KPC's preserves in west Harris County and east Waller County provide essential habitat for birds and have therefore been designated a Global Important Bird Area (IBA). If you will be coming out to do some birding, below are two different formats of our Katy Prairie Bird Checklist; you can print each on a single sheet of paper, double-sided.
Two sites on the Katy Prairie Loop of Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail - Upper Texas Coast (UTC) include several of our preserves:
- UTC 099 Matt Cook Memorial Viewing Platform at Warren Lake is the only site open to the public on a daily basis - click here for directions.
- UTC 100 Sharp/Hebert/Pattison Roads provides a guide for mainly roadside birding opportunities.
- The trail system at KPC's Field Office is also open to the public several days each week. For hours and directions, click here and scroll down to Indiangrass Preserve (KPC's Field Office).
If you are trying to identify a bird by sound, a list of over 600 North American bird voices can be found through Bird-Sounds.net here. For general life history information as well as bird voices, the Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology's All About Birds web site has a wealth of information as well as a Bird Guide with which you can browse species by shape or in a taxonomic list, or search for an individual species.
Supplemental checklist information: The below checklist was updated in 2009. Since then, some additional species have been observed, generally can be considered accidental or vagrant. For example …
- A Eurasian Wigeon was present near KPC's Field Office for a week in early April 2018.
- A Lazuli Bunting (plus possibly 2 others) was observed 1 mile west of KPC's Field Office the morning after a very strong front likely blew it eastward on its spring migration in late April 2015.
- Of particular note was the incredibly extreme drought from late 2010 through spring 2012 which period species typical of more arid and/or western locations moved into the region or were seen in atypically high numbers: e.g., throughout the Katy Prairie, male Cassin's Sparrows in abundance were singing and displaying on territory during the summer of 2011 (we are unsure of breeding success); Green-tailed Towhee, a rare wintering species, was present in good numbers and widespread on the Katy Prairie during the winter of 2011-2012, and there were a number of Sage Thrasher reports during that winter. Some regularly observed species declined or were not present (e.g., herons & egrets). These trends did not continue in subsequent years.
For the most current data on birds observed on the Katy Prairie, use the Explore Data function on eBird.
Enjoy your time on the Katy Prairie!