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Bird Checklists of the United States

Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge

small state map showing location

Alamo, Texas


Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge is internationally recognized as 'a birder's paradise.' Santa Ana's 2,088 acres of subtropical thorn forest are home for numerous birds that are south Texas specialties. Both the Mississippi and Central flyways converge in this region adding the opportunity to see a wide variety of migratory birds. Many migrants depend upon this refuge as a place to escape harsh winters or as a rest-area while enroute to their seasonal destinations. Both migratory and resident species seen here allow birders to lengthen their 'life-list' whether expert or just starting out. Birdwatching at Santa Ana is best along the walking trails early in the morning or just before sunset. The best months for birdwatching are November through April. For more information, please contact our visitor center staff. Good Birding!

Neotropical migrant landbirds are those species of landbirds that nest in the United States or Canada, and spend the winter primarily south of our border in Mexico, Central or South America, or in the Caribbean. Many of them, including conspicuous or colorful hawks, hummingbirds, warblers, and tanagers, and less colorful but no less important flycatchers, thrushes, and vireos, are experiencing population declines due to widespread loss of habitats important for their survival. Preservation of many different habitats for nesting, wintering, and migratory stopover sites is becoming vital for the survival of many of these birds.

This list contains 396 species which have been observed at Santa Ana NWR plus 9 hypothetical species, listed in accordance with the seventh edition (1998) A.O.U. Checklist of North American Birds. A computer record of daily sightings is kept at the visitor center. Please report sightings listed as 'O', 'R', or 'X' to refuge staff.


How to use your checklist
Symbols used in this list are defined as follows:

Occurence
Sp - Spring - March-May
S - Summer - June-August
F - Fall - September-November
W - Winter - December-February
* - Nests on refuge
# - Exotic (introduced or escaped)

Abundance
A - Abundant - A common species that is very numerous.
C - Common - Certain to be seen in suitable habitats.
U - Uncommon - Present, not certain to be seen
O - Occasional - Seen few times during the season
R - Rare - Seen at intervals of 2 to 5 years.
X - Accidental - Has been seen only once or twice

