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Bird Sightings - February 2000

 Coverage: Jefferson, Orange, Hardin, Tyler, Jasper, Newton, Angelina, San Augustine and Sabine counties. Send Reports to: John Whittle, 3015 Nashville Avenue, Nederland, Texas 77627-6749 by the 10th of the month after or e-mail to or call (409) 880-8276 or fax to (409) 880-8270. For  "very rare" birds, please submit a brief account of your sighting, including a description of the bird (unless unmistakable), brief details of what it was doing, and where it was seen (if on publicly accessible property).
Format: "Common" to "abundant" birds are shown in the fashion "JEF 4 reps(25)" which means four reports in Jefferson  County  totaling  25 birds.  Less  than "common", as "JEF-SW 7/5(2) ABC", which means seen in Jefferson County (JEF) at Sabine Woods (SW) on the 5th of July, two (2) birds, reported by observer "ABC".
Commentary: The 136 species reported in February is typical of the month. The number of species present in the area, particularly in the first half of the month is probably not significantly different from December and January, but observer activity is typically much reduced. However, there were several interesting sightings in the Lakes area, including Pacific Loon, nesting Bald Eagles, Red Crossbill and an early Northern Parula. Please keep those reports coming from that underreported area! The listing below includes the birds seen on the field trip to the Sandyland Sanctuary. Rufous Hummingbirds were still present in the area throughout the month, although the computer program which compiles the list below is not geared to using information on species that are seen on and off during the whole month.
 LOON, Pacific ANG-SRR 2/27(1) RBA
LOON, Common NEW 1 rep(3)
GREBE, Pied-billed JEF 4 reps(86); NEW 1 rep(2)
PELICAN, Amer. White JEF 1 rep(8); ORA 1 rep(23)
CORMORANT, Neotropic JEF 2/13(6) JAW; JEF-TX87 2/13(5) JAW; JEF 2/19(2) JAW; JEF-TP 2/19(1) JAW; JEF 2/20(1) JAW
CORMORANT, Double-crest. NEW 1 rep(2)
HERON, Great Blue JEF 5 reps(35)
EGRET, Great JEF 8 reps(238)
EGRET, Snowy JEF 5 reps(35)
HERON, Little Blue JEF 1 rep(2)
EGRET, Cattle JEF 1 rep(20)
IBIS, White JEF 2/13(5) JAW; JEF 2/20(301) JAW; JEF 2/27(6) KS
IBIS, Glossy JEF 2/20(1) JAW
IBIS, White-faced JEF 2/19(9) JAW; JEF-TP 2/19(10) JAW; JEF 2/20(40) JAW
IBIS, Plegadis JEF 2/11(500) JAW; JEF 2/12(21) LRWW; JEF 2/19(10) JAW; JEF-TP 2/19(10) JAW; JEF 2/20(140) JAW; JEF 2/27(3) KS
