John and Mary Kormendy House Birds (Texas)

We live near Dripping Springs in the hill country of Texas. There are fewer bird species here than in the flatlands east of Austin. Nevertheless, over 16 years, our house list has grown to more than 120 species. We start out of taxonomic order with the iconic Greater roadrunner.

Some mammals are shown at the end.

Greater roadrunner (breeding resident)

Mary once saw a roadrunner jump off of the roof of our house and over her head to catch and eat a Black-chinned hummingbird. It's a jungle out there!

Wood ducks (seen once in our pond)

Black vulture have taken to sitting on the railing of our upstairs deck. Often a mated pair come; it is curously touching to see these not-quite-lovely birds snuggle with each other. We also regularly get Turkey vulture. Vultures are among the few birds that are thriving because of people (specifically: roadkill).

Sharp-shinned hawk (regular spring migrant)

Swainson's hawk (regular spring migrant)

Mourning dove (breeding resident)

White-winged dove (breeding resident with sharply increasing population)

Inca dove (breeding resident)

Ruby-throated hummingbird (spring and fall migrant; in recent years, also a breeding summer resident)

Black-chinned hummingbird (breeding summer resident)

Rufous hummingbird (occasional spring and fall migrant or even winter resident)

Rufous hummingbird (This juvenile -- and eventually adult -- male overwintered at our house for 3 years.)

Golden-fronted woodpecker (male) (breeding resident)

Golden-fronted woodpecker (female) (breeding resident)

Ladder-backed woodpecker (female) (breeding resident)

Ladder-backed woodpecker (male) (breeding resident)

Bad hair day!

Downy woodpecker (male) (occasional summer resident)

Yellow-bellied sapsucker (We no longer get many new species after 17 years living at our house near Dripping Springs, TX, but this one was new during the 2017 spring migration.

Western scrub-jay (breeding resident)

Western scrub-jays sometimes have at least 3 broods per summer. Fledglings are all brown. This is a juvenile.

Blue jay (This is a resident of the nearby flat lands on the east side of Austin; it is generally replaced by Western scrub-jays in the hill country around our house. However, sporadically, a few Blue jays show up at our house and usually stay for a few days to a few weeks, most commonly in winter.)

Black-crested titmouse (breeding resident)

Carolina chickadee (breeding resident)

Carolina wren (breeding resident)

Carolina wren (somewhat seasonal but clearly a breeding resident)

Bewick's wren (breeding resident)

Eastern bluebird (occasional) and Cedar waxwings (sporadic in Winter)

Cedar waxwings (We see them most winters.)

Hermit thrush (Swainson's thrush comes more often, but Hermit thrush comes in the winter, when it is cold.)

American robin (sporadic in Winter; usually arrives with freezing weather)

Northern mockingbird (sporadic year-round, most often in the winter -- berries!)

Golden-cheeked warbler enjoying our mister on a hot day in spring. (These famous Texas rarities breed as close as Pedernales Falls State Park, but our property does not have enough mature oak trees. Still, a few birds pass through on migration every year, and this one stayed for a whole day to keep cool.)

Orange-crowned warbler (winter resident)

Orange-crowned warbler in January 2016

Nashville warbler (This is our most common spring and fall migrant warbler.)

Yellow-rumped warbler (Common Texas resident in winter but has appeared at our house only once.)

Ruby-crowned kinglet (Annual winter resident -- two birds seen about 5 years apart; the second two pictures show a bird from January 2016).

Spotted towhee (sporadic winter resident)

Chipping sparrow (winter resident -- sometimes we have more than 100.)

Fox sparrow (rare winter visitor in very cold weather)

Lincoln sparrow (common spring and wall migrant; occasional winter resident)

House sparrow (A small family group has appeared at our house only once in 16 years.)

Dark-eyed junco (You can always tell when the temperature drops near freezing. That's when the juncos show up.)

Rose-breasted grossbeak (occasional spring migrant)

Northern cardinal (male) (breeding resident)

Northern cardinal: The embarrassment of adolescence

Indigo bunting (fairly common spring migrant)

Painted bunting (breeding summer resident)

Red-winged blackbird (fairly common spring migrant; breeding resident a few miles away)

Scott's oriole (male) (breeding resident most years)

Scott's oriole (female) (breeding resident most years)

Scott's oriole (juvenile male)

House finch (breeding resident males)

Pine siskin (winter resident -- sometimes we have more than 100)

American goldfinch (Sporadic winter resident -- some years, we have dozens; other years, only a few show up all winter.)

Lesser goldfinch (Intermittent resident; breeding resident many summers; numerous in winter.)

In addition to deer, we have many other mammals. For example:

Squirrels are ubiquitous and fiendishly clever at stuffung their faces.

Racoons are common all year.

We have at least three generations of foxes. This is the matriarch.

The iconic Armadillo is always resident but shows up at the house only occasionally.

Ring-tailed cats are our classiest visitor. They come only rarely but then usually stay for several weeks. They dance throught the trees like ballerinas -- they look graceful and weightless.

Our bird pictures from around the world follow standard ecozones approximately but not exactly:

Birds from the USA and Canada:   our house, Texas, California, Hawaii, Canada,

Neotropic birds from Central America and the Caribbean:   Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago

Neotropic birds from South America:   Ecuador 2004, Ecuador 2017, Brazil.

Western palearctic birds:   Europe: Germany, Finland, Norway, Europe: United Kingdom, Europe: Spain, the Canary Islands, Europe: Lesbos, Greece, Israel

Eastern palearctic birds:   China

Birds from Africa:   The Gambia, South Africa

Indo-Malayan birds from   India: North-west (Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand) India: North-east (Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya)India: Central (Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh)

Birds from   Australia, New Zealand.

John Kormendy Home Page

University of Texas Astronomy Home Page

Last update: January 19, 2018

Total visits since January 5, 2012 =

John Kormendy (