Situated in the center of a state renowned for its abundant and varied birdlife, the Texas Hill Country provides habitat for 420 resident and migratory species, including the endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler and Black-capped Vireo. Mark Lockwood, a biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife, has monitored these and other bird populations throughout the Hill Country for many years. In this book, he offers a complete, up-to-date guide to the status and distribution of every bird species reliably reported on the Edwards Plateau.
The species accounts focus on four key characteristics of each bird: relative abundance, distribution within the region, habitat, and timing of occurrence. In addition, Lockwood discusses species that have been reported, but not documented, in the Hill Country, as well as those that might be expected to occur. For birders and ornithologists less familiar with the region, Lockwood also gives a general introduction to the ecology of the Edwards Plateau and to the flora and birdlife found in eighteen parks and birding areas.
- Foreword by Terry Maxwell
- The Edwards Plateau
- River Systems and Reservoirs
- Parks and Other Birding Areas
- Amistad National Recreation Area
- Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge
- Brady Reservoir
- Canyon Lake
- Colorado Bend State Park
- Devils River State Natural Area
- Emma Long Metropolitan Park, City of Austin
- Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
- Garner State Park
- Government Canyon State Natural Area
- Guadalupe River State Park and Honey Creek State Natural Area
- Hill Country State Natural Area
- Inks Lake State Park
- Kickapoo Cavern State Park
- Lake Buchanan
- Lost Maples State Natural Area
- Park Chalk Bluff
- Pedernales Falls State Park
- South Llano River State Park
- Edwards Plateau Birds
- Documenting Observations
- Early History of Ornithological Investigations on the Edwards Plateau
- Using This Book
- Seasonal Definitions
- Frequently Mentioned Locations
- An Annotated List of Species
- Species of Uncertain Occurrence on the Edwards Plateau
- Species Expected to Occur on the Edwards Plateau
- The Seasonal Distribution of Edwards Plateau Birds
- Species of Special Interest
- Selected References
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Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)
Common permanent resident throughout all but the southwestern part of the region. Eastern Bluebirds inhabit open habitats, including pas- tureland and savannas. They are also found throughout the year in Pecan bottoms and other riparian woodlands that have a closed canopy and, therefore, do not have an understory. On the southwestern plateau, and locally elsewhere in the region, Eastern Bluebirds are common winter residents and rare and local breeders. They are generally present between late September and early May. Bluebirds are cavity nesters and have benefited from nest box programs undertaken in the region.
Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana)
Very rare and irregular winter visitor to the western plateau. This species is casual to accidental in the eastern third of the region. When present, Western Bluebirds have not been reported before mid-November. These reports are generally of small flocks with some remaining through early March. These birds are somewhat nomadic and wander locally. They use open habitats such as pastures, shrublands, and juniper woodlands.
Mark W. Lockwood is a conservation biologist in the Natural Resources Program of Texas Parks and Wildlife and secretary of the Texas Bird Records Committee.
"Count yourself fortunate that this book has arrived and that Lockwood is your guide. I recommend that you settle back for an enjoyable and highly informative read, and then follow Lockwood's directions to a personal field study of Edwards Plateau birdlife. And by all means, keep this book close at hand. This now is the modern baseline to which your discoveries will be compared."
—from the Foreword