SPOONBILL, Roseate ORA 2/13(1) KS
VULTURE, Black HAI 1 rep(1); JAS 1 rep(1); JEF 3 reps(32); NEW 1 rep(6)
VULTURE, Turkey HAI 2 reps(6); JAS 1 rep(6); JEF 5 reps(44); NEW 1 rep(27)
GOOSE, White-fronted JEF 3 reps(428)
GOOSE, Snow JEF 2 reps(4012)
DUCK, Wood HAI-SNDY 2/19(2) FTSL; ORA 2/13(1) KS
GADWALL JEF 3 reps(227); ORA 2 reps(135)
WIGEON, American ORA 2 reps(8)
MALLARD JEF 2 reps(16)
DUCK, Mottled JEF 2/19(2) JAW; JEF-TP 2/19(4) JAW; JEF 2/20(2);JAW; JEF 2/27(2) KS
TEAL, Blue-winged JEF 4 reps(374)
SHOVELER, Northern JEF 2 reps(380); ORA 1 rep(12)
PINTAIL, Northern JEF 3 reps(10); ORA 1 rep(6)
TEAL, Green-winged JEF 3 reps(75)
DUCK, Ring-necked JEF 1 rep(250)
SCAUP, Lesser JEF 1 rep(1); NEW 1 rep(18)
OSPREY JEF 2/13(1) JAW; JEF 2/19(2) JAW; ORA 2/28(1) MC
KITE, White-tailed JEF 3 reps(8)
EAGLE, Bald ANG 2/13(2) LDS
HARRIER, Northern JEF 5 reps(33)
HAWK, Sharp-shinned JEF-SW 2/6(1) KS; JEF-BMT 2/10(1) RAJ; JEF-TX87 2/13(2) JAW; JEF-TP 2/19(1) JAW
HAWK, Cooper's JEF-TP 2/19(1) JAW
HAWK, Red-shouldered HAI 1 rep(2); JAS 1 rep(1); JEF 2 reps(2); NEW 1 rep(1)
HAWK, Red-tailed HAI 1 rep(1); JAS 1 rep(2); JEF 7 reps(57)
KESTREL, American HAI 1 rep(1); JAS 1 rep(4); JEF 7 reps(97); NEW 1 rep(2)
MOORHEN, Common JEF 2 reps(11)
COOT, American JEF 3 reps(903); NEW 1 rep(500); ORA 1 rep(200)
PLOVER, Black-bellied JEF 1 rep(3)
PLOVER, Snowy JEF-SRSP 2/13(30) JAW
PLOVER, Piping JEF-SRSP 2/13(1) JAW
KILLDEER JAS 1 rep(3); JEF 2 reps(13)
STILT, Black-necked JEF 1 rep(12)
AVOCET, American JEF 1 rep(20)
YELLOWLEGS, Greater JEF 1 rep(4)
WILLET JEF 1 rep(1)
CURLEW, Long-billed JEF 2 reps(3)
DOWITCHER, Long-billed ANG 2/13(1) LDS
SNIPE, Common ANG 1 rep(6); JEF 3 reps(122)
WOODCOCK, American JEF-SW 2/6(1) KS
GULL, Laughing JEF 3 reps(2188)
GULL, Bonaparte's JEF 1 rep(170)
GULL, Ring-billed JEF 3 reps(135)
GULL, Herring JEF 1 rep(29)
TERN, Caspian JEF 2 reps(5)
TERN, Royal JEF 1 rep(4)
TERN, Forster's JEF 1 rep(3)
DOVE, Rock HAI 1 rep(20); JAS 1 rep(55); JEF 1 rep(6)
COLLARED-DOVE, Eurasian JEF 2/27(1) KS
DOVE, White-winged JEF 2/13(25) JAW
DOVE, Mourning HAI 1 rep(1); JAS 1 rep(1); JEF 7 reps(80)
DOVE, Inca JAS 1 rep(2); JEF 3 reps(6); ORA 1 rep(6)
OWL, Great Horned JEF 2/6(1) KS; JEF 2/13(4) KS; JEF 2/27(3) KS
KINGFISHER, Belted HAI 1 rep(1); JAS 1 rep(1); JEF 5 reps(10)
WOODPECKER, Red-headed HAI-SNDY 2/19(1) FTSL
WOODPECKER, Red-bellied HAI 1 rep(10); JEF 5 reps(15); NEW 1 rep(2)