South Texas specialities are in Italics


Loons Sp S F W ___ Common Loon - - X X
Grebes Sp S F W ___ Least Grebe* U U U U ___ Pied-billed Grebe* C U C C ___ Eared Grebe O - O O ___ Western Grebe - - - X
Pelicans Sp S F W ___ Brown Pelican - - - X ___ American White Pelican R R O O
Cormarants Sp S F W ___ Neotropic Cormorant U U U U ___ Double-crested Cormorant O R U U
Darters Sp S F W ___ Anhinga U U O O
Frigatebirds Sp S F W ___ Magnificent Frigatebird - X - -
Bittern, Herons & Allies Sp S F W ___ American Bittern U X U U ___ Least Bittern* U U O O ___ Great Blue Heron U O U U ___ Great Egret U U U O ___ Snowy Egret U O U U ___ Little Blue Heron U O U O ___ Tricolored Heron U R U U ___ Reddish Egret R R O O ___ Cattle Egret U R O O ___ Green Heron* U U O U ___ Black-crowned Night-Heron O - O U ___ Yellow-crowned Night-Heron U U U U
Ibises and Spoonbills Sp S F W ___ White Ibis U O - - ___ Glossy Ibis - - - X ___ White-faced Ibis U O U U ___ Roseate Spoonbill O O O O
Storks Sp S F W ___ Wood Stork U O U -
New World Vultures Sp S F W ___ Black Vulture U O U U ___ Turkey Vulture C O C C
Ducks, Geese and Swan Sp S F W ___ Black-bellied Whistling Duck* U C U O ___ Fulvous Whistling Duck* U O O O ___ Greater White-fronted Goose R - R O ___ Snow Goose O - O O ___ Snow Goose (Blue Goose) O - O O ___ Ross's Goose - - - X ___ Canada Goose O - O O ___ Tundra Swan - - - X ___ Muscovy Duck O - O O ___ Wood Duck R - R R ___ Gadwall C X C C ___ American Wigeon U - C C ___ American Black Duck - - - X ___ Mallard - - R R ___ Molted Duck* C C C C ___ Blue-winged Teal C O C C ___ Cinnamon Teal O - O O ___ Northern Shoveler U - C C ___ Northern Pintail U - U U ___ Green-winged Teal O - C C ___ Canvasback R - R R ___ Redhead R - R R ___ Ring-necked Duck U - U U ___ Greater Scaup - - - X ___ Lesser Scaup O - O U ___ Bufflehead R - R R ___ Common Goldeneye - - R R ___ Hooded Merganser R - R R ___ Red-breasted Merganser - - X - ___ Masked Duck R R R R ___ Ruddy Duck O R U U
Hawks, Kites, Eagles, and Allies Sp S F W ___ Osprey O R O O ___ Hook-billed Kite* U U U U ___ Swallow-tailed Kite R - R - ___ White-tailed Kite* U C U U ___ Mississippi Kite U - U - ___ Bald Eagle - - - X ___ Northern Harrier O - O O ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk U - U U ___ Cooper's Hawk C - U U ___ Crane Hawk - - - X ___ Northern Goshawk X - X - ___ Grey Hawk* U U U U ___ Common Black-Hawk R - R R ___ Harris' Hawk* C U C C ___ Roadside Hawk - - X X ___ Red-shouldered Hawk* U U C C ___ Broad-winged Hawk C - U R ___ Short-tailed Hawk X - X - ___ Swainson's Hawk C - U R ___ White-tailed Hawk R R R R ___ Zone-tailed Hawk - X - R ___ Red-tailed Hawk O - U U ___ Ferruginous Hawk - - - X ___ Golden Eagle - - - X
Caracaras and Falcons Sp S F W ___ Crested Caracara - - - R ___ American Kestrel U - C C ___ Merlin O - O O ___ Aplomado Falcon - - - X ___ Peregrine Falcon O - O R ___ Prairie Falcon - - - R
Curassows and Guans Sp S F W ___ Plain Chachalaca* A A A A
New World Quail Sp S F W ___ Scaled Quail - - - X ___ Northern Bobwhite* U U U U
Rails, Gallinules, and Coots Sp S F W ___ Yellow Rail - - R R ___ Clapper Rail - - - X ___ King Rail* U U U U ___ Virginia Rail - - - O ___ Sora U O U U ___ Purple Gallinule* O U R - ___ Common Moorhen* C C C C ___ American Coot* C U C C
Cranes Sp S F W ___ Sandhill Crane R - R O
Plovers Sp S F W ___ Black-bellied Plover R - R - ___ American Golden Plover R - R - ___ Semipalmated Plover R - - - ___ Piping Plover X - - X ___ Killdeer* U U C U ___ Mountain Plover X - - X
Stilts and Avocets Sp S F W ___ Black-necked Stilt* C C U U ___ American Avocet O - O O
Jacanas Sp S F W ___ Northern Jacana R R R R
Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies Sp S F W ___ Greater Yellowlegs U R O U ___ Lesser Yellowlegs C O U U ___ Solitary Sandpiper O O O U ___ Willet R - R R ___ Spotted Sandpiper O O O U ___ Upland Sandpiper R U R - ___ Long-billed Curlew O - O O ___ Hudsonian Godwit X - - - ___ Marbled Godwit R - R R ___ Sanderling - - - R ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper O - O R ___ Western Sandpiper O - O O ___ Least Sandpiper U U U U ___ White-rumped Sandpiper O - O R ___ Baird's Sandpiper O - O R ___ Pectoral Sandpiper O - O - ___ Dunlin R - R R ___ Curlew Sandpiper X - - - ___ Stilt Sandpiper O O O O ___ Buff-breasted Sandpiper R - R - ___ Short-billed Dowitcher R R R R ___ Long-billed Dowitcher O O O C ___ Common Snipe O - O U ___ American Woodcock - - R R ___ Wilson's Phalarope O - O -
Gulls, Terns and Skimmers Sp S F W ___ Laughing Gull O R O O ___ Franklin's Gull O - O - ___ Bonaparte's Gull R - R R ___ Ring-billed Gull O - R O ___ Herring Gull - - - X ___ Gull-billed Tern O O R R ___ Caspian Tern O - O O ___ Royal Tern - R R - ___ Sandwich Tern - O R - ___ Common Tern - - R - ___ Forster's Tern O R O O ___ Least Tern O O O O ___ Black Tern O R O - ___ Black Skimmer R R O R
Pigeons and Doves Sp S F W ___ Rock Dove*# U U U U ___ Red-billed Pigeon* R R R R ___ White-winged Dove* A A C R ___ Mourning Dove* C C C C ___ Inca Dove* U U U U ___ Common Ground-Dove* C C C C ___ Ruddy Ground-Dove R - R R ___ White-tipped Dove* C C C C ___ Ringed Turtle Dove# - X - - ___ Eurasian Collared-Dove# - - X -
Parakeets and Parrots Sp S F W ___ Budgerigar# - - X - ___ Green Parakeet - R R R ___ Canary-winged Parakeet# - - - X ___ Military Macaw# - - - X ___ Red-crowned Parrot R R R R ___ Red-lored Parrot# - R R R ___ Yellow-headed Parrot# - - R R
Cuckoos, Roadrunners and Anis Sp S F W ___ Black-billed Cuckoo U - U - ___ Yellow-billed Cuckoo* C C C R ___ Mangrove Cuckoo - X - - ___ Greater Roadrunner* U U U U ___ Groove-billed Ani* C C U R
Barn Owls Sp S F W ___ Barn Owl* O O O O
Typical Owls Sp S F W ___ Eastern Screech-Owl* C C C C ___ Great Horned Owl* U U U U ___ Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl* R R R - ___ Elf Owl* C C R - ___ Burrowing Owl - - X X ___ Barred Owl - - R R ___ Long-eared Owl R - - R ___ Short-eared Owl - - R O
Goatsuckers Sp S F W ___ Lesser Nighthawk* O O O - ___ Common Nighthawk* U U U - ___ Pauraque* C C C C ___ Common Poorwill O - R R ___ Chuck-will's-widow O - O - ___ Whip-poor-will O - R -
Swifts Sp S F W ___ Chimney Swift U O U -
Hummingbirds Sp S F W ___ Green Violet-ear R R - - ___ Green-breasted Mango - X - - ___ Broad-billed Hummingbird - - - X ___ Buff-bellied Hummingbird* U C U O ___ Blue-throated Hummingbird X X - - ___ Ruby-throated Hummingbird C R C O ___ Black-chinned Hummingbird* O O U O ___ Anna's Hummingbird - - - X ___ Rufous Hummingbird O O O R
Trogons Sp S F W ___ Elegant Trogon - X - -
Kingfishers Sp S F W ___ Ringed Kingfisher* U U U U ___ Belted Kingfisher U - U U ___ Green Kingfisher* U U U U
Woodpeckers Sp S F W ___ Golden-fronted Woodpecker* A A A A ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker O - O U ___ Red-naped Woodpecker - - X X ___ Ladder-backed Woodpecker* C C C C ___ Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) R - X X ___ Northern Flicker (Yell.-shafteD) R - X X
Tyrant Flycatchers Sp S F W ___ Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet* O O R O ___ Olive-sided Flycatcher U - U - ___ Western Wood-Pewee R - R - ___ Eastern Wood-Pewee O - O - ___ Empidonax (Species) U - U R ___ Yellow-bellied Flycatcher O - O - ___ Acadian Flycatcher O O O - ___ Alder Flycatcher R - R - ___ Willow Flycatcher O - O - ___ Least Flycatcher U - U R ___ Black Phoebe - - R R ___ Eastern Phoebe U - U U ___ Say's Phoebe R - R R ___ Vermilion Flycatcher O R O O ___ Ash-throated Flycatcher X X - - ___ Great Crested Flycatcher U - U - ___ Brown-crested Flycatcher* C C C R ___ Great Kiskadee* C C C C ___ Tropical Kingbird - - - X ___ Couch's Kingbird* C C U O ___ Cassin's Kingbird - X - - ___ Western Kingbird O R R - ___ Eastern Kingbird C - C - ___ Scissor-tailed Flycatcher A O C R ___ Rose-throated Becard R R R R
