1987 Annual Report


Greg W. Lasley

5103 Turnabout Lane

Austin, Texas 78731

This report will bring the reader up to date with the actions of the Texas Bird Records Committee (hereafter TBRC) from 1977 through 1987. Arnold (1984, 1985) has published information concerning TBRC decisions during 1984 and 1985. Those decisions will not be repeated in the present report. In addition, this report will explain changes the TBRC has worked on during 1987 & early 1988 in order to clarify for field observers which species should be documented and submitted to the TBRC for consideration.

The TBRC established a set of written Bylaws for the first time during early 1988. These Bylaws have since been accepted by the TOS Board of Directors. Copies of these Bylaws are available upon request. The Bylaws call for the establishment of a Review List of Species: any record of a species on that list must be reviewed by the TBRC before the record can be accepted. In general, the Review List consists of species that have occurred an average of four or fewer times per year in Texas (over the past ten years), but in some cases the TBRC has voted to add a species to the Review List because of difficult identification problems or for other reasons.

Before 1988 the TBRC did not act on records that were submitted to the Texas Photo Record File at Texas A&M University, so this report does not deal with records that were submitted by photo documentation only during the 1977-1987 period. It is important to recognize that several species were added to the Texas Checklist by photo documentation during those years. (See Arvin (1980), Lasley et al. (1982), Lasley & Pincelli (1986), Morgan & Feltner (1985), Morgan et al. (1985), and TOS (1984) for other details.) Beginning with 1988, however, all records of Review Species and new state records, whether sight records, photographed records or specimens, will be reviewed by the TBRC and the results will be published in an annual report similar to this one.

This report officially adds Western Gull and Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher to the Texas Checklist, bringing the state total to 561 species at the end of 1987. There are several currently accepted species included in that total, however, that may be unacceptable after additional TBRC consideration.

The Bylaws call for the TBRC to review all records of the Review Species, but also allow for any TBRC member to ask the committee to review any record of any species that appears particularly significant to a certain region of Texas. Prior to 1987 the TBRC sometimes reviewed records of species that were not particularly significant. The present report covers only species on the current Review List. Beginning with the 1988 report all TBRC actions during the reported year will be published.

Review List. The Review List below is in its early stages and there may be some changes during the next few years. We hope that this list will become relatively stable in a very short time. We welcome reports of the following:

Red-throated Loon, Arctic/Pacific Loon, Red-necked Grebe, Clark's Grebe, Yellow-nosed Albatross, Cory's Shearwater, Greater Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Manx Shearwater, Audubon's Shearwater, Wilson's Storm-Petrel, Leach's Storm-Petrel, Band-rumped Storm-Petrel, Red-billed Tropicbird, Blue-footed Booby, Brown Booby, Red-footed Booby, Glossy Ibis, Jabiru, Greater Flamingo, Brant, Muscovy Duck, American Black Duck, White-cheeked Pintail, Garganey, Eurasian Wigeon, Barrow's Goldeneye, Masked Duck (only post-1980 records), Snail Kite, Common Black-Hawk (only records outside of Jeff Davis Co.), Northern Goshawk, Roadside Hawk, Aplomado Falcon, Paint-billed Crake, Spotted Rail, Double-striped Thick-Knee, Northern Jacana (only post-1980 records), Eskimo Curlew, Surfbird, Purple Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Ruff, Pomarine Jaeger, Parasitic Jaeger, Long-tailed Jaeger, Little Gull, Common Black-headed Gull,

Heermann's Gull, California Gull, Thayer's Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Western Gull, Glaucous Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Sabine's Gull, Elegant Tern, Roseate Tern, Arctic Tern, Brown Noddy, Black Noddy, Ruddy Ground-Dove,

Mangrove Cuckoo, Snowy Owl, Northern Pygmy-Owl, Mottled Owl, Spotted Owl, Northern Saw-whet Owl, White-collared Swift, Green Violet-ear, Broad-billed Hummingbird, White-eared Hummingbird, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Antillean Crested Hummingbird, Costa's Hummingbird, Allen's Hummingbird, Elegant Trogon, Lewis' Woodpecker, Williamson's Sapsucker, Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Greenish Elaenia, Greater Pewee, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Tropical Kingbird, Thick-billed Kingbird, Gray Kingbird, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Rose-throated Becard, Gray-breasted Martin, Clark's Nutcracker, Black-billed Magpie, American Dipper, Clay-colored Robin, Rufous-backed Robin, Varied Thrush, Aztec Thrush, Bohemian Waxwing, Gray Silky-flycatcher, Black-whiskered Vireo, Yellow-green Vireo, Yucatan Vireo, Connecticut Warbler, Gray-crowned Yellowthroat, Red-faced Warbler, Golden-crowned Warbler, Rufous-capped Warbler, Crimson-collared Grosbeak, Blue Bunting, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Snow Bunting, Black-vented Oriole, Pine Grosbeak, White-winged Crossbill, Common Redpoll.

