Lake Livingston

Birds

brochure Lake Livingston - Birds

Bird Checklist for Lake Livingston State Park (SP) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.

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TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE BIRDS OF LAKE LIVINGSTON S T A T E P A R K A FIELD CHECKLIST 2018 The Lake Livingston Environment Lake Livingston is a large artificial reservoir on the Trinity River in deep east Texas. It is bounded by Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity, and Walker counties and is a centerpiece of that fabled wild land know colloquially as the Big Thicket. This Army Corps of Engineers project was designed for recreational use and as a holding site for the city of Houston’s water supply. Lake Livingston now provides 87% of Houston’s water supply and over 2.3 million people depend on Lake Livingston for their water. Such impoundments inundate many acres of habitat vital to a variety of plants and animals, but also provide many niches previously unavailable in the area. Birds are chief among the animals able to take advantage of such new niches due to their mobility. A large lake, such as the 90,000-acre Lake Livingston, is a convenient migration stopover for many waterfowl and shorebird species and a winter refuge for others. The lake is a dramatic example of how bird populations are affected by changes in habitat. Prior to its damming the Trinity River was little more than an aerial highway for a few cormorants, ducks, and shorebirds. However, by the late 1970s the new lake had become headquarters for the world’s largest concentration of Double-breasted Cormorants as well as thousands of ducks and gulls. At times, hidden among the thousands of Bonaparte’s and Ring-Billed Gulls, are a host of rarities. Birders have located Sabine’s Gull, California Gull, and Black-legged Kittiwake among the throngs. The “Piney-Woods” is known for its beautiful rolling hills covered with shortleaf, longleaf, and loblolly pines, sweetgums, sycamores, and a dozen species of oaks. The yaupon and hawthorn thickets can be nearly impenetrable but give way to more open swampy bottomlands where catbriars and palmettoes thrive. Occasional remnants of the old, fire-maintained prairies can be seen, especially east of the lake, and pastureland creates still other habitat types not otherwise available to birds. Lake Livingston State Park, maintained by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, is special in providing small representative stands of many of these habitats. Available to the birder there are: open shoreline looking out across the widest expanse of Lake Livingston; native prairie, pine disclimax; hardwood bottomland; upland mixed woods; and a unique stand of thorn scrub which has yielded species of birds, such as the Ash-throated Flycatcher, not found elsewhere in the checklist area. The lake also provides an opportunity to see Bald Eagles and Osprey year-round. There are several other good birding spots open to the public. The most notable spots include: the Dam Overlook provided by the Trinity River Authority; the Highway 190 causeway near the north end of the lake; Tigerville and Wolf Creek 1 Parks on the west shore of the lake; the Highway 19 bridge over the Trinity River north of Huntsville; Highway 356 where it spans creeks on the north end; and the Sam Houston National Forest in San Jacinto and Walker counties. What to Look for and Where The most obvious place to begin looking is on the lake itself, but even there you will find different birds in different places. This is because different foods: plants, fish, and invertebrates, are available at different depths of the lake. Some areas attract different species because of different roosting requirements on the part of some birds. In the river and spillway area below the dam birders can find a large assortment of gulls and terns noted earlier in the introduction. They are especially evident in winter if the floodgates are open. Large numbers of wading birds and pelicans also gather there. The deep water at the south end of the lake is a good place to scope for loons, the larger grebes, diving ducks, and mergansers. Along the shoreline you can also find Bald Eagles and Osprey nearly year-round. At the north end of the lake, look in shallow water areas for dabbling ducks and shorebirds and the sometime vast flocks of swallows in migration. The quiet creek backwaters will often afford glimpses of night-herons, kingfishers, and Red-headed Woodpeckers. In the expanse of dead trees known as “The Jungle” between Highways 190 and 356 roost thousands of cormorants. The area also sports hundreds of Wood Ducks and wintering Mallards and several Bald Eagles and Osprey. The woodlands are rich with species at their southwestern range limits and found nowhere in Texas expect the Piney-Woods. In the pines look for Brownheaded Nuthatch, Pine Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, and the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker. The moister bottomlands are home for Pileated Woodpecker, American Redstart, Barred owl, Acadian Flycatcher, Woodcock, and Anhinga. The palmetto swamplands host Louisiana Waterthrush and Swainson’s Warbler. The prairie-pine forest margin is habitat for Bachman’s Sparrow and Prairie Warbler. No longer found in these woods, but to be remembered as you walk through the pines and oaks, are the great hordes of Passenger Pigeons and Carolina Parakeets that once blanketed the trees. Remember too, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker whose last stronghold was in these beautiful woods. If you want to get a taste of the Lake Livingston area but wish to do so with expert guidance you might try one of the area’s Christmas Bird Counts. Information on the Christmas Bird Count can be found by visiting the Audubon website: www.audubon.org/conservation/science/christmas-bird-count 2 This Checklist The checklist is arranged and nomenclature taken from the American Ornithological Society Check-list of North American Birds, 7th Edition and supplements. The area covered is Trinity, Polk, and San Jacinto counties, based on records compiled and critically examined by Tony Gallucci, the author of the 1994 Birds of Lake Livingston State Park, a Field Checklist (PWD BK P4505-087A); and Walker County, based largely on the records compiled by Ralph Moldenhauer and Kelly Bryan in A Checklist of the Birds of Walker County, Texas. Additional records from the four-county area were compiled by Joel Janssen, Lake Livingston State Park Interpretive Ranger, using multiple sources in January 2018. 