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Bird Checklists of the United States

Brazoria, San Bernard & Big Boggy
National Wildlife Refuges

Angleton, Texas


This list, containing 301 species, is in accordance with the 6th edition (1983) A.O.U. check-list. The refuge complex provides habitat for numerous Central Flyway waterfowl which spend the winter months on the Texas coast. This combined with a varied habitat and warm climate provides for excellent birding year round. Birding on the refuge is most interesting during the winter months. Large concentrations of 100,000 geese and 80,000 ducks (24 species) can be a great spectacle. Thirteen species of sparrows winter on the refuge and fifteen species of wading birds nest here. Birdwatchers are treated to a spectacular variety of more than 50 migrants including 30 warbler species during the spring and fall migration. During a "fallout" which typically occurs after a rainy cold front, lucky birders may view literally dozens of species of neotropical migrants within a few hours. The refuge is a good place to view most kinds of rails. The Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge is in the Freeport Christmas Bird Count circle which consistently produces over 210 species and is usually number one or two in the nation in number of species sighted.

The Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge Complex has been designated as an internationally significant shorebird site by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network. This designation indicates that the combined complex hosted over 100,000 shorebirds during spring migration. Dowitchers, dunlins, lesser yellowlegs, semipalmated and western sandpipers can best be observed in the spring between mid-March and mid-May and in the fall between July and September.

If you should find an unlisted or rare species during your visit, please contact the Refuge staff and provide a description. The refuge birds do not recognize traditional calendar seasons, therefore, season designations for species are intended as general guidelines.


* - species known to nest locally
Threatened or endangered species are listed in capital letters.
Seasonal status and abundance are coded as follows:

Sp - March-May
S - June-August
F - September-November
W - December-February

a - abundant: common species, very numerous
c - common: certain to be seen in suitable habitat
u - uncommon: present, but not certain to be seen
o - occasional: seen only a few times during a season
r - rare: seen at intervals of 2 to 5 years