SAPSUCKER, Yellow-bellied HAI 1 rep(5); JEF 3 reps(5); NEW 1 rep(2)
WOODPECKER, Downy HAI 1 rep(3); JEF 3 reps(10)
FLICKER, Northern HAI 1 rep(1); JEF 1 rep(2)
WOODPECKER, Pileated HAI 1 rep(1); JAS 1 rep(2); JEF 1 rep(2)
PHOEBE, Eastern JAS 1 rep(1); JEF 6 reps(44); NEW 1 rep(1)
SHRIKE, Loggerhead JAS 1 rep(2); JEF 7 reps(214); NEW 1 rep(1)
VIREO, White-eyed JEF 2/13(1) KS
VIREO, Blue-headed HAI 1 rep(2)
JAY, Blue JAS 1 rep(1); JEF 5 reps(43)
CROW, American HAI 3 reps(33); JAS 1 rep(23); JEF 1 rep(1); NEW 1 rep(20)
CROW, species JEF 2 reps(10)
MARTIN, Purple JEF-SW 2/6(1) KS; JEF 2/13(1) KS; JEF 2/20(1) JAW
SWALLOW, Tree JEF-SW 2/6(6) KS; JEF 2/13(20) JAW; JEF-SW 2/13(1) JAW; JEF-TP 2/19(6) JAW; JEF 2/27(12) KS
CHICKADEE, Carolina HAI 1 rep(6); JAS 1 rep(1); JEF 6 reps(20)
TITMOUSE, Tufted HAI 1 rep(10); JEF 1 rep(1)
NUTHATCH, Brown-headed HAI-SNDY 2/19(3) FTSL; NEW-TBR 2/12(3) LRWW
WREN, Carolina HAI 1 rep(3); JAS 1 rep(1); JEF 3 reps(3); NEW 1 rep(1)
WREN, House JEF-SW 2/6(1) KS; JEF 2/13(1) KS; JEF 2/27(1) KS
WREN, Winter HAI-SNDY 2/19(1) FTSL
WREN, Sedge JEF-SW 2/6(2) KS; JEF 2/27(1) KS
WREN, Marsh JEF 2/13(1) JAW; JEF-TP 2/19(1) JAW
KINGLET, Golden-crowned JEF 2/6(1) KS; JEF-SW 2/6(2) KS
KINGLET, Ruby-crowned HAI 1 rep(5); JEF 5 reps(26)
GNATCATCHER, Blue-gray JEF 5 reps(19)
BLUEBIRD, Eastern HAI 2 reps(9); JAS 1 rep(9); NEW 1 rep(3); ORA 2 reps(7)
THRUSH, Hermit HAI-SNDY 2/19(1) FTSL
ROBIN, American HAI 1 rep(6); JAS 1 rep(189); JEF 8 reps(294); NEW 1 rep(1)
CATBIRD, Gray JEF 2/27(2) KS
MOCKINGBIRD, Northern HAI 2 reps(2); JAS 1 rep(5); JEF 6 reps(79); NEW 1 rep(4)
THRASHER, Brown HAI 1 rep(2); JEF 4 reps(20)
STARLING, European HAI 1 rep(3); JEF 6 reps(567)
PIPIT, American JEF 1 rep(56)
WAXWING, Cedar HAI 1 rep(20); JEF 3 reps(75)
WARBLER, Orange-crown. HAI 1 rep(1); JEF 5 reps(21)
PARULA, Northern SAA 2/27(1) RBA
WARBLER, Yellow-rumped HAI 1 rep(20); JAS 1 rep(7); JEF 5 reps(111); NEW 1 rep(20)
WARBLER, Pine HAI 1 rep(10); JAS 1 rep(1); JEF 2 reps(3); NEW 1 rep(11)
WARBLER, Palm JEF 2/27(3) KS
YELLOWTHROAT, Common JEF 2 reps(6)
TOWHEE, Spotted JEF-SW 2/6(1) KS
TOWHEE, Eastern JEF-SW 2/6(1) KS
SPARROW, Chipping HAI 1 rep(100); JEF 1 rep(22); NEW 1 rep(15); ORA 2 reps(18)
SPARROW, Field JEF 2/6(4) KS; JEF-SW 2/6(3) KS; JEF 2/13(3) KS; JEF 2/27(2) KS
SPARROW, Lark JEF 2/6(2) KS
SPARROW, Savannah JEF 6 reps(356)
SPARROW, Grasshopper JEF 2/6(1) KS
SPARROW, Song JEF 5 reps(36)
SPARROW, Lincoln's JEF 2/6(2) KS; JEF 2/13(4) KS; JEF 2/27(3) KS
SPARROW, Swamp HAI 1 rep(1); JEF 5 reps(17)
SPARROW, White-throated HAI 1 rep(25); JEF 7 reps(85)
SPARROW, White-crowned JEF 2/6(3) KS; JEF 2/13(3) KS; JEF-TP 2/19(5) JAW; JEF 2/20(5) JAW; JEF 2/27(8) KS
JUNCO, Dark-eyed HAI-SNDY 2/19(4) FTSL; NEW-TBR 2/12(1) LRWW
CARDINAL, Northern HAI 1 rep(1); JAS 1 rep(7); JEF 6 reps(52)
BLACKBIRD, Red-winged JEF 7 reps(1197)
MEADOWLARK, Eastern JAS 1 rep(3); JEF 4 reps(57)
MEADOWLARK species JEF 2 reps(59)
BLACKBIRD, Brewer's JEF 2/20(10) JAW
GRACKLE, Common JAS 1 rep(1005); JEF 5 reps(475); NEW 1 rep(50)
GRACKLE, Boat-tailed JEF 2 reps(105)
GRACKLE, Great-tailed JEF 5 reps(400)
COWBIRD, Brown-headed JEF 2 reps(220)
SISKIN, Pine SAB-TBR 2/27(37) RBM
GOLDFINCH, American HAI 1 rep(75); JEF 6 reps(69); NEW 1 rep(1); ORA 3 reps(46)
SPARROW, House JEF 4 reps(8)

