Cullinan's 2020 Birding Bonanza
In spite of – and perhaps because of -- the global pandemic, 2020 was a banner year for birding at Cullinan Park. On November 8, the park surpassed 1,000 eBird Checklists submitted for the year with a total of 222 species. That’s more than a third of the park’s total checklists and nearly 84% of our all-time 264 species observed in just 10 months.
No other birding hotspot in Fort Bend County came near that number. Cullinan Park is the #2 Hotspot in Fort Bend based on eBird data, and the large number of eBird checklists submitted is due in part to the fact that Cullinan welcomed visitors throughout the year while some locations – like Brazos Bend State Park – closed temporarily due to the COVID pandemic.
The Texas Gulf Coast is one of the top places in the country to witness migration. All these factors fueled the growing popularity of birding at Cullinan as evidenced by the meteoric rise in eBird checklists submitted.
eBird, is among the world’s largest biodiversity-related science projects, with more than 100 million bird sightings contributed annually by eBirders around the world. The eBird app can be downloaded for free. Visit https://ebird.org/about.
Another primary reason birders have been flocking to Cullinan is the frequent rare bird sightings at the park this year. The park’s varied habitat and sheer size attracted some exciting finds in 2020 including Groove-Billed Ani, Black-Billed Cuckoo, Virginia Rail, American Woodcock, Black Tern, Zone-Tailed Hawk, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Common Loon, Golden-Crowned Kinglet, Veery, Pine Siskin, Clay-Colored Sparrow, Harris’s Sparrow, Bullock’s Oriole, Lazuli Bunting, Common Ground Dove, Eastern Towhee and Spotted Towhee. During Spring migration, Cullinan is the top spot in Fort Bend for warbler sightings with 28 species documented this year, including elusive Blackpoll, Cerulean, Mourning & Prairie Warblers.
As of January 5th, Cullinan has had 264 species observed and 2882 total checklists submitted to eBird. Thank you to all the birders who enjoy scouring the boardwalks, trails, lakes and Oyster Creek to spot the amazing diversity of birds that reside in or migrate through the park. We look forward to more great birding in 2021 and to hosting guided bird hikes once conditions allow.