Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine “Captures” Environmental Scientists During Audubon Texas Annual Bird Count

Tam Tran and Dave Buzan photographed by Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine during their volunteer bird counting visit with Audubon Texas. This photo was used as the lead image for the article.

Environmental Scientists Tam Tran and Dave Buzan have been assisting Audubon Texas with its annual bird counts on Chester Island in Matagorda Bay since 2018. This year, a photographer for Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine was also on-site to document the survey efforts as part of a write-up celebrating Audubon Texas’ 100 years of coastal bird conservation within the State of Texas. A photograph of Tam and Dave was used as the lead image for the story “Birds Everywhere.”

Read the article here: Audubon’s 100 Years in Texas|August | September 2023 | TPW magazine

Volunteer bird counters are typically assigned a section of the 70-acre island to tally up different bird species. The annual surveys are used to assess the population of breeding birds along the Texas coast each year and to determine trends among priority species.

Building A New Bird Island

In addition to counting birds, Tam, Dave and Matt Salmon are also assisting with the design and permitting of a new bird island located at the mouth of Carancahua Bay. Tam has led this effort working with Audubon Texas and its agency partners like Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

View photos below of Freese and Nichols’ past volunteer efforts on Chester Island from 2018 to 2023. Our team is typically assigned a large section of the island and counts the different species of nesting waterbirds there. Some of the birds photographed include black skimmers loafing on the beach and likely 1 to 2-day-old brown pelican chicks.