The TBRC also reviews any record of a species not yet on the state list.

TBRC Membership. All documentation should be sent to Lasley at the above address. As of August 1988, the TBRC was: Keith Arnold, Chairman, Greg Lasley, Secretary, John Arvin, Ted Eubanks, Jim Morgan, Warren Pulich, Sr., Ken Seyffert, and Frances Williams. Former members who participated in some of the below decisions are: Victor Emanuel, T. Ben Feltner, and Charles D. Fisher.

Format. Each record includes the date, location and TBRC file number. A TPRF number (Texas Photo Record File at Texas A&M University) number is included where applicable. All locations in italics indicate counties. All observers who supplied written documentation or photos are credited. Many photographers submit written descriptions along with their photos, a practice we strongly encourage. If the observer who first found or identified the bird provided documentation their initials are listed first.

Contributors. The following contributors submitted descriptions or photos of Review List species that were reviewed during the 1977-1987 period covered by this report. Names of contributors who submitted reports during 1984-1985 and already published by Arnold (1984, 1985) are not listed here. Peggy Acord, Richard Albert, Robert Arbib, David Arbour, John Arvin, Mike Austin, Alma Barrera, Bob Barth, Anne Bellamy (ABe), Charles Bender, Albert Bivings, David Blankinship, Mark Blauer, A. Buckley, Dorothy Burr, Sheriton Burr, Peter Canth, Charlie Clark, Ralph Clearman, Steve Clearman, Sumner Dana (SDa), Sandy Dillard, Joyce Dolch (JDol), Jeff Donaldson (JDon), Gladys Donohue, Ellen Dunaway, Charles Easley, Victor Emanuel, Ted Eubanks, Jean Evans, T. Ben Feltner, David Ferry, Thelma Fox, Brush Freeman, Leo Galloway, Carolyn Gritzmaker, Adele Harding, Steve Hawkins, Mitch Heindel, Kelly Himmel, Jean Hoffman, Edwin Hoopes, Alan Hunt, Erma Kibler (EKi), Kirke King, Nancy Krosley, Ed Kutac, Becky Lasley, Greg Lasley, Keith Lockhart, Mark Lockwood, Donna Lustoff, William Lybarger, Duncan MacLulich, Donald Martin, Kay McCracken, Jody Miller, W. Moore, Jim Morgan (JMo), John Muldrow (JMu), Patti Munzy, Donald Myers, Andy O'Neil, Craig Patterson, Jan Pierson, Randy Pinkston, Bryant Pomrenke (BPo), Charles Potter, Bill Pulliam (BPu), Scott Rea, Arthur Richard, Hanna Richard, Linda Roach, Rena Ross, John Rowlett, Tom Schulenberg, Peter Scott, Willie Sekula, Chuck Sexton, Ken Seyffert, Shirley Shead, John Sproul, Thomas Tacha, Verda Teale, Jack Tryer, Guy Tudor, Bettye Vernon, George Wagner, Sally Weeks, Bret Whitney, Frances Williams, Andrew Wood, and Barry Zimmer.

Acknowledgments. The TBRC is grateful to the many contributors listed above, without whom this report would not be possible. We would also like to thank the following consultants who provided useful information to the TBRC concerning several records: Laurence Binford, Jon Dunn, Joseph R. Jehl, Jr., Paul Lehman, and Dennis Paulson.

Keith Arnold, Chuck Sexton, Ken Seyffert, and Frances Williams made helpful comments on early drafts of this article.


All records pertain to one individual unless otherwise indicated.

RED-THROATED LOON (Gavia stellata)

1977 - 24 Nov, Lake Theo, Briscoe (KS, TBRC #1978-3).

RED-NECKED GREBE (Podiceps auritus)

1977 - 5 Nov, Lake Fairfield, Freestone (PC, TBRC #1978-4).

BROWN BOOBY (Sula leucogaster)

1975 - 30 Aug, off Port Aransas, Nueces (RC, SC, TBRC #1977-8).

JABIRU (Jabiru mycteria)

1981 - 6-18 Sep, Oso Bay, Corpus Christi, Nueces (BB, DF, CC, TBRC #1981-6, TPRF #251).

BRANT (Branta bernicla)

1982 - 6 Mar, Cartwright Ranch near Dinero, Live Oak (SH, SDa, JE, TBRC #1982-7).

RUFF (Philomachus pugnax)

1977 - 14 Feb-24 Mar, Galveston Is., Galveston (TBF, JT, TBRC #1977-6).