Number of Species 136
Number of Individuals 19257


County Abbreviations: 
ANG - Angelina; HAI - Hardin; JAS - Jasper; JEF - Jefferson; NEW - Newton; ORA - Orange; SAA - San Augustine; SAB - Sabine..

Location Codes: 
BMT - Beaumont; NEDR - Nederland; SNDY - Nature Conservancy Sandyland Sanctuary; SRR - Sam Rayburn reservoir; SRSP - Sea Rim State Park; SW - Sabine Woods; TBR - Toledo Bend Reservoir; TP - Tyrrell Park incl. Cattail Marsh; TX87 - Texas 87 Pt. Arthur-Sabine Pass.

Observer Abbreviations: 
FTSL - Field Trip to Sandyland Sanctuary; JAW - John Whittle; KS - Ken Sztraky; LDS - Lynn and Doug Smith; LRWW - Jeannie Lanclos, Sherrie Roden, Jana and John Whittle; MC - Merry Cox; RAJ - Rose Ann Jordan; RBA - Reported on the Texas Rare Bird Alert; RBM - Ricki and Bill McMillian.

Notes on Rare Birds

Pacific Loon -27 Feb 2000 
A Pacific Loon was reported on the Texas Rare Bird Alert as having been seen in Angelina County on the Sam Rayburn Reservoir on February 27. The observer(s) are unknown.

Bald Eagle - 13 Feb 2000 - Lynn and Doug Smith
A Bald Eagle nest, with two adults in attendance was found in Angelina County on the north end of Sam Rayburn Reservoir, about one mile from the shore, on top of a 35-foot pine tree.

Northern Parula - 27 Feb 2000
An early Northern Parula Warbler was reported on the Texas Rare Bird Alert as having been seen on territory in Jackson Hill Park in San Augustine county.

Red Crossbill - 27 Feb 2000 - Ricki and Bill McMillian
A young male Red Crossbill, mottled red and yellow, came to a feeder in Sabine County near Toledo Bend Reservoir.
Bird Alerts
 As always, it may be of little value to report here any migrating birds that are being seen, as they will almost inevitably be gone by the time you read this. More so this month, as this issue had of the Brown Pelican had to close for press even earlier than usual.  Nevertheless, neotropical mig-rants are being seen, and there is possibly some evidence that some selected species were ahead of their normal schedules. By April 20, there was a little water in the "main" pond at Sabine Woods, and enough water in the upper layers of the soil that the trees and vegetation were leafing out on a more or less normal schedule. Wintering White-throated Sparrows are present in large numbers, and both Spotted and Eastern Towhee are still being seen in the Woods.
 A female Oldsquaw (soon to be renamed Long-tailed Duck to correspond with Old World usage) was seen from the Sabine Pass Battleground on March 12, and was seen again from the road to the Pilot Station at Texas Point, in a flock of scaup on the Sabine-Neches Ship Channel on the Texas side, almost opposite the lighthouse on March 19.
 Rice fields actually in cultivation may well be very scarce this spring, so any rice field that is the process of being drained after being flooded has to potential to hold large concentrations of shorebirds. Such a rice field on Wilber Road, about a mile west of Hamshire Road in west Jefferson County on March 18 and 19 had many yellowlegs, mostly Lesser Yellowlegs, a good number of American Golden-Plover, smaller number of Pectoral and Stilt Sandpipers, a few Long-billed Dowitchers, and, on March 19 at least, one very early Buff-breasted Sandpiper.

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