Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Stay up-to-date on operations adjustments and temporary closure of TPWD offices, state parks, recreation facilities and water access points due to COVID-19. Please follow guidance from local authorities, Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Department of State Health Services.


Project Prairie Birds

A Citizen Science Project for Wintering Grassland Birds

Avian Surveys

Long Prairie Grasses
Photo Botteri's Sparrow Copyright Michael L. Gray

Botteri's sparrow
Photo Copyright Michael L. Gray

Figure 2
A survey crew of three ready to walk a transect attempting to flush skulking grassland birds. Both outside poles shown above continue outside of the figure box. The outside poles are equal length to the inner "poles" seen here.

Figure 3
A successful flush: The bird is never harmed, the observer (middle person) detects and identifies the species and meaningful information is then collected. Pole operators are encouraged to help spot and identify birds, but additional people cannot assist.

NOTE: To reduce variability in the results, please maintain consistency in data collected. Please do not make any changes or adjustments to the field methodology.

The "Brandonizer"

This simple device was developed by Brandon Crawford, a Student Conservation Association (SCA) Conservation Associate at Attwater Prairie-Chicken NWR, who assisted with the initial surveys at that site. This will work in pure grassland situations that lack trees. Slip each pole (left and right) about 14 inches into a 4’ piece of 3/4” PVC. The bamboo should fit snugly, possibly with the aid of some tape, but not permanently so they can be taken apart to make transporting easier. Grip the PVC piece by holding it at waist-level. With an up and down motion, alternating left then right arm, it is much easier to beat the grass for skulking birds. This device reduces stress to the back, shoulders and arms.

For Additional Information write to:

Project Prairie Birds Program
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
or send a message to: