Birds of Aransas National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Texas. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).
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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Birds of Aransas National Wildlife Refuge The Aransas NWR lies along the central flyway, a major migration route. Each spring and fall millions of waterfowl, shorebirds and songbirds pass through the Refuge. The uniqueness of this location has resulted in an astounding 405 documented species. Spring and fall are the premier times to visit, however in all seasons Aransas NWR truly is a birder’s paradise. Whooping cranes are the Refuge’s most famous migrants, arriving in late October and departing by mid-April. Planning your trip around these dates will maximize your chances of seeing these birds. Bird List Introduction and Key South Texas birds do not recognize traditional calendar seasons. The seasonal designations for species, intended as general guidelines, are treated as follows on the checklist: Spring Summer Fall Winter March–May June–July August–November December–February Explanation of Symbols 1 An introduced/exotic species. 2 Denotes a regularly nesting species on, or in close proximity to, the Refuge. It does not necessarily indicate that a certain species nests every year. 3 Denotes a species which has nested at Aransas in past years (but not currently). 4 Denotes possible nester due to presence of suitable habitat and Aransas lies within species breeding range. 5 Federal/State endangered or threatened species. 6 Extirpated Abundance C Common; suitable habitat is available; should be seen during appropriate season. U Uncommon; present, in moderate numbers; not seen on every visit. O Occasional; present, only a few times per season; also includes those species which do not occur each year, while in some years may be fairly common. R N Rare; observed only every 1 to 5 years; records for species at Aransas are sporadic and few. No record Habitat (Hbt) The following codes are used to describe a species’ general habitat preference. However, birds are not restricted to the habitats listed for them. Q Aquatic B Brushland F Forest, Woodland G Grassland M Marsh The Aransas checklist follows the order of the 7th edition (1998) AOU checklist through the 49th Supplement to the AOU Checklist (July 2008). Sp S F W Hbt Ducks, Geese, and Swans ___Black-bellied Whistling-Duck2 U C U O M,Q ___Fulvous Whistling-Duck2 O O O R M,Q ___Greater White-fronted Goose O N U C M,Q,G ___Snow Goose U N U C M,Q,G ___Ross’s Goose O N R O M,Q,G ___Brant N N N R M,Q ___Barnacle Goose1 N N N R M,Q ___Canada Goose O R C C M,Q,G ___Tundra Swan N N R R M,Q ___Wood Duck3 O O O O M,Q,G,F ___Gadwall3 C R U C M,Q ___American Wigeon C R C C M,Q ___American Black Duck R N R R M,Q ___Mallard3 O R O O M,Q ___Mottled Duck2 C C C C M,Q ___Blue-winged Teal3 C O C C M,Q ___Cinnamon Teal O N O O M,Q ___Northern Shoveler C R U C M,Q ___Northern Pintail C O C C M,Q ___Green-winged Teal U R U C M,Q ___Canvasback U R O U M,Q ___Redhead U R U C M,Q ___Ring-necked Duck O R O O M,Q ___Greater Scaup R N N R Q ___Lesser Scaup C R U C M,Q ___Harlequin Duck N N N R Q Sp S F W Hbt R Q ___Surf Scoter R R N ___White-winged Scoter N N R ___Black Scoter N N N ___Long-tailed Duck N N R ___Bufflehead C N O ___Common