LOONS Sp S F W ___ Common Loon - - - o
GREBES Sp S F W ___ Pied-billed Grebe* c u c c ___ Horned Grebe - - - r ___ Eared Grebe r - r c
PELICANS Sp S F W ___ American White Pelican c u c c ___ BROWN PELICAN u u u u
CORMORANTS Sp S F W ___ Double-crested Cormorant c o c c ___ Olivaceous Cormorant u u o o
DARTERS Sp S F W ___ Anhinga o o o o
FRIGATEBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Magnificent Frigatebird o u o -
BITTERNS & HERONS Sp S F W ___ American Bittern u o o o ___ Least Bittern* u u u o ___ Great Blue Heron* a a a a ___ Great Egret* c c c c ___ Snowy Egret* c c c c ___ Little Blue Heron* c c c c ___ Tricolored Heron* c c c c ___ Reddish Egret* u u u u ___ Cattle Egret* c c c c ___ Green Heron* c c u u ___ Black-crowned Night-Heron* c c c c ___ Yellow-crowned Night-Heron u u u o
IBISES & STORKS Sp S F W ___ White Ibis* c c c c ___ White-faced Ibis c u c u ___ Roseate Spoonbill* c c c c ___ Wood Stork - c u -
SWANS, GEESE & DUCKS Sp S F W ___ Fulvous Whistling-Duck u u u r ___ Black-bellied Whistling-Duck u u u r ___ Greater White-fronted Goose o - c c ___ Snow Goose o - a a ___ Ross' Goose r - r r ___ Canada Goose r - u u ___ Wood Duck o - o o ___ Green-winged Teal c - a a ___ American Black Duck r - r r ___ Mallard u - u u ___ Northern Pintail u - c c ___ Blue-winged Teal* c r c u ___ Cinnamon Teal o r o u ___ Northern Shoveler c - a a ___ Gadwall u - a a ___ American Wigeon u - c c ___ Canvasback u - u u ___ Redhead u - u u ___ Ring-necked Duck u - u u ___ Greater Scaup - - r r ___ Lesser Scaup u - u u ___ White-winged Scoter - - r - ___ Common Goldeneye - - r o ___ Bufflehead u - o u ___ Hooded Merganser u - o u ___ Red-breasted Merganser u - u u ___ Ruddy Duck o - u u ___ Masked Duck r - - r
AMERICAN VULTURES Sp S F W ___ Black Vulture* c c c c ___ Turkey Vulture c c c c
KITES, EAGLES & HAWKS Sp S F W ___ Osprey u - u u ___ American Swallow-tailed Kite r r - - ___ White-tailed Kite* c u c c ___ Mississippi Kite r r - - ___ BALD EAGLE r r o o ___ Northern Harrier (Marsh Hawk)* c u c c ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk u - u u ___ Cooper's Hawk u - u u ___ Red-shouldered Hawk c c c c ___ Broad-winged Hawk r - r - ___ Swainson's Hawk r - r - ___ White-tailed Hawk* u u u u ___ Red-tailed Hawk c u c c ___ Rough-legged Hawk - - r r
CARACARAS & FALCONS Sp S F W ___ Crested Caracara* u u u u ___ American Kestrel c - c a ___ Merlin r - o o ___ PEREGRINE FALCON u - u u
PHEASANTS, TURKEYS & QUAIL Sp S F W ___ Northern Bobwhite* c c c c
RAILS, GALLINULES & COOTS Sp S F W ___ Yellow Rail u - u u ___ Black Rail* r r r r ___ Clapper Rail* c c c c ___ King Rail* u u u u ___ Virginia Rail u - u u ___ Sora u - u u ___ Purple Gallinule* u u o - ___ Common Moorhen* c c c c ___ American Coot* c u a a
CRANES Sp S F W ___ Sandhill Crane u - c c ___ WHOOPING CRANE - - r -
PLOVERS & OYSTERCATCHERS Sp S F W ___ Black-bellied Plover u - u u ___ American Golden Plover (Lesser Gol-Pl.) o r o - ___ Snowy Plover u u u u ___ Wilson's Plover* u u - - ___ Semipalmated Plover u - u u ___ PIPING PLOVER u - u u ___ Killdeer* a a a a ___ American Oystercatcher u u u u ___ Mountain Plover r - - -
SANDPIPERS & PHALAROPES Sp S F W ___ Black-necked Stilt* c c c o ___ American Avocet u u u u ___ Greater Yellowlegs c u c c ___ Lesser Yellowlegs a u c c ___ Solitary Sandpiper o - u o ___ Willet* c c c c ___ Spotted Sandpiper* u o u u ___ Upland Sandpiper r - o - ___ Whimbrel u - u r ___ Long-billed Curlew c u c c ___ Marbled Godwit u - u u ___ Hudsonian Godwit o - - - ___ Ruddy Turnstone c - c c ___ Red Knot o - o - ___ Sanderling c u c c ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper a r c - ___ Western Sandpiper a r c c ___ Least Sandpiper c u c c ___ White-rumped Sandpiper u - - - ___ Baird's Sandpiper o - - - ___ Pectoral Sandpiper c - u - ___ Dunlin a - c c ___ Stilt Sandpiper c r u o ___ Buff-breasted Sandpiper - - o - ___ Short-billed Dowitcher a - c c ___ Long-billed Dowitcher a r c c ___ Common Snipe c - c c ___ Wilson's Phalarope u - r -
