24th BUFFALO BAYOU, TX, CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT
Species reported Count Day: 121 (Plus 1 additional species during count week)
Total individual birds reported Count Day: 44,478
Participants: 117 (50 in the field + 67 at feeders)
The 24* Buffalo Bayou CBC (TXBF CBC) held December 30, 2000, attracted a record high number
of observers. The 117 total participants also appears to be this year's highest on the upper Texas coast. The
66 feeder watchers indicates we may finally be starting to attract the number of stay-at-home observers this
densely-populated count circle deserves.
Several often hard to find winter species were widespread and in some cases numerous: Brown
Creeper 17, Golden-crowned Kinglet 28, Wilson's Warbler 9, and Dark-eyed (Slate-colored) Junco 46. We
recorded all-time high numbers for Neotropical Cormorant 42, Great Blue Heron 83, Great Egret 433,
Black Vulture 355, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 95, Snow Goose 4149, Canada Goose 350, Merlin 3,
Laughing Gull 13, Rock Dove 1810, Mourning Dove 1301, Black-chinned Hummingbird 2, Red-headed
Woodpecker 31, Red-bellied Woodpecker 189, Downy Woodpecker 132, Brown Creeper 17, Pine Warbler
166, Ovenbird 1 (new to the TXBF CBC — and the most unexpected bird on the count), Field Sparrow 46,
Savannah Sparrow 675, Swamp Sparrow 156, Dark-eyed (Slate-colored) Junco 46, blackbird sp. 10438, and
House Sparrow 1043. We equaled highs for Ruby-throated Hummingbird 2, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 1,
White-eyed Vireo 5, Wilson's Warbler 9, and House Finch 18. Several other species had high though not
record numbers. Some of these high numbers undoubtedly are due to the cold winter driving birds farther
south than usual.
A single Peregrine Falcon is wintering at the Galleria shopping center in the eastern portion of circle
(only the second time for this species on the TXBF CBC ~ last year, 2 Peregrines were at the Galleria, plus
2 in other parts of circle.) Neotropic Cormorant and Laughing Gull have been relatively easy to find in
Houston this winter; the TXBF CBC results reflect that. Cattle Egret, often hard to find on the upper Texas
coast in winter, was seen again in good numbers, as has been rule in recent years on TXBF CBC. Other
species of interest for right here within the Houston city limits were Anhinga 10, Bewick's Wren 1, Eastern
Towhee 2, Grasshopper Sparrow 2, and Harris's Sparrow 7.
Eurasian Collared-Dove (ECDO) was reported again for only the 2nd year (only 2 observed, despite
known abundance in the southeast portion of circle). Ringed Turtle-Dove (RTDO), a regular on the TXBF
CBC (15 out of 24 years), was not reported. Recent experience indicates ECDO populations are rising, and
RTDO getting harder to find. More definitive assessment may result as nesting season arrives and birds are
more vocal and thus more easily detected and identified. Some observers (including the Compiler) were
not even aware ofthe possibility of ECDO before 100th CBC season (1999-2000); before that could ECDO
have been present but reported mistakenly as RTDO?
Thanks again to the record number of participants; to the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center for
hosting our early morning organizational meeting; and to Harris Count Precinct 3 Parks Department and the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Addicks and Barker Dam Projects Office for providing access to usually restricted areas of Addicks and Barker Reservoirs.
Complete results can be viewed at http://birdsource.tc.cornell.edu/CBC.