Defining North-Central Texas
Pulich's Map vs. TOS Region II Map and the North American Birds Region II Map - Warren Pulich's 1988 publication, "Birds of North-Central Texas" used the county map boundaries below for his database of records. Following that are the Texas Ornithological Society and North America Birds maps. All of these maps were used at one time to define the biogeographic region known as North-central Texas.
While many types of ornithological journals with regional groupings can still be accessed online, eBird records now are generally filtered by county, state, and province and not by any biogeographic area or any grouping of counties. These regions, however, offer a direct relationship to understanding the state's soil and plant communities and to the regional bird life (see biogeographic maps at bottom of page). North-central Texas is enormously diverse in this regard pulling together eastern, western, and prairie habitats and a diversity of birds greater than some states.
Pulich's 1988 map for Birds of NC Texas
TOS Reporting Region II Map
North American Birds Reporting Region II Map
Combining the Three Maps - This website combines most of the three maps into one map (below). We add the eight western counties, two southwestern counties, and two southeastern counties (Van Zandt and Rains). We leave out Lamar, Delta, Hopkins and Wood counties on the eastern perimeter.
We add the western and southwestern counties because most of the TOS reporting archives for Region II supply us with information from those reporting boundaries. There is a long recorded history of TOS seasonal reports which include the eight western and two southwestern counties within the North-central Texas definition.
The two missing southwestern counties (Eastland and Erath counties) seems odd on the North American Birds map. Since we have very good historical data from both TOS and Pulich for those counties, and since they are frequently referred to as part of North-central Texas, it makes sense to add them here.
We also add two southeastern counties, as Pulich did, because, again, it makes sense. Trying to procure records from only part of a very large lake like Lake Tawakoni was illogical. Birds on a lake move around. Trying to figure out whether a Western Grebe is floating within your area or outside your area just creates an unnecessary headache. Pulich provided good historical records from all counties surrounding the lake.
We leave out Lamar, Delta, Hopkins and Wood counties because they were frequently considered part of east Texas in other reporting venues and the habitat is largely eastern in nature.
In a nutshell, the map below was used because it provides the best boundary system for seeking bird records historically - using both Pulich's extensive research in the eastern counties and the TOS archived records which included the four western counties.
North-central Texas Map as defined by this Website
Bird Checklist Compass Points
FE = Far East Counties -Rains, Van Zandt
FW = Far West Counties -Archer, Baylor, Callahan, Eastland, Earth, Foard, Hardeman, Haskell, Knox, Palo Pinto, Shackleford, Stephens, Wilbarger, Throckmorton, Wichita, and Young
E = East Counties -Collin, Dallas, Ellis, Fannin, Grayson, Hunt, Kaufman, Navarro, and Rockwall
W = West Counties -Bosque, Clay, Cooke, Denton, Hill, Hood, Jack, Johnson, Montague, Parker, Somervell, Tarrant, and Wise
The above abbreviations are sometimes used under the "likely" column of the area checklist.
Many of the typical eastern birds will sometimes show up sporadically in the western counties. Eastern-type birds like Blue Jays and Carolina Wrens can be found around streams and rivers as they follow riparian habitat to the west. Western birds may stray occasionally into the eastern habitats particularly during periods of drought.
For any information about the nature of the checklist - total numbers, birds photographed, birds added, etc., see "about the checklist."
Texas Ornithological Society Map of State-wide Regions
Texas Parks and Wildlife Ecological Maps
Images from Texas Parks and Wildlife (top) and the Texas Ornithological Society (bottom)