R R Red-naped Sapsucker................................ R R R Ladder-backed Woodpecker...................... FC FC* FC FC 9 Sp ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ S F W Downy Woodpecker................................... X Northern Flicker........................................ C C C American Kestrel....................................... C R C C Merlin....................................................... R Aplomado Falcon1...................................... X Peregrine Falcon....................................... R X R Ca Prairie Falcon............................................ U U U Olive-sided Flycatcher................................ R U Western Wood-Pewee................................ U U Yellow-bellied Flycatcher........................... X Willow Flycatcher...................................... R R Least Flycatcher......................................... Ca R Hammond’s Flycatcher.............................. Ca Ca Gray Flycatcher.......................................... R R Dusky Flycatcher....................................... R R Cordilleran Flycatcher............................... U U Black Phoebe............................................ U U* U U Eastern Phoebe.......................................... X R Say’s Phoebe.............................................. C C* C C Vermilion Flycatcher.................................. C C* C R Ash-throated Flycatcher............................. FC FC* FC Couch’s Kingbird....................................... X Cassin’s Kingbird....................................... FC FC* FC Western Kingbird....................................... C C* FC X Eastern Kingbird........................................ Ca Scissor-tailed Flycatcher............................. U R* U Fork-tailed Flycatcher................................ X Loggerhead Shrike..................................... FC FC* FC FC White-eyed Vireo........................................ X Bell’s Vireo................................................ I 10 Sp ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ S F W Plumbeous Vireo....................................... R R Cassin’s Vireo............................................. R R Warbling Vireo........................................... R R Philadelphia Vireo..................................... X Red-eyed Vireo.......................................... X Steller’s Jay................................................ X X Blue Jay..................................................... X X Western Scrub-Jay...................................... Ca Ca Chihuahuan Raven..................................... U U* U U Common Raven......................................... FC FC Horned Lark.............................................. C C* C C Purple Martin............................................ X /X Tree Swallow............................................. U C R Violet-green Swallow.................................. FC FC Northern Rough-winged Swallow............... C C R Bank Swallow............................................ R U Cliff Swallow.............................................. C C* C Cave Swallow............................................. C C* A Ca Barn Swallow............................................. A A* A X Mountain Chickadee.................................. X Black-crested Titmouse............................. R R R Verdin........................................................ U U* U U Bushtit....................................................... Ca Ca Ca Ca Red-breasted Nuthatch.............................. I White-breasted Nuthatch............................ R R Brown Creeper.......................................... R R U Rock Wren................................................. FC FC* FC FC Canyon Wren............................................. X House Wren............................................... U U R Winter Wren.............................................. X 11 Sp ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ S F W Sedge Wren................................................ R R R Marsh Wren............................................... FC FC A Bewick’s Wren........................................... FC FC* FC FC Cactus Wren............................................... C C* C C Golden-crowned Kinglet............................ Ca Ruby-crowned Kinglet................................ C C C Blue-gray Gnatcatcher............................... R R Ca Black-tailed Gnatcatcher............................ Ca Ca Eastern Bluebird........................................ Ca Ca Ca Western Bluebird....................................... I I Mountain Bluebird.................................... I I Townsend’s Solitaire.................................. I I Swainson’s Thrush..................................... X Hermit Thrush........................................... U U U Wood Thrush............................................. X American Robin......................................... I U U Varied Thrush............................................ X X Gray Catbird.............................................. X X Curve-billed Thrasher................................ FC FC* FC FC Brown Thrasher........................................ R Crissal Thrasher........................................ R R* R R Sage Thrasher............................................ I I I Northern Mockingbird............................... C C* C FC European Starling...................................... C C* C C American Pipit........................................... C C A Sprague’s Pipit........................................... X Cedar Waxwing.......................................... C C A Phainopepla.............................................. R R McCown’s Longspur................................... I Chestnut-collared Longspur....................... I 12 Sp ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ S F Snow Bunting............................................ X Northern Waterthrush................................ X Golden-winged Warbler............................. X Black-and-white Warbler........................... X Prothonotary Warbler................................ X Tennessee Warbler..................................... X Orange-crowned Warbler.......................... U U Nashville Warbler....................................... R R Virginia’s Warbler...................................... X MacGillivray’s Warbler............................... R R Common Yellowthroat............................... U U Hooded Warbler........................................ X American Redstart..................................... Ca Northern Parula......................................... X Ca Yellow Warbler.......................................... FC U Palm Warbler............................................. Ca Yellow-rumped Warbler............................. A A Townsend’s Warbler................................... R Wilson’s Warbler........................................ C C Painted Redstart........................................ X Yellow-breasted Chat................................. Ca Green-tailed Towhee.................................. FC FC Spotted Towhee......................................... FC FC Rufous-crowned Sparrow.......................... U U U Canyon Towhee.......................................... A A* A Cassin’s Sparrow........................................ C C* C Chipping Sparrow...................................... C A Clay-colored Sparrow................................ U U Brewer’s Sparrow...................................... C C Field Sparrow............................................ R R 13 W U R X X X A Ca FC FC U A U C I C R Sp ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ S F W Black-chinned Sparrow............................. X Vesper Sparrow......................................... C C C Lark Sparrow............................................. C C* C C Black-throated Sparrow............................. C C* C C Sagebrush Sparrow.................................... R Lark Bunting.............................................. A A A Savannah Sparrow..................................... C /R C C Grasshopper Sparrow................................ U U U Baird’s Sparrow......................................... X Le Conte’s Sparrow.................................... X X R Nelson’s Sparrow....................................... X X Fox Sparrow.............................................. R R R Song Sparrow............................................ FC FC FC Lincoln’s Sparrow...................................... C C C Swamp Sparrow......................................... U U FC White-throated Sparrow............................. R Harris’s Sparrow........................................ X X White-crowned Sparrow............................ A X A A Dark-eyed Junco........................................ C C FC Hepatic Tanager......................................... X Summer Tanager....................................... FC U* U Western Tanager........................................ U R Northern Cardinal...................................... U U* U U Pyrrhuloxia................................................ A A* A A Rose-breasted Grosbeak............................ R Black-headed Grosbeak............................. U R Blue Grosbeak........................................... C C* C Indigo Bunting........................................... X Lazuli Bunting............................................ R R Painted Bunting......................................... U U* U 14 Sp ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ 1 S F W Dickcissel.................................................. R R Bobolink................................................... X Red-winged Blackbird............................... A A* A A Eastern Meadowlark.................................. C C* C C Western Meadowlark................................. U R* U U Yellow-headed Blackbird........................... FC FC R Rusty Blackbird......................................... X Brewer’s Blackbird.................................... A A A Common Grackle....................................... R Ca* R R Great-tailed Grackle................................... A A* A A Bronzed Cowbird....................................... I I Brown-headed Cowbird............................. C C* C A Orchard Oriole.......................................... C C* U Hooded Oriole........................................... X Bullock’s Oriole......................................... C C* R X Baltimore Oriole........................................ X Scott’s Oriole............................................. R R* R Red Crossbill............................................. X X House Finch.............................................. A A* A A Pine Siskin................................................. I I I Lesser Goldfinch........................................ FC FC* FC I American Goldfinch................................... I I I Evening Grosbeak...................................... X House Sparrow ......................................... A A* A A – from reintroduction program 15 CITATION Lockwood, Mark W. 2015. Birds of Balmorhea State Park and vicinity: a field checklist. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Natural Resources Program, Austin, Texas. In 1983, the Texas Legislature created the Special Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Fund. This fund may be used for nongame wildlife and endangered species research and conservation, habitat acquisition and development and dissemination of information pertaining to nongame management. Money for this fund is obtained through private donations and sale of nongame wildlife art prints and stamps. This fund now gives Texans a unique opportunity to help support this state’s valuable and sensitive nongame resources. Your individual contributions and purchases of nongame art prints and stamps will help determine the level of nongame conservation activities in Texas. For more information call toll-free (1-800-792-1112) or contact: Nongame and Endangered Species Program, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744. 16 TPWD receives federal assistance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other federal agencies and is subject to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and state anti-discrimination laws which prohibit discrimination the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability. If you believe that you have been discriminated against in any TPWD program, activity or facility, or need more information, please contact Office of Diversity and Inclusive Workforce Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church VA 22041. Natural Resources Program Texas Parks and Wildlife 4200 Smith School Road Austin, Texas 78744 © 2015 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. PWD BK P4501-002B (4/15) In accordance with Texas Depository Law, this publication is available at the Texas State Publications Clearinghouse and/or Texas Depository Libraries.

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