Summary Table of Texas Pelagic Seabird Sightings and Seasonal Occurrences

I am currently working on updating this checklist since a lot has occurred since this was last updated in 2015.

This table summarizes the status of 25 Pelagic Seabirds seen on all 64 Texas Pelagic trips up to the end of 2015. This includes 18 trips from Port O’Connor and Freeport from 1994 to 1999 and 44 trips from South Padre Island from 2000 to 2014, and 2 trips from Port Aransas. The species names are links to a page for each species with a seasonal occurrance graph of all the sightings by trip sorted in seasonal by month order. In addition the species pages include a google map of the geographic distribution of these sighting where coordinates are available.





1 Yellow-nosed Albatross (Thalassarche chlororhynchos) 1 2% 1 1 4 Accidental: one pelagic records
2 Black-capped Petrel (Pterodroma hasitata) 2 3% 1 2 2 Accidental: two pelagic records
3 Cory’s Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea) 41 64% 102 381 na Rare to fairly common in spring & summer, common in early fall
4 Great Shearwater (Puffinus gravis) 7 10% 1 6 20 Rare visitor, 6 pelagic records
5 Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus) 2 3% 1 2 16 Very rare visitor, 2 pelagic records
6 Manx Shearwater (Puffinus puffinus) 2 2% 1 2 9 Very rare visitor: 1 pelagic records
7 Audubon’s Shearwater (Puffinus lherminieri) 36 54%  206 554 na fairly common in summer and fall
8 Wilson’s Storm-Petrel (Oceanites oceanicus)
0 0% 0 0 1 Accidental; one Texas record
9 Leach’s Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa) 23 36%  103 152 na Rare- Uncommon in late spring through early fall
10 Band-rumped Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma castro) 40 63% 88 597 na Fairly Common – common in spring through early fall
11 Red-billed Tropicbird (Phaethon aethereus) 9 14%  1 9 14 Rare in summer and fall, 9 pelagic records
12 Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) 36 56% 14 133 na Uncommon – common in summer and fall
13 Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra) 46 72% 9 148 na Uncommon – common in summer and fall
14 Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) 4 6% 2 5 37 Rare in all seasons, 5 pelagic records.
15 Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus) 2 3% 1 2 na Uncommon fall/winter; rare summer
16 Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus) 2 3% 1 2 na Rare in migration / winter, 2 pelagic records.
17 Sabine’s Gull (Xema sabini) 2 3% 1 2 na Rare in fall / winter, 2 pelagic records
18 Brown Noddy (Anous stolidus) 1 2% 1 1 na Very rare in summer and fall, one pelagic record
19 Sooty Tern (Onychoprion fuscata) 29 45%  231 972 na Fairly common to common in summer
20 Bridled Tern (Onychoprion anaethetus) 46 72%  100 451 na Fairly common to common from spring through fall
21 Arctic Tern (Sterna paradisaea) 2 3% 1 2 9 Very rare in summer, 2 pelagic records
22 South Polar Skua (Stercorarius maccormicki) 1 2% 1 1 1 Accidental: one pelagic record
23 Pomarine Jaeger (Stercorarius pomarinus) 18 28%  15 75 na Rare to uncommon in summer, Common in Fall
24 Parasitic Jaeger (Stercorarius parasiticus) 7 12%  5 14 na Rare to uncommon in summer, Common in Fall
25 Long-tailed Jaeger (Stercorarius longicaudus) 7 12%  1 7 na Rare from fall through spring
  Click Names for Details Pages – Graphs, Maps, and Photos         Numbers Last Updated on: 4/23/2016

Texas Seabirds – Pelagic Status Offshore Texas and in the Gulf of Mexico:

This page contains a table listing all the documented seabirds found on Texas Pelagics and includes all the other seabirds found in coastal Texas but not necessarily seen on a Texas Pelagic.

I’ve also included the status of these species in three ever larger Areas:

  • The Lower Texas Coast which includes South Padre Island where all recent Texas Pelagics have been run. (ref. B. McKinney, 2009)
  • The Coastal and Offshore Texas Gulf of Mexico (ref. TOS Handbook of Texas Birds, M.W. Lockwood & B. Freeman, 2005)
  • The Greater Gulf of Mexico (ref. D. Peake and M. Elwonger, 1994)

This table links to all the photo galleries of seabirds that have been photographed on recent Texas Pelagics by myself and others who have contributed to this effort. There are still many species I don’t have pictures of yet. If you have pictures of birds from Texas Pelagics, especially of ones we’re missing, please email them to the webmaster for posting on this site.

Seabirds of the Lower Texas Coast:

Much has been learned about Pelagic species status, distribution and occurrences in the last 19 years. This annotated checklist by Brad McKinney was updated on Sept 22, 2009 and is an excellent reference to the status and distribution of seabirds that have been found on South Padre Island Pelagic trips. Check out this page to learn more.


© Copyright 1998-2016 Garett Hodne. All materials on all sites within this domain are copyrighted by Garett Hodne. Some individual items may be copyrighted by the author, photographer, or other sources as noted. All rights are reserved. All material is available for personal and private use only. However all material herein may not be reprinted, re-distributed, copied to other websites or reproduced for public use in any way without the express advanced written permission of the webmaster.