Migration and the Migratory Birds of Texas

Who are they and where are they going?

By Clifford E. Shackelford, Edward R. Rozenburg, W. Chuck Hunter and Mark W. Lockwood

PDF version: Migration and The Migratory Birds of Texasmedia download(PDF 691.3 KB)

Why is there an interest in migratory birds in Texas?

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
photo courtesy of
Mark Lockwood

Of the 338 species that are listed as Nearctic-Neotropical migrants in North America (north of Mexico), 333 of them (or 98.5%) have been recorded in Texas. This means that of the 615 species of birds documented in Texas, 54% of them are Nearctic-Neotropical migratory birds. Texas is important to these migrants and these migrants are important to Texas.

What exactly is a Nearctic-Neotropical Migrant?

These species are collectively known by a host of other names. The species that comprise this group basically breed in temperate latitudes (i.e., U.S. and Canada), but leave for the winter for tropical latitudes farther south (i.e., Central and South America). Their migratory habits are part of their lives and heritage.

*Common names follow the 7th edition of the AOU Checklist.
Added modifiers in quotes represent distinct subspecies.

Contact Information:

For more information, please contact:

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Wildlife Diversity
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, Texas 78744