Christmas Bird Count season is upon us again. This area has more CBCs than almost any other with 20 counts conducted within 100 miles. All birders are welcome to participate in all local counts, although some compilers require that you contact them in advance to obtain an assignment. It is a good idea to contact the compiler in advance in any case. A complete list of all Texas CBCs is available on the Houston Audubon website at https://houstonaudubon.org/birding/christmas-bird-counts/cbc.html
The first Christmas Bird Counts were conducted in December 1900, and last season (2016-17) over 2500 counts were conducted worldwide, with 1902 in the United States. Each count is conducted in a 15-mile diameter circle on a single day between December 14 and January 5 selected by the individual organizers.
Please contact John Whittle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 409-722-4193 (H), and let us know you plan to attend so we can make the best possible area assignments. Otherwise, meet in Sabine Pass at 7:00 a.m.at the intersection of Highway 87 and FM3322 in Sabine Pass if not preassigned to an area. This is at the stop sign in Sabine Pass, where Highway 87 turns west. Countdown dinner at 6:00 p.m., location to be confirmed. This count has been sponsored by Golden Triangle Audubon Society since 1995.
Contact Gary Kelley at email@example.com or 409-679-1616 or meet in Orange at 7:00 a.m.at the Service Station at the intersection of Highway 105 and FM1442.
Contact Steve Mayes in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org for assignment, since there is not a central meeting location for this count. The count covers the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge and the High Island area, and has been conducted since December 1962. Dr. William Graber compiled this count for its first 50 years.
Listed below are all counts in Jefferson, Orange, Hardin, Tyler, Jasper and Liberty Counties and the Johnson Bayou count in Cameron Parish. We thank Houston Audubon for compiling some of the information shown below.
Johnson Bayou CBC has a rich history beginning in 1976 to present. Though the count is located just across the state line in Louisiana, most participants are from Texas and everyone is welcome. While much of the area is private, local land owners have allowed access to their property for this count, areas rarely birded and normally inaccessible to birders at other times offering a good chance for rarities. Areas covered include beach, coastal cheniers, marsh and grasslands. Johnson Bayou is located off Hwy 82 in Louisiana just across from Pleasure Island, TX (east of Sabine Pass). From Port Arthur take Hwy 82 east for about 15 miles into LA. Please contact Gary Kelley (email@example.com, telephone 409-679-1616) for more information, assignments and directions.
This count in Hardin and Tyler Counties includes the Turkey Creek and Hickory Creek Savannah Units of the Big Thicket National Preserve. Meet at the Big Thicket Visitor Center on US69 at FM420, about 7 miles north of Kountze at 6:30 AM. Sponsored by the Big Thicket National Preserve. Contact John Whittle (firstname.lastname@example.org, 409-722-4193) for more information.
Although this count has very limited land area and a particularly small amount of wooded areas, it still typically is a top 20 or near top twenty U.S. CBCs. This count is open to anyone who would like to participate and all areas need more observers. If you want to see some great birds, join us. This count undoubtedly produces the most species for the available land area (much of the count circle is water) of all U.S. CBCs. To participate please contact Richard Mayfield (email@example.com).
This count circle in Chambers and Galveston Counties includes High Island and Anahuac NWR. Newcomers are welcome to join! Compilers this year are Steve Mayes and David Sarkozi. If you are interested in participating, please contact Steve Mayes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This count takes places in Tyler and Jasper Counties and includes Steinhagen Lake, the Beech Creek unit of Big Thicket National Preserve and Martin Dies State Park. Meet at the Corps of Engineers Picnic Area on FM92 immediately north of the intersection with FM1746 in Town Bluff at 6:30 AM. Sponsored by the Big Thicket National Preserve. Contact John Whittle (email@example.com, 409-722-4193) for more information.
This count in Jefferson County includes Sea Rim State Park, Texas Point NWR, and parts of J.D. Murphree WMA and McFaddin NWR as well as the Sabine Pass area. Please contact us in advance, as most groups go directly to their assigned areas. Sponsored by Golden Triangle Audubon Society. Contact John Whittle (firstname.lastname@example.org, 409-722-4193) for details.
Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge will be hosting the 20th Annual Trinity River Christmas Bird Count for northern Liberty County. Areas to be counted include the Trinity River NWR, Tarkington Prairie, and Gaylor Lake. Some folks will bird the "bottoms" so be sure to bring a sack lunch, rubber knee boots and other appropriate outdoor clothing. The wrap-up dinner will be held at the Texas Seafood & Steakhouse restaurant in Cleveland. Birdwatchers of all levels are welcome. If you have any questions you can contact the compiler Stuart Marcus at 936-336-9786 or email@example.com.
Habitat covers marsh, woodlands, and the Cow Bayou watershed. All are invited, even if you are n only able to bird for part of the day. Feeder watchers are welcome to participate. Let us know in advance and we will find a suitable group for you to join. Contact Gary Kelley (firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone 409-679-1616), for more information.
The count covers all points within 7.5 miles of Lake Charlotte. This is less than an hour's drive east of Houston. The count circle for this count centers in Lake Charlotte in Chambers Co. and takes in almost all of the Wallisville Project, all the way out to the far back in of Trinity Bay and north into the southern part on Liberty Co. Please contact count compiler David Hanson (DHanson139@aol.com), if you'd like to participate or have any questions.