Single Sightings

The following are nine species with singular known sight records or specimens from Pulich's, Birds of North-Central Texas, 1988. These are not birds listed under "Species of Uncertain Occurrence," but birds that are listed in the definitive checklist. These were birds observed in only one county of the study area, usually on one single date. None of them have been reported since. Five of the nine species include collected specimens. The other four observations are based on written reports. No photographs are known to exist for any of them.

I list all ten observations here.

Band-tailed Pigeon - Observational. One sight record from Stephen's Co., August 18, 1969 (Williams, 1970). No other information (Pulich, p.163).

Green Kingfisher - Specimen taken from Wise Co., January 3, 1889, by J. A. Donald. Pulich says the specimen has apparently been lost (Pulich, p.194). There have been no other observational records since then (although we now have two photo-records of Ringed Kingfisher - a South Texas specialty).

Western Wood-Pewee - Specimens (2) mislabeled or misidentified from Dallas Museum of Natural History collection (DMNH 4866 and 5035). Birds were consequently sent elsewhere for study and proved to be Western Wood-Pewees rather than Eastern. One came from Tarrant Co., 1954, and one from Young Co., in 1956. Pulich dismisses other weak sightings of this confusing species, and there have been no further observations since his publication (Pulich, p.207). Although these specimens do not represent a single observation, I have added them here because of the uniqueness of a confirmed species never actually identified in the field from the study area.

Clark's Nutcracker - One observational record from Wichita Co., January 7, 1973. According to Pulich, Clark's Nutcracker had invaded the Texas Panhandle and the Trans-Pecos during the winter of 1972-73 (Pulich, p. 236). There have been no invasions since that time, and Clark's Nutcracker observations have been rare for the state as a whole. The TBRC was not an organizational body at that time and the observation of this bird was not known to be reviewed.

Black-billed Magpie - There is only one (or two) observational reports within the study area. Pulich lists the year date (1966) for one observation in Tarrant County, but does not list the date of the other potential sighting in Tarrant Co. There are two other observations, (Tarrant and Wichita cos.) but according to Pulich they may have represented escapees (Pulich p.236). There is some vagueness in the tone of this species account, and I believe Pulich was striking a cautionary note about the origin of these sightings. Like Clark's Nutcracker, this species would become a future "review species" but because the observation was submitted prior to the creation of the TBRC, it was never reviewed for North-central Texas.

* The above record was reviewed years later at an official TBRC meeting long after Pulich's publication. Due to the issues of provenance, this particular Black-billed Magpie from Region 2 has not been accepted by the TBRC. Black-billed Magpie has now been removed from the North-central Texas list [2017].

Pygmy Nuthatch - Pulich collected a specimen in Irving, Dallas County, on December 31, 1966 (WMP 1537). To date it is the only know record of this species for the study area (Pulich p.246). Recently, the similar Brown-headed Nuthatch was photo-documented in the southeast part of the study area, but that species would be perhaps more expected in North-central Texas, than the single observation of the Pygmy Nuthatch.

Lucy's Warbler - Observational. Pulich accepted this 1928 observation solely on the sterling reputation of the observer, Connie Hagar. According to Pulich, Hagar observed this warbler from her Corsicana home window on May 21 and 22, 1928 "in plain sight" (Pulich, p.299). There was no such thing as a published field guide in 1928, and Hagar was not believed to own binoculars at the time. Hagar's work in field ornithology went on to become legendary after her move to Rockport, Texas. There have been no known sightings in the study area since that time. Although Lucy's Warbler is not a review species, this record was deemed worthy of a discussion at an official TBRC meeting. This record apparently has been accepted by the TBRC as part of the official state list regarding the status and distribution of Lucy's Warbler.

Pine Grosbeak - A specimen of this species was found dead on November 24, 1969 in downtown Dallas (WMP 1753) (Pulich, p.389). There are very few records for the state as a whole. Since 1969, North-central Texas has had one other sighting. A bird was observed outside Lewisville, Denton Co., on December 28, 1990. Although no photo-image exists, this second observation was reviewed and accepted by the TBRC.

Cassin's Finch - A lone female was observed and collected as a specimen on April 8, 1961 (WMP 1218) from Bosque Co., (Pulich p.391). To date, no other known observation exists for North-central Texas.