Defining North-Central Texas
Pulich's Map vs. TOS Region II Map and the North American Birds Region II Map - Warren Pulich's 1988 publication, "Birds of North-Central Texas" used the first county map boundaries below for his database of records. Following that are the Texas Ornithological Society and North America Birds maps.
Pulich's 1988 map for Birds of NC Texas
TOS Reporting Region II Map
North American Birds Reporting Region II Map
Combining the Three Maps - This website combines most of the three maps into one map (below). We add the eight western counties, two southwestern counties, and two southeastern counties (Van Zandt and Rains). We leave out Lamar, Delta, Hopkins and Wood counties on the eastern perimeter.
We add the western and southwestern counties because most of the TOS reporting archives for Region II already supply us with information from those reporting boundaries. There is a long recording history of TOS seasonal reports which include the eight western and two southwestern counties within the North-central Texas definition.
The two missing southwestern counties (Eastland and Erath counties) seems odd on the North American Birds map. Since we have very good data from both TOS and Pulich for those counties, and since they are frequently referred to as part of North-central Texas, it makes sense to add it here.
We also add two southeastern counties, as Pulich did, because, again, it makes sense. Trying to procure records from only part of a very large lake like Lake Tawakoni was illogical. Birds on a lake move around. Trying to figure out whether a Western Grebe is floating within your area or outside your area just creates an unnecessary headache.
We leave out Lamar, Delta, Hopkins and Wood counties because they are frequently considered part of east Texas in other reporting regions and the habitat is largely eastern in nature.
In a nutshell, the map below was used because it provides the best boundary system for seeking records - using both Pulichs extensive research in the eastern counties and the TOS archived records which include the four western counties.
NC Texas Map as defined by this Website
The website creators have also added color-coded designations to this map that are not part of the Pulich system. The following color-coded zones define east, west, far east, and far west as they relate to the area checklist on the left sidebar. The checklist will occasionally use abbreviated references to identify specific regions (see checklist compass points below).
The area checklist on the left sidebar will frequently use abbreviations like the ones below in the checklist's "Likely" column to help designate where some of the species are most commonly found.
Bird Checklist Compass Points
FE = Far East (Blue Counties)
FW = Far West (Orange Counties)
E = East (Green Counties)
W = West (Yellow Counties)
Many of the typical eastern birds will sometimes show up sporadically in the western counties. Eastern-type birds like Blue Jays and Carolina Wrens can be found around streams and rivers as they follow riparian habitat to the west. Western birds may stray occasionally into the eastern habitats particularly during periods of drought.
For any information about the nature of the checklist - total numbers, birds photographed, birds added, etc., see "about the checklist."
A few other maps from places like Texas Parks and Wildlife do not use such a map to define North-central Texas. Instead they use vegetative zones and geological maps in outlining this area rather than political county boundaries. That would be the most precise way of understanding the area's avifauna, but obviously individuals submitting bird reports cannot use this model when describing where a bird was seen. Submitting reports using county boundaries still remains the most effective way of processing records when bird sightings are worthy of submission.
The TOS Region II seasonal reports can be found at http://texasbirds.org/