1986 - 24 Jul-21 Dec, Mitchell Lake, San Antonio, Bexar (MH, WS, TBRC #1986-4, TPRF #409). What is presumed to be the same bird returned 25 Jul-24 Nov 87.

LITTLE GULL (Larus minutus)

1986/1987 - adult. 22 Dec-21 Feb, Lake Ray Hubbard, Dallas/Kaufman,(KL, JMu, TBRC #1987-5, TPRF #572).

1987 - adult. 21 Jan, Granger Lake, Williamson (GL, JA, TBRC #1987-6).

CALIFORNIA GULL (Larus californicus)

1986 - adult. 21 Dec, Sabine Pass, Jefferson (TS, TBRC #1987-4).

THAYER'S GULL (Larus thayeri)

1986 - imm. 8-9 Nov, San Luis Pass, Galveston (JMo, TE, GL, TBRC #1987-2, TPRF #515).

WESTERN GULL (Larus occidentalis)

1986 - adult. 14 May, Ft. Bliss, El Paso (BZ, JDon, ph. TBRC #1987-3, TPRF #514). This record represents the first for Texas.

SABINE'S GULL (Xema sabini)

1976 - imm. 26 Sep, Iowa Park, Wichita (EKi, TBRC #1977-1).

1977 - imm. 1 Oct, Port Aransas, Nueces (BV, TBRC #1978-11).

RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti)

1986 - 14-21 Nov, (1-2 birds), Anzalduas Park, Hidalgo (JDol, GL, SW, GW, CC, TBRC #1986-5, TPRF #407).

BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD (Cynanthus latirostris)

1985 - female. 11 Dec 85-12 Feb 86, Santa Ana NWR, Hidalgo (BW, JP, JH, TBRC #1986-6).

THICK-BILLED KINGBIRD (Tyrannus crassirostris)

1986 - 29 May-2 Sep, Rio Grande Village, Big Bend Nat. Park, Brewster (ABe, PS, CE, GL, TBRC #1986-7,

TPRF #392). Another (or the same?) individual was at same location in 1985. See TPRF #358.

SULPHUR-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes luteiventris)

1975 - (nesting pair) 7 May-16 Jul, Santa Margarita Ranch, Starr (JA, TBRC #1978-9). The pair returned 8 May-11 Jul 76 and were seen again 30 Jul 77. This represents the first record for Texas.

AMERICAN DIPPER (Cinclus mexicanus)

1986 - 12 Mar, Big Bend Nat. Park, Brewster (BPu, TBRC #1986-8).


1980 - 24 Feb, Brownsville, Cameron (GL, BL, AB, TBRC #1980-4).

VARIED THRUSH (Ixoreus naevius)

1979 - 18 Feb-21 Mar, Idalou, Lubbock (ED, TBRC #1979-2).

1981/1982 - male. 7 Dec -10 Jan, Big Bend Nat. Park, Brewster (BPo, GL, BL, TBRC #1982-1).

RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER (Basileuterus rufifrons)

1973 - 10 Feb, below Falcon Dam, Starr (VE, JR, TBRC #1977-9). This record represented the first for Texas.

GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW (Zonotrichia atricapilla)

1976/1977 - 12-18 Nov & 1 Jan, Amarillo, Potter (RR, PA, TBRC #1977-4).

COMMON REDPOLL (Carduelis flammea)

1965/1966 - 25 Nov-16 Jan, (6 birds) Buffalo Lake NWR, Randall (KS, LG, PA, TF, TBRC #1978-2).

1977 - 27 Nov, Wolf Creek Park, Ochiltree (KS, TBRC #1978-1).

The above two records represent the only accepted records for Texas.


A number of factors may contribute to a record being denied acceptance. It is rather uncommon for a record to not be accepted because the bird was obviously misidentified. More often, a record may be denied acceptance because the information provided to the TBRC was not sufficient to document the reported occurrence.

Cory's Shearwater

27 Sep 75, off Port Aransas, Nueces (#1977-13).

Greater Shearwater

30 Aug 75, off Port Aransas, Nueces (#1977-12).

Sooty Shearwater

25 Aug 78, off Port Aransas, Nueces (#1978-18).

Band-rumped Storm-Petrel

12 Jul 74, off Galveston, Galveston (#1987-9).

Glossy Ibis

6 Jun 86, San Antonio, Bexar (#1986-6).

Muscovy Duck

14 Sep 86, below Falcon Dam, Starr (#1987-10).

21 Nov 86, (3 birds), Salineno, Starr (#1987-11).

The current status of this species in Texas has not yet been reviewed by the TBRC.

