State Checklist

State Checklist from 1912-2021

The current accepted bird list was taken from the Texas Birds Record Committee website in 2020 and has been occasionally updated since that time. The earlier state-wide bird checklists - Oberholser 1974, and Strecker 1912 - were compiled, annotated and published using the most current research available at that time. Overall, the consistency between the two earlier works and the recent checklist was fairly remarkable. Strecker's list was not given to any oceanic travel so pelagic birds were largely missing, but otherwise there were few surprises.

Only a few birds would not have the documentation needed to make it to today's modern list. Both Oberholser and Strecker refer to Reiffer's Hummingbird (now Rufous-tailed Hummingbird) with a specimen record in 1876. However, that reference was of a live captured bird that apparently escaped. Obserholser refers to a second sight record near Brownsville later, but there is no specimen and details are unclear. It is now no longer an accepted Texas species and there are no other records in the United States.

Strecker has a few other birds that have since been taken off the Texas list for various reasons. Among them are Scarlet Ibis, Limpkin, and Harpy Eagle. (Limpkin officially returned to the list in 2021, when there were three well-documented sightings in Texas). Several birds have gone through various sub-species and common name changes, but for the most part the birds were easily moved into new naming conventions with little effort.

The 1912 list was at a time when most bird identification was done with a gun. Because of that, a rare or highly localized species might go unnoticed for long periods of time. Birds like Black-chinned Sparrow, Cape May Warbler, and Palm Warbler can be seen annually with some effort by birder's today. In Strecker's 1912 list, however, these birds were still hypothetical and many of today's review species (in bold type) were completely unknown.

Texas List