GULLS & TERNS Sp S F W ___ Laughing Gull* c c c c ___ Franklin's Gull u - u - ___ Bonaparte's Gull u - r u ___ Ring-billed Gull c u c c ___ Herring Gull c u c c ___ Gull-billed Tern* u u u u ___ Caspian Tern u u u u ___ Royal Tern* u u u u ___ Sandwich Tern* u u u r ___ Common Tern u r u u ___ Forster's Tern* c c c c ___ Least Tern* c c u - ___ Black Tern u c u - ___ Black Skimmer* u u u u
PIGEONS & DOVES Sp S F W ___ White-winged Dove r r r r ___ Mourning Dove* c c c c ___ Common Ground-Dove o o - o ___ Rock Dove o o o o
CUCKOOS & ANIS Sp S F W ___ Black-billed Cuckoo r - - - ___ Yellow-billed Cuckoo* o u o - ___ Groove-billed Ani r r r r
BARN OWLS Sp S F W ___ Barn Owl u u u u
TYPICAL OWLS Sp S F W ___ Great Horned Owl* u u u u ___ Burrowing Owl r r r r ___ Barred Owl c c c c ___ Short-eared Owl - - - o
GOATSUCKERS Sp S F W ___ Lesser Nighthawk r r - - ___ Common Nighthawk* c c c - ___ Chuck-will's-widow u - r - ___ Whip-poor-will r - r -
SWIFTS Sp S F W ___ Chimney Swift u u u -
HUMMINGBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Ruby-throated Hummingbird c u u -
KINGFISHERS Sp S F W ___ Belted Kingfisher u - u u
WOODPECKERS Sp S F W ___ Red-headed Woodpecker r r r r ___ Red-bellied Woodpecker u u u u ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker u - u u ___ Downy Woodpecker c c c c ___ Northern Flicker (Common Flicker) u - u u ___ Pileated Woodpecker u u u u
TYRANT FLYCATCHERS Sp S F W ___ Olive-sided Flycatcher u - u - ___ Eastern Wood-Pewee c c c - ___ Empidonax Sp. u u u - ___ Eastern Phoebe u - u c ___ Vermilion Flycatcher u - u u ___ Great Crested Flycatcher u u u u ___ Ash-throated Flycatcher - - - r ___ Western Kingbird o - - - ___ Eastern Kingbird* c c c - ___ Scissor-tailed Flycatcher* c c c -
LARKS Sp S F W ___ Horned Lark* c c c u
SWALLOWS Sp S F W ___ Purple Martin* c c u - ___ Tree Swallow u - u o ___ Northern Rough-winged Swallow c - c - ___ Bank Swallow u - u - ___ Cliff Swallow* o - r - ___ Barn Swallow c c c -
JAYS, MAGPIES & CROWS Sp S F W ___ Blue Jay* c c c c ___ American Crow* c c c c
CHICKADEES & TITMICE Sp S F W ___ Carolina Chickadee* c c c c ___ Tufted Titmouse* c c c c
CREEPERS Sp S F W ___ Brown Creeper - - r r
WRENS Sp S F W ___ Carolina Wren* c c c c ___ House Wren u - u u ___ Marsh Wren* r - u u ___ Sedge Wren* c u c c
KINGLETS & GNATCATCHERS Sp S F W ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet - - r o ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet u - u c ___ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher u - u u
THRUSHES Sp S F W ___ Eastern Bluebird* u u u u ___ Veery u - - - ___ Gray-cheeked Thrush u - - - ___ Swainson's Thrush u - - - ___ Hermit Thrush u - u u ___ Wood Thrush* u - u r ___ American Robin c - u c
MOCKINGBIRDS & THRASHERS Sp S F W ___ Gray Catbird u - u u ___ Northern Mockingbird* c c c c ___ Brown Thrasher u - u c ___ Sage Thrasher - - r r
PIPITS Sp S F W ___ American Pipit (Water Pipit) u - c c ___ Sprague's Pipit u - r u
WAXWINGS Sp S F W ___ Cedar Waxwing c - - c
SHRIKES Sp S F W ___ Loggerhead Shrike* c c c c
STARLINGS Sp S F W ___ European Starling* c c c c
VIREOS Sp S F W ___ White-eyed Vireo* u u u u ___ Solitary Vireo o o r o ___ Yellow-throated Vireo r - r - ___ Warbling Vireo u - c - ___ Philadelphia Vireo u - u - ___ Red-eyed Vireo* c c u -
