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Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge
This Texas refuge, 10,528 acres in size, was established in 1972, to preserve the critically endangered Attwater's subspecies of the Greater Prairie Chicken and the coastal prairie habitat that it needs to survive. Special tours of the refuge, to see the chickens, are available during the Attwater's Prairie-Chicken Festival, held the second weekend of April every year (unless that is Easter).
This refuge is part of the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail - site no. CTC 004.
 Notable Species
The last few wild Attwater's Prairie-Chickens (a subspecies of the Greater Prairie Chicken) are located in an area not open to the general public, in order to protect them. There were 52 birds at the last count in Dec. 2008, on this refuge, and 20 more chickens at 2 other preserves - the Texas City Prairie Preserve and the Refugio-Goliad Prairie Conservation Area. There are 190 chickens in the captive breeding programs at the Houston Zoo, San Antonio Zoo and the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, Glen Rose. The grand total is only 262 birds in the whole world!
Birds you can see here include:
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Greater White-fronted Goose, Snow Goose, Ross's Goose, Canada Goose, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Mallard, Mottled Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Cinnamon Teal, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Ruddy Duck, Northern Bobwhite, Greater Prairie-Chicken, Pied-billed Grebe, Eared Grebe, Wood Stork, Neotropic Cormorant, Double-crested Cormorant, Anhinga, American White Pelican, American Bittern, Least Bittern, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, Reddish Egret, Cattle Egret, Green Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, White-faced Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, White-tailed Kite, Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, Bald Eagle, White-tailed Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Swainson's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Yellow Rail, Black Rail, Clapper Rail, King Rail, Sora, Purple Gallinule, Common Gallinule, American Coot, Sandhill Crane, American Golden Plover, Killdeer, Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Upland Sandpiper, Long-billed Curlew, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Western Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Dunlin, Stilt Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Long-billed Dowitcher, Wilson's Snipe, Ring-billed Gull, Rock Dove, Eurasian Collared-Dove, White-winged Dove, Mourning Dove, Inca Dove, Common Ground-Dove, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Greater Roadrunner, Barn Owl, Great Horned Owl, Short-eared Owl, Common Nighthawk, Chimney Swift, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Belted Kingfisher, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Crested Caracara, American Kestrel, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Kingbird, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Loggerhead Shrike, White-eyed Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Purple Martin, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Cliff Swallow, Cave Swallow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, House Wren, Winter Wren, Sedge Wren, Marsh Wren, Bewick's Wren, Carolina Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Bluebird, Hermit Thrush, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, European Starling, American Pipit, Sprague's Pipit, Cedar Waxwing, Orange-crowned Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Chipping Sparrow, Clay-colored Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Le Conte's Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Harris's Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Dickcissel, Red-winged Blackbird, Eastern Meadowlark, Western Meadowlark, Brewer's Blackbird, Common Grackle, Great-tailed Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, Orchard Oriole, Baltimore Oriole, American Goldfinch, House Sparrow
 Other Wildlife
The refuge has about 50 species of mammals, most of which are nocturnal. Bobcats, coyotes and the nine-banded armadillos roam the refuge at night, while during the day you will see the re-introduced bison, plus 13-lined ground squirrel and black-tailed jackrabbit, if you are lucky. The refuge is also home to the American alligator, plus spiny softshell turtles, bullfrogs and upland chorus frogs. Don't forget there are venomous snakes there, too - Texas coral, western cottonmouth and southern copperhead snake. Butterflies and dragonflies are abundant in the Spring and Summer months.
 Site Information
 History and Use
The refuge was established in 1972.
 Areas of Interest
 Access and Facilities
 Contact Details
Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR
 External Links