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 and essential territorial behavior, and may lead to nest failure. Thank you for your cooperation. LEGEND Abundance Designations – Dependent on season and habitat A = Abundant Always present in large numbers. C = Common Should not be difficult to find. U = Uncommon May require special effort to locate. R = Rare Regularly present but in small numbers and often shy. V = Vagrant Occurs every few years at most or occasionally occurring out of season. I = Irregular Common to absent depending on annual conditions. X = Accidental A species far out of range or habitat, one or two records or not expected to be occur again. Seasons Sp – Spring (March, April, May) S – Summer (June, July, August) F – Fall (September, October, November) W – Winter (December, January, February) 3 CHECKLIST Sp S F W ____ Black-bellied Whistling-Duck............................U R R U ____ Snow Goose.......................................................U C R ____ Ross’ Goose....................................................... R ____ Greater White-fronted Goose.............................U U R ____ Canada Goose....................................................R U R ____ Fulvous Whistling-Duck.....................................X ____ Tundra Swan...................................................... X ____ Wood Duck.......................................................C C C C ____ Blue-winged Teal...............................................C V C R R V V C A ____ Gadwall.............................................................C C C ____ American Wigeon..............................................U U C C C ____ Cinnamon Teal..................................................V ____ Northern Shoveler.............................................C ____ Mallard.............................................................U V ____ American Black Duck........................................V V ____ Mottled Duck....................................................V V V V ____ Northern Pintail.................................................U V C A ____ Green-winged Teal.............................................U V C C C C R U C C R R U U ____ Canvasback.......................................................U ____ Redhead............................................................R ____ Ring-necked Duck.............................................C V ____ Greater Scaup....................................................R ____ Lesser Scaup.....................................................U ____ Surf Scoter........................................................ V X ____ Black Scoter...................................................... ____ Bufflehead.........................................................R ____ Common Goldeneye.......................................... 4 X U U R Sp F W ____ Hooded Merganser............................................I I I ____ Red-breasted Merganser...................................R R U U C ____ Masked Duck.................................................... S X ____ Ruddy Duck......................................................U ____ Northern Bobwhite............................................U U U U ____ Ring-necked Pheasant.......................................R R R R ____ Wild Turkey.......................................................R R R R U ____ Least Grebe....................................................... ____ Pied-billed Grebe..............................................U U C ____ Horned Grebe...................................................R R I ____ Eared Grebe......................................................U U C ____ Western Grebe...................................................X X ____ Passenger Pigeon..............................................- - - ____ Inca Dove..........................................................R U U ____ Common Ground-Dove......................................V V V ____ Mourning Dove.................................................A A A A ____ Rock Dove.........................................................C C C C ____ Yellow-billed Cuckoo.........................................C C U ____ Black-billed Cuckoo..........................................R ____ Greater Roadrunner..........................................R V R ____ Groove-billed Ani.............................................. R C U ____ Chuck-will’s-widow...........................................C C U ____ Eastern Whip-poor will......................................U A C ____ Ruby-throated Hummingbird.............................C A C 5 V R ____ Chimney Swift....................................................C ____ Anna’s Hummingbird......................................... R X ____ Common Nighthawk..........................................C ____ Black-chinned Hummingbird............................X - X X Sp S F W R R ____ King Rail............................................................ X X ____ Virginia Rail.......................................................R R V U R A A ____ Rufous Hummingbird........................................R ____ Yellow Rail........................................................X ____ Sora..................................................................U ____ Purple Gallinule................................................R I ____ American Coot...................................................C I ____ Sandhill Crane...................................................R U ____ Whooping Crane................................................ X ____ Black-necked Stilt.............................................V R ____ American Avocet................................................ U ____ Black-bellied Plover..........................................R C ____ American Golden-Plover....................................U V ____ Snowy Plover..................................................... X ____ Semipalmated Plover.........................................V R ____ Piping Plover..................................................... U ____ Killdeer.............................................................A A A ____ Upland Sandpiper..............................................C V C ____ Whimbrel.......................................................... A X ____ Long-billed Curlew............................................R V ____ Hudsonian Godwit.............................................V R ____ Marbled Godwit................................................. X ____ Ruddy Turnstone............................................... I ____ Red Knot........................................................... R ____ Stilt Sandpiper...................................................R R ____ Sanderling......................................................... R ____ Dunlin...............................................................R U V ____ Baird’s Sandpiper..............................................V V V 6 Sp S F W ____ Least Sandpiper.................................................U C ____ White-rumped Sandpiper..................................U R ____ Buff-breasted Sandpiper.................................... U ____ Pectoral Sandpiper............................................U U ____ Semipalmated Sandpiper...................................U U ____ Western Sandpiper............................................ C ____ Short-billed Dowitcher...................................... R ____ Long-billed Dowitcher.......................................R U R U U C C ____ Spotted Sandpiper.............................................C C U ____ Solitary Sandpiper.............................................U U R ____ American Woodcock.........................................R R ____ Wilson’s Snipe...................................................C ____ Willet.................................................................V R ____ Greater yellowlegs.............................................U U ____ Wilson’s Phalarope............................................R R ____ Black-legged Kittiwake......................................X X ____ Bonaparte’s Gull................................................R C ____ Black-headed Gull............................................. R C V R 7 A U X ____ Least Tern.......................................................... ____ Black Tern......................................................... U X ____ Lesser Black-backed Gull.................................. ____ Caspian Tern.....................................................R A U V ____ California Gull...................................................X ____ Herring Gull......................................................R R X V ____ Franklin’s Gull...................................................U ____ Ring-billed Gull.................................................U R X ____ Sabine’s Gull...................................................... ____ Laughing Gull....................................................R V X V U R U Sp S F V C ____ Common Tern................................................... ____ Foster’s Tern......................................................C W V ____ Royal Tern......................................................... A X ____ Common Loon...................................................R V R ____ Wood Stork....................................................... R U ____ Neotropic Cormorant........................................U R U R ____ Double-crested Cormorant................................C R C A ____ Anhinga.............................................................U U U R ____ American White Pelican.....................................C I C C ____ Brown Pelican................................................... U X ____ American Bittern...............................................R R V C C C C C C ____ Snowy Egret.......................................................C C U R ____ Little Blue Heron...............................................C A U R ____ Tricolored Heron..............................................U U U R ____ Least Bittern......................................................R I ____ Great Blue Heron..............................................C ____ Great Egret........................................................C ____ Reddish Egret.................................................... X ____ Cattle Egret........................................................C A C U ____ Green Heron.....................................................C C U V ____ Black-crowned Night Heron..............................C C C U ____ Yellow-crowned Night Heron.............................C C C R ____ White Ibis..........................................................U U U V ____ Glossy Ibis......................................................... V ____ White-faced Ibis................................................ U U V ____ Roseate Spoonbill..............................................R U U ____ Black Vulture.....................................................C C C C ____ Turkey Vulture...................................................A A A A 8 Sp S F W ____ Osprey...............................................................U V C U ____ American Swallow-tailed Kite.............................X X V V ____ White-tailed Kite................................................ ____ Mississippi Kite..................................................C U U ____ Bald Eagle.........................................................R R RU C U R ____ Northern Harrier...............................................R ____ Sharp-shinned Hawk.........................................C V C R ____ Cooper’s Hawk..................................................U R U R ____ Northern Goshawk............................................ X ____ Red-shouldered Hawk.......................................C C C ____ Broad-winged Hawk..........................................C U A ____ Swainson’s Hawk...............................................V ____ Red-tailed Hawk................................................U C R U C ____ Rough-legged Hawk.......................................... C X ____ Golden Eagle..................................................... X ____ Barn-Owl...........................................................R R R R ____ Eastern Screech-Owl.........................................C C C C ____ Great Horned-Owl.............................................U U U U C C ____ Belted Kingfisher...............................................C U C C ____ Red-headed Woodpecker..................................U U U I ____ Red-bellied Woodpecker...................................C C C C C C ____ Burrowing Owl.................................................. ____ Barred Owl........................................................C X ____ Short-eared Owl................................................X C X ____ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker...................................C ____ Ladder-backed Woodpecker.............................. X ____ Downy Woodpecker..........................................C C C C ____ Hairy Woodpecker.............................................R R R I 9 Sp S F W ____ Red-cockaded Woodpecker...............................R R R R ____ Northern Flicker................................................C R C C ____ Pileated Woodpecker.........................................C C C C ____ Ivory-billed Woodpecker...................................- - - - ____ Crested Caracara...............................................V V ____ American Kestrel...............................................C R C A ____ Merlin............................................................... R R ____ Peregrine Falcon...............................................R R V ____ Prairie Falcon.................................................... ____ Carolina Parakeet..............................................- X - ____ Olive-sided flycatcher........................................R ____ Eastern Wood-pewee.........................................U C ____ Yellow-bellied Flycatcher...................................U ____ Acadian Flycatcher............................................C - - R V U V R A C ____ Alder Flycatcher................................................C C ____ Willow Flycatcher..............................................C C ____ Least Flycatcher.................................................C U ____ Eastern Phoebe.................................................C V ____ Vermillion Flycatcher......................................... V C C V ____ Ask-throated Flycatcher..................................... X ____ Great Crested Flycatcher....................................C C U ____ Western Kingbird...............................................V V R ____ Eastern kingbird................................................C C U ____ Scissor-tailed Flycatcher....................................C C C V ____ Loggerhead Shrike............................................C C C A ____ White-eyed Vireo...............................................C C C V ____ Bell’s Vireo........................................................R V V ____ Yellow-throated Vireo........................................U U R 10 V Sp S F W ____ Blue-headed Vireo.............................................U U U ____ Philadelphia Vireo.............................................U V ____ Warbling Vireo..................................................U R U ____ Red-eyed Vireo..................................................C C R ____ Blue Jay.............................................................A A A A ____ American Crow..................................................A A A A ____ Fish Crow..........................................................V V V V ____ Horned lark......................................................R V R R ____ Purple Martin....................................................A A V ____ Tree Swallow.....................................................U ____ Northern Rough-winged Swallow.......................C A R ____ Bank Swallow....................................................U C U ____ Cliff Swallow......................................................U U ____ Barn Swallow....................................................C U C V ____ Carolina Chickadee...........................................A A A A ____ Tufted Titmouse.................................................A A A A ____ Red-breasted Nuthatch......................................I U I ____ White-breasted Nuthatch...................................R R R R ____ Brown-headed Nuthatch....................................C C C C ____ Brown Creeper..................................................U C U U ____ House Wren.......................................................C V C C R U ____ Winter Wren......................................................R ____ Sedge Wren.......................................................U U U ____ Marsh Wren.......................................................U V U U ____ Carolina Wren...................................................A A A A ____ Bewick’s Wren...................................................R R R R R C R ____ Cactus Wren......................................................X ____ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.......................................C 11 Sp F W ____ Golden-crowned Kinglet....................................R U C ____ Ruby-crowned Kinglet.......................................U C A C C C C U U C ____ American Robin................................................C U C A ____ Gray Catbird......................................................A R A R X X ____ Eastern Bluebird...............................................C S ____ Veery.................................................................R ____ Gray-cheeked Thrush........................................U ____ Swainson’s Thrush.............................................C ____ Hermit Thrush...................................................C ____ Wood Thrush.....................................................C ____ Clay-colored Thrush.......................................... X ____ Curve-billed Thrasher........................................X ____ Brown Thrasher................................................C V C C ____ Northern Mockingbird......................................A