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Sunday, May 28, 2017

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GCBO August e-news
Gulf Coast Bird Observatory

August, 2013

 

 

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In this Issue:

 

XHX is Coming!

 

Beach Nesting Birds Report

 

Raptor ID Workshop With Tony Leukering

Welcome Alice Roemer

 

Human Disturbance at Oystercatcher Nests
 

Monthly Bird Banding at GCBO

 

Member Photo of the Month

 

If you found this e-newsletter interesting, please consider taking the next step and becoming a member or volunteering for one of our many outreach activities.  If you are already a member, thank you for your support!  Check out our Ways to Donatepage for more opportunities to support our conservation efforts. 

 
 

Photos courtesy of Tony Leukering, Mike Gray and GCBO staff.
View on GCBO website. 

August 2013

XHX is Coming!

It's that time again. We are gearing up for Xtreme Hummingbird Xtravaganza in September. We are already starting to see the first Ruby-throated Hummingbirds making their way south for the winter. They will continue through the end of October so if you are a hummingbird enthusiast, its time to get ready. We will hold our XHX event at the peak of their migration, the middle two Saturdays of September, the 14th and 21st. The success of this event depends greatly on volunteer participation so if you want to volunteer to help, contact Carol.

Beach Nesting Birds Report

Shown above are Andrea Sanchez, our summer Beach Nesting Birds intern and Amanda Anderson, our UHCL graduate student who works on our oystercatcher project, with one of the signs we are posting on nesting islands to raise awareness about nesting birds. Andrea gives her perspective on her summer:

Throughout the summer I have been giving surveys along the upper coast to boaters and fishermen about their general knowledge of bay island nesting birds and handing out guides that include information about these birds. So far I have given 92 surveys and handed out 566 guides. The boat ramps with the most people, and therefore the best for surveying, are the San Luis Pass County Park and the public ramp at Sargent. Other ramps I have surveyed are the kayak launch off of Bluewater Highway, River Bend Marina, Bastrop Marina, Fat Boy’s boat ramp, Bridge Bait boat ramp, and the Freeport Levee boat ramp. For the most part once people understand about how much harm humans can cause the nesting birds they want to help. Of course there are exceptions; I’ve run into a few people who don’t seem to care at all. They’ll fish where they want to fish and no one can tell them otherwise. But these people are the exception. One person even came up to me after seeing me again at a boat ramp to let me know that they have been telling people about the nesting birds and when they see people on the islands they let them know the harm they’re causing the birds. That made my day, even if just one person learns from this endeavor, at least that is one more person that won’t disturb the birds and can help spread the word.

 Raptor ID Workshop With Tony Leukering

It's hawk watch time again. We are welcoming back Tony Leukering as counter this year and we are adding a special event - a Raptor ID Workshop. Join Tony in learning how to identify those tricky little specs in the sky the last weekend in September. This workshop is limited to 25 participants so better sign up early. Details are on our website.

Welcome Alice Roemer

In July we welcomed our new Office Manager, Alice Roemer. Alice is originally from Madison, Wisconsin but spent the last 27 years living, working, and exploring the last frontier of Alaska. She enjoys the great outdoors, hiking, fishing, and being with her dog Miss Mattie. She brings to GCBO a vast knowledge of accounting, bookkeeping, and administrative experience having worked in private industry as a full charge bookkeeper and senior grants fund accountant with state government. Come by and say hello and hear her stories about the great northwest!

 

Human Disturbance at Oystercatcher Nests

We have deployed a number of motion activated infrared cameras on American Oystercatcher nests to document predation from mammals. We've captured photos of coyote, oppposum, and feral cat predation along with several photos of humans walking up to the camera to see what it was but the above photo is even more disturbing. It shows a human nearly stepping on a nest without even noticing the nest or the camera. Human disturbance is turning out to be a major cause of nest failure not only oystercatchers but many other species of bay island nesting birds as well. We are working with local CCA chapters and other boating clubs to give educational seminars on this problem. If you know of an organization or club that would like to host a seminar, contact Susan Heath.

Monthly Bird Banding at GCBO

It's August and migrants will be arriving in full force, especially the hummingbirds. Last month we caught our first ever Louisiana Waterthrush (shown above). Not just one but two! Come check it out from 8:00 until noon on Saturday, August 17th at our next monthly bird banding session. Come see them in the hand and get some tips on how to identify them in the field. 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.

Photo of the Month


This month's photo of the month comes from GCBO member Don Verser. Don and his friend Sara Flournoy visited GCBO in late May to look for lingering migrants. Instead they found the GCBO bat house occupied with a number of cool bats: Brazilian free-tailed bats (also known as Mexican free-tailed bat) and Evening Bats.

 

Our Vision is a healthy ecosystem with abundant space for birds to survive and thrive around the Gulf of Mexico.

  www.gcbo.org | Telephone 979-480-0999 | Contact Us
Gulf Coast Bird Observatory
103 W. Hwy 332, Lake Jackson, TX  77566


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