American Black Duck

9 Oct 77, Lubbock, Lubbock (#1977-7).

Northern Goshawk

3 Apr 82, Santa Ana NWR, Hidalgo (#1982-3).

16 Mar 86, Alice, Jim Wells (#1987-12).

Common Black-Hawk

18 Apr 78, Hays (#1978-15).

Roadside Hawk

3 Oct 82, Santa Ana NWR, Hidalgo (#1986-10).

Short-tailed Hawk

10 Apr 77, Mission, Hidalgo (#1979-4).

24 Sep 79, Mission, Hidalgo (#1979-3).

25 Feb 81, Mission, Hidalgo (#1982-6).

12 Sep 81, Mission, Hidalgo (#1982-5).

20 Dec 81, Anzalduas Park, Hidalgo (#1982-4).

Laughing Falcon

21 Feb 86, Hidalgo (#1987-13).

Aplomado Falcon

12 Apr 86, Uvalde (#1986-11).

Spotted Rail

18 Feb 78, Big Bend Nat. Park, Brewster (#1978-12).

Common Crane

10 Jan 79, Brownfield, Terry (#1980-6).

Wandering Tattler

30 Mar 82, Fulton Beach, Aransas (#1982-9).

Eskimo Curlew

7 May 81 (23 birds), Atkinson Island, Chambers (#1981-2).

Curlew Sandpiper

7 Jun 86, Laguna Atascosa NWR, Cameron (#1986-13).

Long-tailed Jaeger

14 Jul 77, Hemstead, Waller (#1977-11).

California Gull

2 May 87 (2 birds), Amarillo, Randall (#1987-14).

Thayer's Gull

23 Apr 80, Bolivar Flats, Galveston (#1981-9).

15 Mar 81, San Antonio, Bexar (#1981-3).

Bridled Tern

20 Sep 85, Padre Island, Cameron (#1986-14).

Blue Ground-Dove

20 Jul 86, Santa Margarita Ranch, Starr (#1986-15).

Antillean Nighthawk

11 May 86, Padre Island, Kleberg (#1987-15).

Allen's Hummingbird

4 Feb 77, Corpus Christi, Nueces (#1977-19).

Elegant Trogon

4 Oct 75, Bentsen S.P., Hidalgo (#1977-15).

Dusky-capped Flycatcher

4 Jun 86, Candelaria, Presidio (#1986-16).

Thick-billed Kingbird

18 Apr 78, Pedernales Falls S.P., Blanco (#1978-16).

Gray-collared Becard

12 May 86, San Antonio, Bexar (#1987-16).

Rufous Piha

19 Apr 86, Laguna Atascosa NWR, Cameron (#1987-17).

Black-capped Chickadee

Nov 85, Dallas (#1986-17)

Yellow-green Vireo

19 Sep 76, Kerr (#1977-2)

Gray-crowned Yellowthroat

2 Nov 86, Bentsen S.P., Hidalgo (#1987-18).

Rufous-winged Sparrow

31 Jan 85, Big Bend Nat. Park, Brewster (#1986-18).

Yellow-eyed Junco

22 Dec 80, Guadalupe Mountains N.P., Culberson (#1981-5).

Snow Bunting

15 Dec 79, Floydada, Floyd (#1980-5).

Melodious Blackbird

13 Apr 86, Austin, Travis (#1987-20).

Common Redpoll

18-19 Feb 78, Commerce, Hunt (#1978-13).


Arnold, K.A. 1984. Decisions of the T.O.S. Bird Records Committee for 1984. Bull. Texas Ornith. Soc. 17 (1&2): 18-19.

Arnold, K.A. 1985. Decisions of the T.O.S. Bird Records Committee for 1985. Bull. Texas Ornith. Soc. 18 (1&2): 31-32.

Arvin, J.C. 1980. An 88-Year Old "New" Species for the Avifauna of the United States. Birding 12:10-11.

Lasley, G.W., D.A. Easterla, C.W. Sexton, and D.A. Bartol. 1982. Documentation of the Red-faced Warbler in Texas and a Review of its Status in Texas and Adjacent Areas. Bull. Texas Ornith. Soc. 15 (1&2):8-14.

Lasley, G.W. and T. Pincelli. 1986. Gray Silky-flycatcher in Texas: Finally an ABA-area Accepted Record? Birding 18:34-36.

Morgan, J.G., T.L. Eubanks, V. Eubanks, and L. White. 1985. A Yucatan Vireo Appears in Texas. American Birds 39: 245-256.

Morgan, J.G., and L.M. Feltner. 1985. A Neotropical Bird Flies North: The Greenish Elaenia. American Birds 39: 242-244.

TOS. 1984. The T.O.S. Checklist of the Birds of Texas. 2nd. ed. Texas Ornithological Society.