WOOD-WARBLERS Sp S F W ___ Blue-winged Warbler u u - - ___ Golden-winged Warbler u - - - ___ Tennessee Warbler c - c - ___ Orange-crowned Warbler u - u c ___ Nashville Warbler u - u - ___ Northern Parula* c c u - ___ Yellow Warbler c u u - ___ Chestnut-sided Warbler u - u - ___ Magnolia Warbler c - u - ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler c - u u ___ Black-throated Green Warbler u - u - ___ Blackburnian Warbler u - - - ___ Yellow-throated Warbler u - - - ___ Palm Warbler u - u u ___ Bay-breasted Warbler c - u - ___ Blackpoll Warbler u - - - ___ Cerulean Warbler u - - - ___ Black-and-white Warbler u r u u ___ American Redstart c - u - ___ Prothonotary Warbler u - - - ___ Worm-eating Warbler u - - - ___ Ovenbird u - - - ___ Northern Waterthrush u - u - ___ Louisiana Waterthrush u - - - ___ Kentucky Warbler u - - - ___ Common Yellowthroat* c c c c ___ Hooded Warbler u - u - ___ Wilson's Warbler u u u u ___ Canada Warbler u - u - ___ Yellow-breasted Chat u - - -
TANAGERS Sp S F W ___ Summer Tanager r r - - ___ Scarlet Tanager r - - -
CARDINALS & GROSBEAKS Sp S F W ___ Northern Cardinal* c c c c ___ Rose-breasted Grosbeak r - r r ___ Blue Grosbeak u - u - ___ Indigo Bunting c u u r ___ Painted Bunting* u u u - ___ Dickcissel* c c c -
SPARROWS Sp S F W ___ Field Sparrow u - u u ___ Vesper Sparrow u - u - ___ Lark Sparrow o r o r ___ Savannah Sparrow c - u c ___ Grasshopper Sparrow r - r r ___ Le Conte's Sparrow u - o u ___ Sharp-tailed Sparrow u r o u ___ Seaside Sparrow* c c c c ___ Fox Sparrow - - - r ___ Song Sparrow u - u u ___ Lincoln's Sparrow u - u u ___ Swamp Sparrow u - u c ___ White-throated Sparrow u - u u ___ Dark-eyed Junco - - - o
BLACKBIRDS & ORIOLES Sp S F W ___ Bobolink u - - - ___ Red-winged Blackbird* a a c c ___ Eastern Meadowlark* a a c c ___ Yellow-headed Blackbird u - - - ___ Brewer's Blackbird u - u u ___ Great-tailed Grackle* c c c c ___ Boat-tailed Grackle* c c c c ___ Common Grackle c c c c ___ Brown-headed Cowbird* c c c c ___ Orchard Oriole* u u u - ___ Northern Oriole c - u -
FINCHES Sp S F W ___ American Goldfinch u - r u
OLD WORLD SPARROWS Sp S F W ___ House Sparrow* u u u u
ACCIDENTALS Tundra Swan Red-tailed Hawk (Harlan's) Ferruginous Hawk Inca Dove Ladder-backed Woodpecker Say's Phoebe Winter Wren Pyrrhuloxia Chipping Sparrow Clay-colored Sparrow Henslow's Sparrow White-crowned Sparrow Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) Rusty Blackbird Northern Oriole (Bullock's) Scott's Oriole Purple Finch Pine Siskin Lesser Goldfinch Bewick's Wren

For additional information contact:
                 Refuge Manager
                 Brazoria/San Bernard/Big Boggy
                 National Wildlife Refuges
                 1212 N. Velasco, Suite 200
                 Angleton, Texas 77515
                 Telephone: 409/849-6062
This resource is based on the following source:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  No date.  Birds of Brazoria/San Bernard/Big 
     Boggy National Wildlife Refuges.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  
     Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  No date.  Birds of Brazoria/San Bernard/Big 
     Boggy National Wildlife Refuges.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  
     Unpaginated.  Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.  
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govbrazoria.htm 
     (Version 22MAY98).

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks to afford persons with disabilities full accessibility or reasonable accommodation. Contact Refuge Headquarters for information or to address accesibility problems. For the hearing impaired, use your State Relay System for the Deaf.
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