Shrikes Sp S F W ___ Loggerhead Shrike U - U U
Vireos Sp S F W ___ White-eyed Vireo* U U U U ___ Bell's Vireo R - R R ___ Black-capped Vireo X - X X ___ Yellow-throated Vireo O - O - ___ Blue-headed Vireo O - O O ___ Warbling Vireo O - O - ___ Philadelphia Vireo O - O - ___ Red-eyed Vireo U - U - ___ Yellow-green Vireo* O O R -
Jays and Crows Sp S F W ___ Blue Jay X - R - ___ Green Jay* C U C C ___ Brown Jay - X X - ___ Tamaulipas Crow R R R R ___ Chihuahuan Raven R - R R
Larks Sp S F W ___ Horned Lark# O O O U
Swallows Sp S F W ___ Purple Martin O R O R ___ Tree Swallow O - O O ___ Northern Rough-winged Swallow C - C R ___ Bank Swallow U - U - ___ Cliff Swallow U - U R ___ Cave Swallow O - O - ___ Barn Swallow C - C R
Chickadees and Titmice Sp S F W ___ Carolina Chickadee X - - X ___ Tufted Titmouse* U U U C
Verdins Sp S F W ___ Verdin* O O O O
Nuthatches Sp S F W ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch - - - R
Creepers Sp S F W ___ Brown Creeper R - R R
Wrens Sp S F W ___ Cactus Wren* U U U U ___ Rock Wren - - - R ___ Carolina Wren* U U U U ___ Bewick's Wren* O O O O ___ House Wren U - C C ___ Winter Wren - - R R ___ Sedge Wren R - - R ___ Marsh Wren U - U U
Kinglets Sp S F W ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet - - R O ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet C - C C
Gnatcatchers Sp S F W ___ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher C - C C
Thrushes Sp S F W ___ Eastern Bluebird R - O O ___ Mountain Bluebird R - - R ___ Western Bluebird - - - R ___ Townsend's Solitaire - - - X ___ Veery O - O - ___ Gray-cheeked Thrush U - O - ___ Swainson's Thrush U - O - ___ Hermit Thrush O - O U ___ Wood Thrush O - O - ___ Clay-colored Robin R R R R ___ White-throated Robin - - - X ___ Rufous-backed Robin - X X - ___ American Robin O - O O
Mockingbirds and Thrashers Sp S F W ___ Gray Catbird O - O O ___ Northern Mockingbird* C C C C ___ Sage Thrasher - - R R ___ Brown Thrasher - - - R ___ Long-billed Thrasher* C C C C ___ Curve-billed Thrasher* U U U U
Starlings Sp S F W ___ European Starling# U U U U
Wagtails and Pipits Sp S F W ___ American Pipit U - U U ___ Sprague's Pipit - - O O
Waxwings Sp S F W ___ Cedar Waxwing O R O U
Silky-Flycatchers Sp S F W ___ Phainopepla - - - X
Wood-warblers Sp S F W ___ Blue-winged Warbler O - O - ___ Golden-winged Warbler O - O - ___ Tennessee Warbler U - U R ___ Orange-crowned Warbler C - C C ___ Nashville Warbler C - U O ___ Virginia's Warbler - - - X ___ Northern Parula O R O R ___ Tropical Parula* O O O R ___ Yellow Warbler U R U R ___ Chestnut-sided Warbler O - U - ___ Magnolia Warbler U - O R ___ Black-throated Blue Warbler - - - X ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) C - C C ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's) O - O O ___ Black-throated Gray Warbler O - O O ___ Black-throated Green Warbler U - U O ___ Townsend's Warbler - - - X ___ Blackburnian Warbler U X O R ___ Yellow-throated Warbler O - O U ___ Pine Warbler O - O O ___ Prairie Warbler - - - X ___ Palm Warbler R - R R ___ Bay-breasted Warbler U - O X ___ Blackpoll Warbler R - R - ___ Cerulean Warbler U - - - ___ Black-and-white Warbler C R C U ___ American Redstart U - U R ___ Prothonotary Warbler O X O X ___ Worm-eating Warbler O - O - ___ Ovenbird O - O R ___ Northern Waterthrush O - O R ___ Louisiana Waterthrush U R U X ___ Kentucky Warbler O - O - ___ Connecticut Warbler X - X - ___ Mourning Warbler U - O - ___ MacGillivray's Warbler R - R - ___ Common Yellowthroat* C U C C ___ Gray-crowned Yellowthroat X X X X ___ Hooded Warbler O - O X ___ Wilson's Warbler U - U U ___ Canada Warbler U - O X ___ Golden-crowned Warbler X - X X ___ Yellow-breasted Chat U O O R