Goldeneye O R O ___Hooded Merganser O N O ___Common Merganser R N R ___Red-breasted Merganser U N O ___Masked Duck R N R ___Ruddy Duck C R O R R R C Q Q Q Q U Q U M,Q R Q C Q R M,Q C Q Grouse and Turkeys ___Attwater’s Greater Prairie-Chicken6 G ___Wild Turkey2 O O O O F,B New World Quail ___Northern Bobwhite2 C C C C G,B Loons ___Red-throated Loon R N N N Q ___Common Loon U N R U Q Grebes ___Least Grebe2 O O O O M,Q ___Pied-billed Grebe2 C O U C M,Q ___Horned Grebe N N R O M,Q ___Red-necked Grebe N N N R Q ___Eared Grebe U N U C Q ___Western Grebe R N N R Q Flamingos ___Greater Flamingo R N R R M,Q Shearwaters ___Sooty Shearwater R N N N Q Tropicbirds ___White-tailed Tropicbird N R R N Q Boobies and Gannets ___Masked Booby N R N N Q ___Brown Booby N R N N Q ___Northern Gannet R R N R Q Pelicans ___American White Pelican3 C O C C Q ___Brown Pelican3 5 C C C C Q Sp S F W Hbt Cormorants ___Neotropic Cormorant4 U U U U M,Q ___Double-crested Cormorant4 C O C C M,Q Darters ___Anhinga4 U O O O M Frigatebirds ___Magnificent Frigatebird O U U R Q Herons and Bitterns ___American Bittern4 U R U U M,Q ___Least Bittern3 U U U R M,Q ___Great Blue Heron2C C C C M,Q ___Great Egret2 C C C C M,Q ___Snowy Egret2 C C C C M,Q ___Little Blue Heron2C U C U M,Q ___Tricolored Heron2 C C C C M,Q ___Reddish Egret2 5 U U U U M,Q ___Cattle Egret2 C C C O M,Q,G ___Green Heron2 U U U O M,Q ___Black-crowned Night-Heron2 U U U U M,Q ___Yellow-crowned Night-Heron2 U O U R M,Q Ibises and Spoonbills ___White Ibis2 C C C C M,Q ___Glossy Ibis U U N R M,Q ___White-faced Ibis2 5 U U U U M,Q ___Roseate Spoonbill2C U C C M,Q Storks ___Wood Stork5 R U U R M,Q New World Vultures ___Black Vulture2 C C C C F,G,B ___Turkey Vulture2 C C C C F,G,B Hawks, Kites, Eagles and Allies ___Osprey U R C C M,Q ___Swallow-tailed Kite5 O N N N F,G,B ___White-tailed Kite2 U O U U G,B ___Snail Kite R N N N Q ___Mississippi Kite O N O N G,B ___Bald Eagle3 5 R R R R G,B,Q ___Northern Harrier C N C C M,G,B ___Sharp-shinned Hawk U R U U F,B ___Cooper’s Hawk O R U U F,B,G ___Harris’s Hawk R N R R G,B ___Red-shouldered Hawk U R U C F,B ___Broad-winged Hawk U N O R F,B ___Swainson’s Hawk U N O R G,B ___White-tailed Hawk2 5 C C C C G,B ___Zone-tailed Hawk5N N N R G,B ___Red-tailed Hawk U U U C B,G,F ___Ferruginous Hawk R N R R G,B ___Rough-legged Hawk R N R R G, B ___Golden Eagle R N R R G,B Sp S F W Hbt Caracaras and Falcons ___Crested Caracara2 C C C C G,B ___American Kestrel C N C C B,G ___Merlin U N U O B,G ___Aplomado Falcon2 5 U U U U B,G ___Peregrine Falcon5 O R O O G,Q,B ___Prairie Falcon R N R R G Rails, Gallinules and Coots ___Yellow Rail R N R R M,G ___Black Rail2 R R R R M,G ___Clapper Rail2 U U U U M ___King Rail2 O O O U M ___Virginia Rail O R O O M ___Sora3 C R O U M ___Purple Gallinule2 U U O R M,Q ___Common Moorhen2 C U U C M,Q ___American Coot2 C O C C Q,M Cranes ___Sandhill Crane U R C C G,M,Q ___Whooping Crane5 U R U U M,G,Q Plovers ___Black-bellied Plover C O C C Q,M ___American Golden-Plover O N R N G,Q ___Snowy Plover2 U O U U Q ___Wilson’s Plover2 U U U R M,G,Q ___Semipalmated Plover U R U O Q,M ___Piping Plover5 U R U U Q,M ___Killdeer2 C C C C M,G,Q ___Mountain Plover R N R N G Oystercatchers ___American Oystercatcher2 U U U U Q Stilts and Avocets ___Black-necked Stilt2 C U C O Q,M ___American Avocet3 U O U C Q,M Sandpipers, Phalaropes and Allies ___Spotted Sandpiper U O U U Q,M ___Solitary Sandpiper U R O R Q,M ___Greater Yellowlegs C U C C Q,M ___Willet2 C C C C Q,M ___Lesser Yellowlegs C U C C Q,M ___Upland Sandpiper U R U N G ___Whimbrel U R O R Q,M,G ___Long-billed Curlew C U C C M,Q,G ___Hudsonian Godwit O R R N Q,G ___Marbled Godwit C O U C Q,M ___Ruddy Turnstone U O U U Q ___Red Knot R R R R Q,M ___Sanderling C O C C Q,M ___Semipalmated Sandpiper U N C R Q,M ___Western Sandpiper C O C C Q,M ___Least Sandpiper C O C C Q,M Sp S F W Hbt ___White-rumped Sandpiper U N R ___Baird’s Sandpiper U N R ___Pectoral Sandpiper U R U ___Dunlin C R U ___Stilt Sandpiper U R U ___Buff-breasted Sandpiper O R O ___Short-billed Dowitcher U O O ___Long-billed Dowitcher U O C ___Wilson’s Snipe U R U ___American Woodcock R N R ___Wilson’s Phalarope U R O ___Red-necked Phalarope R N R Gulls, Terns and Skimmers ___Bonaparte’s Gull U N R ___Little Gull R N N ___Laughing Gull2 C C C ___Franklin’s Gull U N O ___Ring-billed Gull U R U ___Herring Gull U R U ___Lesser Black-backed Gull R N N ___Glaucous Gull R N N ___Great Black-backed Gull N N N ___Sooty Tern5 N R R ___Least Tern2 U U U ___Gull-billed Tern2 C U U ___Caspian Tern2 C C C ___Black Tern U U U ___Roseate Tern5 R N N ___Common Tern O R O ___Forster’s Tern2 C C C ___Royal Tern2 U U U ___Sandwich Tern2 C U U ___Black Skimmer2 U U U Jaegers ___Pomarine Jaeger N R N ___Parasitic Jaeger R R N Pigeons and Doves ___Rock Pigeon1 R R R ___Band-tailed Pigeon N N R ___Eurasian Collared-Dove1 4 R R R ___White-winged Dove4 U N U ___Mourning Dove2 C C C ___Inca Dove2 U U U ___Common Ground-Dove3 O O O Cuckoos, Roadrunners & Allies ___Yellow-billed Cuckoo2 C U U ___Black-billed Cuckoo O N R ___Greater Roadrunner3 R R R ___Groove-billed Ani R O U N Q,M N Q,M R Q,M C Q,M R Q,M N G O Q,M C Q,M U Q,M R Q,M N Q,M R Q,M C N C R C U Q,M Q,M Q,M Q,M Q,M Q,M R Q,M N Q,M R N N O C N N O C U O U Q,M Q Q,M Q,M Q,M Q,M Q Q,M Q,M Q,M Q,M Q,M N N Q Q R F,B R F R B,G U B,G C B,G,F U F,B O B,F,G N F,B N F,B R G,B O F,B Sp S F W Barn Owls ___Barn Owl2 O R O O Typical Owls ___Eastern Screech-Owl R R R R ___Great Horned Owl2 U U U U ___Burrowing Owl N N R R ___Barred Owl N N R R ___Short-eared Owl O N O U Goatsuckers ___Lesser Nighthawk4R R N R ___Common Nighthawk2 C C C R ___Common Pauraque2 U U O U ___Common Poorwill R N R N ___Chuck-will’s-widow U N O N ___Whip-poor-will U N O N Swifts ___Chimney Swift4 C R U N ___White-throated Swift R N N N Hummingbirds ___Green Violetear R N N N ___Buff-bellied Hummingbird2 U U U R ___Ruby-throated Hummingbird4 C R C R ___Black-chinned Hummingbird R N R N ___Broad-tailed Hummingbird R N R N ___Rufous Hummingbird N R O N Kingfishers ___Belted Kingfisher4 C O C C ___Green Kingfisher R N N R Woodpeckers and Allies ___Red-headed Woodpecker R N R R ___Acorn WoodpeckerN N N R ___Golden-fronted Woodpecker2 O O O O ___Red-bellied Woodpecker3 U U U U ___Yellow-bellied Sapsucker U N U U ___Red-naped Sapsucker N N N R ___Ladder-backed Woodpecker2 U U U U ___Downy Woodpecker R R R R ___Northern Flicker O N O O ___Pileated Woodpecker R N R R Tyrant Flycatchers ___Olive-sided Flycatcher U N U R ___Eastern Wood-Pewee C N C N ___Yellow-bellied Flycatcher O N O N Hbt F,B,G F,B F,B G F G G,B B,G F,B B,G F,B F,B B,G B,G F,B F,B F,B F,B F,B F,B Q,M Q,M F F G,B F F F F,B F F,B F F,B F,B F,B Sp S F W Hbt Tyrant