Project Prairie Birds

A Citizen Science Project for Wintering Grassland Birds

Mission Statement


Long Prairie Grasses

To determine the wintering distribution of grassland species, to identify habitat preferences for these species and utilize these data collected to develop land management recommendations for conservation planning. Most importantly, to give concerned citizens a conservation project that they can contribute their efforts towards while learning how meaningful data are collected and why.

Photo Bachman's Sparrow by David Arbour, USDA Forest Service

Bachman's sparrow
Photo Courtesy David Arbour, USDA Forest Service

What is a prairie or a grassland?

An extensive area of flat to rolling land dominated by tall, mid- or short-grasses and forbs with trees and shrubs usually limited to drainages and other protected areas. Edaphic factors (soil characteristics) and natural processes, such as fire and periodic grazing, maintain the plant community.


Where can project prairie birds be conducted?

Simply put, Project Prairie Birds can be conducted in most temperate grasslands in the southeastern U.S. The methods described here can be easily employed in almost any grassland situation including mid-grass prairies, tall-grass prairies, pine savannahs, fallow pastures, recent clearings, agricultural or ranching areas, etc. Man-made sites will also need to be surveyed, like mowed or grazed pastures (e.g., with non-native grasses like Bermuda or love grass, sizable manicured lawns, golf courses, and the like).

We Need to Hear From You

Project Prairie Birds is for the birds, but conducted by the public. If you are interested in assisting, be sure and let us know how to get in touch with you. We established a unique prairie bird listserve. To subscribe, send a message to listserv@listserv.uh.edu .On the first line put: subscribe pbb-list yourfirstname yourlastname. To send mail to the list, the address is: pbb-list@listserv.uh.edu

Contacts/Principal Investigators

Cecilia Riley
Gulf Coast Bird Observatory
103 West Highway 332, Lake Jackson, Texas 77566
Phone: (979) 480-0999
Fax: (979) 480-0777
E-mail: criley@gcbo.org

Cliff Shackelford
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
3000 IH 35 South, Suite 100, Austin, Texas 78704
Phone: (512) 912-7045
Fax: (512) 912-7058
E-mail: clifford.shackelford@tpwd.state.tx.us

Ross Carrie
Raven Environmental Services, Inc.
P. O. Box 6482, Huntsville, Texas 77342
Phone: (936) 291-0946
Fax: (936) 291-0960
E-mail: nrcarrieraven@aol.com

Dawn Carrie
USDA Forest Service
394 FM 1375 West, New Waverly, Texas 77358
Phone: 936/344-6205
Fax: 936/344-2123
E-mail: dcarrie@fs.fed.us

This project is a partnership among:


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: nature@tpwd.state.tx.us

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