Trans-Pecos Texas supports a diverse collection of bird species, due in large part to the variety of habitats found in the region including desert grasslands, shrublands, montane forests and woodlands, and riparian corridors. Additionally, it’s location along a major flyway between North American nesting sites and wintering sites in Central and South America make the Trans-Pecos an important stopover for many migrating species. Over 500 different avian species have been recorded in the Trans-Pecos, and nearly half of those are species that have nested in this area.

Birds play important roles in the ecosystems of Trans-Pecos Texas as pollinators, seed dispersers, and as a prey source for other birds and mammals. Increased urbanization, habitat fragmentation, and climate change have all been linked to declining bird diversity and changes in migratory habits across the globe. Now, more than ever, understanding the community of birds in west Texas is important, as they can be excellent indicators of the overall health of the environment.

Borderlands Research Institute is proud to be at the forefront of this research by being involved in an array of studies of Chihuahuan desert birds including the following:

Evaluating the migration patterns and nesting ecology of west Texas hummingbirds

Studying wintering grassland birds of the Rio Grande Basin, in Trans-Pecos, Texas and Chihuahua, Mexico

Using bird surveys, in conjunction with other survey techniques, to evaluate the overall biodiversity in different habitats throughout west Texas.