Christmas Counts

New 2023 Audubon Count... Currently stands as 117 species for count for Count Day and Count Week

Interesting species include Sora, Long-billed Dowitcher, Glaucous Gull, California Gull, and Summer Tanager (photos below).

2023 CBC Species List

Glaucous Gull

Matt DuRoss, White Rock Lake, 12-16-2023

Summer Tanager

Ashton Tassin, Reverchon Park, Dallas County, December 16, 2023

Long-billed Dowitcher

Jesse Crowley, Dallas County, December 16, 2023

Long-billed Dowitcher

Jesse Crowley, Dallas County, December 16, 2023

California Gull - Blaine Carnes - White Rock Lake

California Gull - Peter Billingham - White Rock Lake

Historical Dallas Christmas Count Information

Obvious Mistakes from Past Years

* Plain Titmouse (55) from 1967. Pulich shows no records of this Trans-Pecos bird before or after the species split. Clearly this was a bizarre misidentification or a mammoth clerical error. Now considered "Juniper Titmouse".

* Pygmy Nuthatch (1) from 1967. Pulich shows the only PYNU record from 1966 – a year earlier and which was a bird actually collected in Irving, Texas, on December 31, 1966 by Pulich himself (WMP 1537).

* Semipalmated Sandpiper 50 from 1957 and also 26 from 1975. Both observations of multiple birds would be unheard of during a Christmas Count. A December/January record is so rare in Texas that they are reviewable by the TBRC.

* Baird’s Sandpiper (25) from 1966. Individual records in North America in December are extraordinary.

* Pectoral Sandpiper (9) from 1957. Also unbelievable for the same reason as above. Although a very few PESAs have shown up in south Texas Christmas Counts recently, none have ever shown up in North-central Texas during December\January.

* Pyrrhuloxia (221) from 1974. A very rare bird anywhere in North-central Texas. A number of 221? Someone must have been counting this west Texas bird from the window of a local bar.

Curiosities and Possible Errors

* Sage Thrasher (7) from 1957 – No records from that year (Pulich)

* Baird’s Sparrow (4) from 1961 – No records from that year (Pulich)

* Golden-fronted Woodpecker –1978, 1984. Probably misidentified

* Dickcissel (1) from 1982 (possible, but no details)

Surprise Sightings

High Numbers of Interesting Species

* Hairy Woodpecker – 22 from 1982

* Red-headed Woodpecker 14 from 1984

* Red-winged Blackbird – 613,841 from 1977 and 510,739 from 1978. (Since 1980, most individual blackbird numbers have not exceeded four figures.) 

Top Ten Dallas Counts (CD=Count Day, CW=Count Week)

2020 = 120 CD and 122 CW

2004 = 119 CD and 125 CW

2006 = 117 CD and 123 CW

2013 = 117 CD and 120 CW

2023 = 117 CD and 117 CW

2009 = 117 CD and 117 CW

2012 = 116 CD and 117 CW

2011 = 116 CD and 117 CW

2010 = 116 CD and 117 CW

2005 = 115 CD and 118 CW

2019 = 115 CD and 116 CW

Dallas Count Factoids

In the 20th-century, the highest species total for a Dallas Christmas Bird Count was in 1982 with 108 species. Every year since 2002 has exceeded that mark even though participation is half of what it was during the peak years of participation.

The 1982 Count also had 105 participants. The peak window of time for Dallas Count participation was between 1975-1985.

The first two counts, the 1926 and 1927 counts, had only 2-3 participants each. The 1953 and 1955 Count had only one participant. All other counts after 1955 had at least double-digit participants. There were only 3 counts prior to 1953 (1926,1927, and 1935). After 1953, there were no interruptions.

The lowest recorded temperature for a Dallas CBC was 13 degrees in 1989. The highest recorded temperature was 77 degrees in 2006.

Several species that were regular during the early years of the count (1950s and 1960's) are no longer seen with any regularity: These birds include Northern Bobwhite, Rough-legged Hawk, King Rail, Red-headed Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Greater Roadrunner, and Lapland Longspur.

Birds occasionally being seen now that were not seen in the 20th-century are Neotropic Cormorant, Snowy Egret, White Ibis, Mottled Duck, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Franklin's Gull, White-winged Dove, and Sedge Wren.

Sparrow and duck numbers are trending downward, but species diversity among gulls and some passerine groups are higher.

The count circle has remained constant since it began in 1926. The map has been added as a PDF file attachment at the bottom of this page.

If you wish to look up histo