Flycatchers ___Acadian Flycatcher U N O N F,B ___Alder Flycatcher O N O N F,B ___Willow Flycatcher O N U N F,B ___Least Flycatcher U N O R F,B ___Gray Flycatcher N N N R B ___Eastern Phoebe U N C C F,B ___Say’s Phoebe R N R R C,Q ___Vermilion Flycatcher4 R R R R B,Q ___Ash-throated Flycatcher R O R N B,G,F ___Great Crested Flycatcher C N U N F,B ___Brown-crested Flycatcher2 U U U R F,B ___Great Kiskadee2 O O O O B ___Couch’s Kingbird O N O O B,G ___Western Kingbird O N O N B,G ___Eastern Kingbird2 C R C R B,G ___Scissor-tailed Flycatcher2 C C C R B,G ___Fork-tailed Flycatcher N R N R B Shrikes ___Loggerhead Shrike2 U O C C B,G,Q Vireos ___White-eyed Vireo2 C C C C F,B ___Bell’s Vireo O O O R B ___Yellow-throated Vireo U N R N F ___Plumbeous Vireo N N N R F ___Blue-headed VireoU N U U F ___Warbling Vireo U N R N F ___Philadelphia VireoU N R N F ___Red-eyed Vireo C R U N F ___Yellow-green Vireo R N N N F Crows and Jays ___Blue Jay R R R R F,B ___Green Jay N N N R F ___American Crow R N R R G,B ___Chihuahuan Raven N R N N G Larks ___Horned Lark2 U U U U G Swallows ___Purple Martin3 U O O R F,B ___Tree Swallow U R U O F,C,B ___Northern Rough-winged Swallow C R U R F,B,G ___Bank Swallow4 U N U N F,B,G ___Cliff Swallow2 C C C N F,B,G ___Cave Swallow3 R R R N B,G ___Barn Swallow2 C U C R F,B,G Chickadees and Titmice ___Carolina Chickadee R R R R F,B ___Tufted Titmouse2 O O O O F,B ___Black-crested Titmouse R R R R F,B Sp S Verdins ___Verdin R R Nuthatches ___Red-breasted Nuthatch N N Creepers ___Brown Creeper N N Wrens ___Cactus Wren N N ___Rock Wren N N ___Carolina Wren2 C C ___Bewick’s Wren2 O O ___House Wren U N ___Winter Wren O N ___Sedge Wren C N ___Marsh Wren2 C N Kinglets ___Golden-crowned Kinglet O N ___Ruby-crowned Kinglet C N Gnatcatchers ___Blue-gray Gnatcatcher3 U R Thrushes ___Eastern Bluebird R R ___Mountain Bluebird R N ___Veery U N ___Gray-cheeked Thrush O N ___Swainson’s Thrush U N ___Hermit Thrush U N ___Wood Thrush U N ___Clay-colored Thrush N N ___American Robin U R Mockingbirds and Thrashers ___Gray Catbird C N ___Northern Mockingbird2 C U ___Sage Thrasher N N ___Brown Thrasher C N ___Long-billed Thrasher2 U O ___Curve-billed Thrasher O O Starlings ___European Starling1 2 O N Pipits ___American Pipit O N ___Sprague’s Pipit O N Waxwings ___Cedar Waxwing O N Silky-flycatchers ___Phainopepla N N F W Hbt R R B R R F R R F R R C O U R C U N N C O C O C U B B F,B B,F F,B F,B B,G,M M O U F,B C C F,B U U F,B O O B,G,F N R B,G R N F R N F O N F O C F,B R R F,B N R O C F F,B C U F,B C C B,G R R B C C F,B O U F,B O O B R O F.B U C G,M,Q O U G O O F,B N R B,F Sp S F W Wood-Warblers ___Blue-winged Warbler U N R N ___Golden-winged Warbler U N R N ___Tennessee Warbler C N O R ___Orange-crowned Warbler U N U C ___Nashville Warbler U N U O ___Northern Parula C N U R ___Tropical Parula5 R R R R ___Yellow Warbler U R U R ___Chestnut-sided Warbler C N O N ___Magnolia Warbler C N O R ___Black-throated Blue Warbler R N R N ___Yellow-rumped Warbler C R C C ___Black-throated Gray Warbler R N R R ___Golden-cheeked Warbler5 N R N N ___Black-throated Green Warbler C N U O ___Townsend’s Warbler R N N R ___Blackburnian Warbler C N R R ___Yellow-throated Warbler U R R R ___Pine Warbler R N O U ___Prairie Warbler R N R R ___Palm Warbler O N U O ___Bay-breasted Warbler C N R N ___Blackpoll Warbler R N N N ___Cerulean