Tanagers Sp S F W ___ Summer Tanager U - O - ___ Scarlet Tanager O - O - ___ Western Tanager X - X X
Sparrows and Allies Sp S F W ___ White-collared Seedeater R R - - ___ Yellow-faced Grassquit - - - X ___ Olive Sparrow* C C C C ___ Green-tailed Towhee - - O O ___ Spotted Towhee - - R R ___ Eastern Towhee - - - R ___ Cassin's Sparrow U O O O ___ Chipping Sparrow O - - U ___ Clay-colored Sparrow O - O O ___ Field Sparrow - - O O ___ Vesper Sparrow C - U U ___ Lark Sparrow* U R U U ___ Black-throated Sparrow - - - R ___ Lark Bunting - - R R ___ Savannah Sparrow C - C C ___ Grasshopper Sparrow U - O O ___ Le Conte's Sparrow R - - R ___ Seaside Sparrow - - - X ___ Song Sparrow O - R R ___ Lincoln's Sparrow C - C A ___ Swamp Sparrow R - R U ___ White-throated Sparrow R - R R ___ White-crowned Sparrow - - R R ___ Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) - - R R ___ Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) - - R R
Cardinals and Allies Sp S F W ___ Crimson-collared Grosbeak - - - X ___ Northern Cardinal* C C C C ___ Pyrrhuloxia* O O U U ___ Rose-breasted Grosbeak O - O - ___ Black-headed Grosbeak R - R R ___ Blue Bunting - - - X ___ Blue Grosbeak U - O - ___ Lazuli Bunting R R - - ___ Indigo Bunting U - O R ___ Varied Bunting R R - - ___ Painted Bunting* U O O - ___ Dickcissel* C O C -
Blackbirds Sp S F W ___ Red-winged Blackbird* C C A A ___ Eastern Meadowlark* C O C C ___ Western Meadowlark R - R O ___ Yellow-headed Blackbird R - - R ___ Brewer's Blackbird R - O O ___ Common Grackle R - - R ___ Great-tailed Grackle* A A A A ___ Bronzed Cowbird* C A U U ___ Brown-headed Cowbird* U U C C ___ Orchard Oriole U U O - ___ Hooded Oriole* O O O O ___ Altamira Oriole* U U U U ___ Audubon's Oriole* O R O R ___ Baltimore Oriole C - U - ___ Bullock's Oriole O R O R
Finches Sp S F W ___ Purple Finch - - - X ___ House Finch - - - R ___ Red Crossbill - - - X ___ Pine Siskin R - r R ___ Lesser Goldfinch R - - R ___ American Goldfinch U - o U
Old World Sparrows Sp S F W ___ House Sparrow# U U U U
The following are hypothetical birds which have never been recorded, but may occur based on records nearby. Please report these and any other species which do not appear on this list to refuge staff.

Horned Grebe                           Cassin's Vireo
Jabiru                                 Black-tailed Fnatcatcher
Rough-legged Hawk                      Rufous-capped Warbler 
Ruddy Turnstone                        Rusty Blackbird
Fork-tailed Flycatcher

For additional information contact:
                 Refuge Manager
                 Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge
                 Route 2, Box 202A
                 Alamo, Texas 78516
                 Telephone: 210/787-3079
                            210/787-7861
                            210/787-3601

This resource is based on the following source:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1995.  Birds of Santa Ana National Wildlife 
     Refuge. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1995.  Birds of Santa Ana National Wildlife 
     Refuge. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.  Jamestown, ND: 
     Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govsantaana.htm 
     (Version 22MAY98).

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