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  Houston Audubon Answer Center



Birds: Identification, Help for Injured/Orphaned Birds, Threats to Birds, Birdhouses, Backyard Bird Problems
Bird Sightings: What's Being Seen at Houston Audubon Sanctuaries and on the Upper Texas Coast, Seasonal Reports, Rare Bird Alerts
Conservation: Houston Audubon Sanctuaries, Land Conservation Projects, Hot Topics (Current Environmental Concerns)
Houston Audubon Activities: Events and Programs for Adults, Children, and Families, Membership, and Donation Programs
Resources: Newsletters, Maps, Checklists, Nature Areas, Nature Guides, Nature Fact Sheets

If you can't find your answer here, please contact us. Find full contact information, including office hours, locations, and telephone numbers, on our contact page.


What is this bird?
To identify a bird, try the All About Birds online guide.
To learn more about a bird species found on the Upper Texas Coast, visit our Bird Gallery, which has photos and notes for most of the species seen locally.

I found an injured/baby bird. What do I do?
For emergency procedures see the Frequently Asked Questions on the Wildlife Center of Texas website.
For a list of wildlife rehabbers, visit the Wildlife Rescue & Rehab Links on our website.

I'd like to learn about bird watching. How do I start?
The best way to get started is by taking one of our birding classes. For online resources about bird watching visit All About Birds on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's website.

How do I report a threat to birds or their habitat?
Our Threats to Birds and Their Habitat explains the laws and has contact information.

Where can I find birdhouse plans?
Nest box plans on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website
Birdhouses 101
Nest Structures, Feeders, and Photo Blinds on the USGUS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center website.

How do I discourage a bird who is being a pest or is flying into my windows?
How to Prevent Birds From Flying into Windows: fact sheet prepared by the American Bird Conservancy.
Dealing with Predators and Pests in Your Yard (Cornell Lab of Ornithology) has much helpful advice.
For more tips, see Backyard Bird Problems on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife site.
Please remember that under Texas law it is illegal to tamper or destroy the nest, eggs, or young of any wild bird.

How do I arrange to have a bird survey made of my land?
Texas Parks and Wildlife has formed the Biological Survey Team to assist landowners and TPWD biologists by conducting surveys.


What's being seen at the Houston Audubon sanctuaries and on the Upper Texas Coast?
The High Island and Bolivar Peninsula sanctuaries, Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary, and Sims Bayou Urban Nature Center are all eBird HotSpots. It is not necessary to login to use eBird.
Check the Houston Audubon sanctuary blog for notes on what's happening at Houston Audubon sanctuaries.
Explore the Texbirds archives for what's being seen in Texas.

What should I expect to see in winter?
Winter on the Upper Texas Coast is an exceptional time of year for birding, full of exciting opportunities. For beginning birders, it's a great time of year to get started with fewer leaves on the trees to obscure sightings. Many birders participate in the numerous Christmas Bird Counts which are held throughout the region from December 14 to January 5.

Urban Birding: Common winter birds within Houston's city limits are Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Eastern Phoebe, Blue-headed Vireo, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, American Goldfinch, Hermit Thrush, Brown Thrasher, and Pine, Orange-crowned, and Yellow-rumped Warblers. Huge flocks of Cedar Waxwings, American Robins, and blackbirds are frequently found. Some years Pine Siskins are numerous. Look for hawks in city parks. Sharp-shinned Hawks are often found in wooded neighborhoods.

Katy Prairie: The Katy Prairie is a favorite destination in winter for winter geese, ducks, Sandhill Cranes, hawks (including Bald Eagles), sparrows, and other winter specialties. Visit the Katy Prairie Conservancy website for more information and maps. The Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR on the Katy Prairie also offers excellent birding opportunities.

Coastal Shorebirds: See A Birdwalk at Bolivar Flats by Cin-Ty Lee of Rice University for information about winter shorebirds. Some of the best locations for winter gulls are Bolivar Flats, Galveston's East Beach, and Quintana.

Hummingbirds: Although hummingbirds are not common in Houston, often the ones that are here are unusual species. See the Houston Audubon Hummingbird Fact Sheet for more information on wintering hummingbirds.

Purple Martins: The first Purple Martin scouts arrive in January. December is a great time to prepare Purple Martin houses. For more information, see Houston Audubon's Purple Martin webpage.


Where can I find out about Houston Audubon sanctuaries?
Our Sanctuary Section has pages on all sanctuaries. Information includes descriptions, locations, hours, maps, and checklists.

What are Houston Audubon's land conservation projects?
Houston Audubon Land Conservation Section

What are Houston Audubon's current environmental concerns?
Houston Audubon Hot Topics


What events and programs does Houston Audubon have?
Speaker's and Other Events throughout the year.
Houston Audubon Family and Children's Programs: Houston Audubon holds programs at Sims Bayou Urban Nature Center and at away locations. Offerings include Bayou Buddies (preschoolers), Girl Scout Badge workshops, Discover Birds Outreach Programs, Family Nature Explore Club, Library Programs, Summer Camps, and Bird Educator Workshops
The Audubon Docents: offer family and children's programs at Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary, including Titmouse Club (preschoolers), Guided Tours, Birthday Parties, After-School Nature Explorers Club, Owl Prowls, Open Houses, Library Programs, and Summer Camps.
Houston Audubon Bird Counts and Surveys
Houston Audubon Birding Classes
Galveston County Group
Houston Audubon Nature Photography Association (HANPA)
Volunteer Activities: work days and trail days, sanctuary office help, festival assistance, and more.
Donation Programs

How do I Join Houston Audubon?
Membership Information: for new and renewing members.


What additional resources does Houston Audubon have?
Houston Audubon Newsletters and E-News
Maps and Checklists for Houston Audubon sanctuaries
Houston Audubon Nature Fact Sheets on Gardening for Wildlife, Nocturnal Wildlife, Butterflies and Moths, Bats, Snakes, Make Your Cup of Joe Work for Bird Conservation, and Fall for Composting
Information about Nature Areas on the Upper Texas Coast
Recommended Local Nature Tour Guides
Nature Links for Kids


Bird Sightings

For what's being seen at our sanctuaries and on the Upper TX Coast, visit eBird or the Texbirds archives. It is not necessary to register to use either resource.

Help for Injured Wildlife

For emergency procedures see the Frequently Asked Questions on the Wildlife Center of Texas website.

For a list of wildlife rehabbers, visit the Wildlife Rescue & Rehab Links on our website.

How to Prevent Birds From Flying into Windows: fact sheet prepared by the American Bird Conservancy.

Nature Fact Sheets


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