Warbler O N N N ___Black-and-white Warbler C O C O ___American Redstart R N R R ___Prothonotary Warbler U R O N ___Worm-eating Warbler U N R R ___Swainson’s Warbler2 U U U N ___Ovenbird U N O R ___Northern Waterthrush U N O O ___Louisiana Waterthrush U N O R ___Kentucky WarblerU N R N ___Connecticut Warbler R N R N ___Mourning WarblerO N R N ___Common Yellowthroat2 C C C C ___Hooded Warbler3 C O U N ___Wilson’s Warbler U N U O ___Canada Warbler U N O N ___Red-faced WarblerR N N N ___Painted Redstart R N R N ___Yellow-breasted Chat2 C R U R Hbt F F F F F F F F F F F F.B F,B F F F F F F F,B F,B F F F F,B F F F F,B F,B F,M,Q F,M,Q F F F M,B F,B F,B F F F F,B Sp S F W Hbt Tanagers ___Summer Tanager R R U R F ___Scarlet Tanager U N R N F ___Western Tanager R N R R F Towhees, Sparrows and Allies ___Olive Sparrow R R N R B ___Green-tailed Towhee N N N R B ___Spotted Towhee R N R O B,F ___Eastern Towhee U N O U B,F ___Cassin’s Sparrow2 U U U R G ___Botteri’s Sparrow5R N N N G ___American Tree Sparrow R N N R G,B ___Chipping Sparrow U N U C B,F ___Clay-colored Sparrow R N R R B,G ___Brewer’s SparrowR N N N B,F ___Field Sparrow U N O U B,G ___Vesper Sparrow U N O U B,G ___Lark Sparrow U R U U B.G ___Black-throated Sparrow N N N R G,B ___Lark Bunting R N N R G ___Savannah Sparrow C R C C G ___Grasshopper Sparrow2 U O O U G,B ___Henslow’s Sparrow N N N R G ___Le Conte’s Sparrow O N R O G,B ___Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow R N N R M ___Seaside Sparrow2 O O O O M ___Fox Sparrow N N N R B,M ___Song Sparrow U N R U B ___Lincoln’s SparrowU N O U B,M ___Swamp Sparrow C N O C M.Q.B ___White-throated Sparrow C N O C B,F ___Harris’s Sparrow N N N R B ___White-crowned Sparrow R N R O B,G ___Golden-crowned Sparrow N N N R B ___Dark-eyed Junco R N R R B,F Cardinals, Grosbeaks, and Buntings ___Crimson-collared Grosbeak R N N R F,B ___Northern Cardinal2 C C C C F,B ___Pyrrhuloxia O R R O B ___Rose-breasted Grosbeak U N O N F ___Black-headed Grosbeak R N N R F,B ___Blue Grosbeak2 C U U N B ___Lazuli Bunting R N N N B ___Indigo Bunting C N U R B ___Painted Bunting2 C C O R B ___Dickcissel2 U U O R G,B Sp S Blackbirds and Orioles ___Bobolink O N ___Red-winged Blackbird2 C C ___Eastern Meadowlark2 C C ___Western Meadowlark R N ___Yellow-headed Blackbird O R ___Rusty Blackbird N N ___Brewer’s Blackbird O N ___Common Grackle O N ___Boat-tailed Grackle2 U U ___Great-tailed Grackle2 U U ___Shiny Cowbird R N ___Bronzed Cowbird2 U U ___Brown-headed Cowbird2 C U ___Orchard Oriole4 C O ___Bullock’s Oriole R N ___Baltimore Oriole C N Finches ___Purple Finch R N ___House Finch R N ___Pine Siskin R N ___Lesser Goldfinch R R ___American Goldfinch U N Old World Sparrows ___House Sparrow1 O O F W Hbt N N G C C M,G,Q C C G,B R R G R N G,M R R G R U G,B N O G,B U U G,M U U G,M N N G O O G,B C U N U C R N N G,B B,F B,F B,F N N N R R R R R F,B F,B F,B F,B O C F,B O O F,G If you should find an unlisted or rare species during your visit, please contact the Refuge staff and provide a description. We welcome visitor wildlife reports to help augment our records. For Additional Information Aransas and Matagorda Island National Wildlife Refuge P.O. Box 100 Austwell, TX 77950 361/286-3559 361/286-3722 FAX 1 800/735-2989 Texas State Relay Service www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/texas/aransas/ April 2010