A A A ____ European Starling..............................................C C C A C C ____ Cedar Waxwing..................................................C ____ House Sparrow..................................................C C C ____ American Pipit...................................................C C A ____ Sprague’s Pipit...................................................R R U ____ Evening Grosbeak..............................................I I I ____ Purple Finch......................................................R U U ____ Red Crossbill.....................................................I I I I I C A ____ Pine Siskin........................................................I ____ American Goldfinch...........................................C C V ____ Lapland Longspur.............................................. I ____ Snow Bunting.................................................... X ____ Olive Sparrow.................................................... ____ Eastern Towhee.................................................U 12 X U U Sp S F W ____ Bachman’s Sparrow...........................................R R R R ____ Chipping Sparrow..............................................C C C A ____ Clay-colored Sparrow........................................V R V ____ Field Sparrow....................................................C C C U U C R ____ Savannah Sparrow.............................................C C A ____ Grasshopper Sparrow........................................U U U ____ Henslow’s Sparrow............................................R V R ____ LeConte’s Sparrow.............................................U U U ____ Fox Sparrow......................................................U U U ____ Song Sparrow....................................................U U U ____ Lincoln’s Sparrow..............................................C C C ____ Swamp Sparrow................................................U U U ____ White-throated Sparrow....................................C C A ____ Vesper Sparrow.................................................R ____ Lark Sparrow....................................................C C ____ Harris’s Sparrow............................................... R ____ White-crowned Sparrow....................................U U R ____ Dark-eyed Junco...............................................U U C ____ Yellow-breasted Chat.........................................C C ____ Yellow-headed Blackbird...................................V V ____ Bobolink...........................................................R ____ Eastern Meadowlark..........................................A V A ____ Western meadowlark.........................................R ____ Orchard Oriole..................................................U U U ____ Hooded Oriole.................................................. A A R R U X ____ Scott’s Oriole..................................................... X ____ Red-winged Blackbird.......................................A C A A ____ Brown-headed Cowbird.....................................C C C A 13 Sp S F ____ Rusty Blackbird................................................. W R ____ Brewer’s Blackbird............................................U U U ____ Great-tailed Grackle..........................................R R R R ____ Baltimore Oriole...............................................C R C V U V R V ____ Ovenbird...........................................................C ____ Worm-eating Warbler........................................U R ____ Louisiana Waterthrush.......................................C U ____ Northern Waterthrush........................................C U ____ Golden-winged Warbler.....................................U ____ Blue-winged Warbler.........................................U V ____ Black-and-white Warbler...................................C C ____ Prothonotary Warbler........................................U R U V ____ Swainson’s Warbler...........................................U U ____ Orange-crowned Warbler..................................C C U ____ Nashville Warbler..............................................C C ____ Tennessee Warbler............................................U ____ MacGillivray’s Warbler....................................... X ____ Mourning Warbler.............................................U U ____ Kentucky Warbler..............................................U U U ____ Common Yellowthroat.......................................C C C ____ Hooded Warbler................................................C U U ____ American Redstart.............................................C U U ____ Cerulean Warbler..............................................R R V ____ Northern Parula................................................C C U ____ Magnolia Warbler..............................................C V ____ Bay-breasted Warbler........................................C ____ Blackburnian Warbler.......................................U V ____ Yellow Warbler..................................................U U 14 U Sp S ____ Chestnut-sided Warbler.....................................C F W V ____ Blackpoll Warbler.............................................R ____ Black-throated Blue Warbler.............................X ____ Palm Warbler....................................................V ____ Pine Warbler.....................................................A A ____ Yellow-rumped Warbler....................................C V V A A C A R ____ Yellow-throated Warbler....................................U U U ____ Prairie Warbler..................................................R R U ____ Black-throated Green Warbler...........................C V U ____ Canada Warbler.................................................C R ____ Wilson’s Warbler...............................................C ____ Summer Tanager...............................................C C C V C V ____ Scarlet Tanager..................................................U ____ Western Tanager................................................X ____ Northern Cardinal.............................................A X A ____ Rose-breasted G

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