Help Us Celebrate
Summer Bird Camp
Long-Term Avian Monitoring for Local Refuges
Monthly Bird Banding at GCBO
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Photos courtesy of Mike Gray and GCBO staff.
View on GCBO website.
Help Us Celebrate Another Milestone
GCBO and the Brazosport Area Chamber of Commerce will present a
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Tuesday June 5th at 10:00
am here at our bottomland Sanctuary in Lake Jackson. This event
will give us an opportunity to formally dedicate our Outdoor
Classroom and to thank our sponsors, The Dow Chemical Company.
As an awardee of a Dow Community Grant we created an outdoor
classroom to provide both educational and bird viewing
opportunities. To showcase the importance of wetlands to birds
and people, we have constructed a Wetland Education Deck, a
Wetland & Forest
Canopy Observation Tower
overlooking the 1.5-acre Heron's Haunt wetland,
and added beautiful interpretive signage. Our goals for this new
wetlands education venue are to (1) reawaken the connection to
nature in the adults in our community and (2) to ensure that the
natural curiosity of children is brought outdoors to instill a
sense of stewardship for the environment that will last a
lifetime. Please join us for a brief ceremony followed by
refreshments and tours of Outdoor Classroom.
Summer Bird Camp
From June 11-15, 2012, the Gulf
Coast Bird Observatory will hold our first ever summer
day camp on birds and birding for ages 8-11. The camp
will run from 9:00 to 1:00 each day and will include
varying outdoor learning experiences including bird
identification, how and why birds communicate, build a
bird, bird sketching, examining wetland critters eaten
by wading birds, and conducting a mini-research project.
At the end of the camp, each participant will graduate
as a certified "Bird Scene Investigator". Fee for the
camp is $150 and includes all supplies for the camp
activities along with a snack. Deadline for signing up
is today, June 1, so there is still time. Sign up now!
We hope to instill a love of
nature, the outdoors and birds as we spend the week
exploring a vast variety of bird related topics. The
backbone of the week will come from GCBO's Coastal Wild
Bird Trunk, an educational resource developed with
grants from NOAA, USFWS, the GLO, the Trull Foundation,
and TPWD. For more information call or e-mail Carol at
GCBO Initiaties Long-Term Avian Monitoring for Local Refuges
In response to the US Fish & Wildlife Service Texas Coastal Zone
Comprehensive Conservation Plan GCBO staff recently
began a project on two local National Wildlife Refuges. This
plan identified a need for forest bird monitoring within refuge
tracts comprised of bottomland hardwood forests.
Though initial funding is for one year, the plan is to
secure support for long term monitoring (10 years) for these
forests that are vital to southern bird populations. Because the
refuges have limited staff for field work of this kind, GCBO was
contracted to initiate the first year of avian monitoring at San
Bernard NWR and Trinity River NWR.
The study has several goals including: identifying
species composition of the
wintering and breeding birds using the
refuge tracts, and accessing long term population trends of the
birds of bottomland hardwoods. In the final analysis, it is
hoped that with good long-term data refuges will be able to
detect serious negative changes in bird populations in time to
make management changes and vegetative improvements for the
benefit of the birds using the bottomlands.
On May 12th, avian conservation biologist Susan Heath
hosted the GCBO booth at the Anahuac National Wildlife
Refuge for the Friends of Anahuac NWR's International
Migratory Bird Day celebration. Visitor's included the
Fish and Wildlife Service's blue goose shown above with
Sue in front of the GCBO Booth. There were lots of
migrants in the woods behind the visitor center and
singing Prothonotary Warblers throughout the day to
entertain all the guests. This is an annual event so
come on out next year and enjoy the fun!
Beach Nesting Bird Signs
As part of our Beach Nesting Bird Project
with American Bird Conservancy, GCBO coordinated the
installation of 26 educational signs on nesting islands in
several bays along the Texas coast. Shown above are Felipe
Chavez (GCBO), Amanda Hackney (Aubudon Texas), Susan Heath
(GCBO), and Edgar Lopez (graduate student) after installing a
sign on an island in Galveston Bay. These signs warn boaters of
the risks to nesting birds from approaching too closely. The
posts were donated by ConocoPhillips and delivered by 3S
Services all the way from West Texas! We can't thank them enough
for their generosity.
Monthly Bird Banding at GCBO
The babies are here! Join us
from 8:00 until noon on Saturday, June 16th for our next monthly bird banding session
and see the bumper crop of young birds that we have at GCBO. Seeing birds in
the hand is a
great way to get kids excited about wildlife, but all ages
are welcome. See the
map on our webpage for directions
or find a map by going to Mapquest or GoogleMaps. Note that some
other navigators will not take you to the correct location.