Single Sightings

The following are seven species with singular known sight records or specimens from Pulich's, Birds of North-Central Texas, 1988. These were birds observed in only one county of the study area, usually on one single date. None of them have been reported since. Four of the seven species include collected specimens. The other three observations are based on written reports. No photographs are known to exist for any of them.

I list all seven 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). These birds were collected and labeled as Eastern Wood-Pewees at the time. Years later, on examination of the Pewees by Pulich, questions were raised about the identification of two birds. These 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 (Pulich, p.207), and there have been no further observations of Western Wood-Pewee in the study area since his publication. Although these two specimens are two years apart and 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.

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 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.

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.

Regarding Black-billed Magpie

Black-billed Magpie has been removed from the region's official checklist. Pulich had several observational reports within the study area listed in his publication. He 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. It was determined at that time, due to the issues of provenance, no Black-billed Magpie records from Region 2 would be cleared for acceptance by the TBRC. Black-billed Magpie has now been removed from the North-central Texas list [2017].