Cecilia Riley Recognized for Exceptional Contributions in Bird Conservation
GCBO Executive Director Cecilia M. Riley was recently recognized by Partners in Flight (PIF) with a Lifetime Achievement Award presented during a ceremony on May 29, 2014 in Washington D.C. This event was held to spotlight International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) which is coordinated by Environment for the Americas and serves as a hemispheric celebration of birds. The award, presented by Steve Guertin, Deputy Director for Policy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service read as follows - In her 17 years as executive director for the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory (GCBO), Riley has grown GCBO to be the recognized authority on bird conservation around the Gulf of Mexico. Riley embraced new partnerships beyond the Gulf of Mexico, and her foresight and leadership enabled GCBO to invest $1.6 million in coastal stopover habitats in the United States and half a million dollars for land purchases in Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Guatemala, Dominican Republic and Chile as well as $800,000 for habitat conservation along the Texas coast.
For the fifth year in a row, we have been lucky enough to have a volunteer team from the Brazospoint Fellowship come out to conduct habitat projects on our sanctuary here in Lake Jackson. This year, 32 enthusiastic members of the local church donated 70 service hours getting all of our wildlife gardens trimmed, weeded, and mulched. The hummingbird and butterfly gardens look terrific and are filled with critters! We know that you too will enjoy the gardens so come on out and see for yourself the handiwork provided by our loyal community volunteers.
Summer Bird Camp Wins Again
During the second week of June, we held our annual Summer Bird Camp for 8 to 11 year olds. We had a fun filled week with many activities and educational experiences all relating to birds. There is never enough time to get everything in! This year we added nature photography and the campers took many good photos. Each camper had a camera to use, binoculars and a bird field guide. The favorite sessions from the week were the live birds and the Whooping Crane game. Thank you to the 18 adult volunteers that made the week possible!
Do you shop on Amazon? Who doesn't right?! Well now you can support GCBO while you're doing that shopping and it doesn't cost you a thing. Everybody wins! All you have to do is sign GCBO up as your Amazon Smile receipient and then do your shopping through the Amazon Smile site instead of the regular Amazon site. You'll have access to all the same products that you do on the Amazon site and you can use your existing account too so no worries there. Just go to www.smile.amazon.com and enter Gulf Coast Bird Observatory in the charity box. On the next screen click on Select next to our name and you're all set. Just remember to do your shopping on Amazon Smile from now on. GCBO and the birds thank you!
Curlew Cousins Raise Money for Smith Point Hawk Watch
The Curlew Cousins, grandchildren of our longtime supporters Bill and Lauri Baker, won the Roughwings Upper Texas Coast competition of the Great Texas Birding Classic this year with 136 species on their 8 hour run. As part of their tournament they and their sponsor Deep South Marine raised $650 in pledge money to support the Smith Point Hawk Watch. Thank you so much for your support Lauren Copeland, Ryan Baker, and Jordan Jardina (shown above)! Stay tuned for more news of the Smith Point Hawk Watch in our August e-news.
Monthly Bird Banding at GCBO
Summer is here but that doesn't mean the birds aren't active. We should be catching some more young of the year this month which is always exciting. Come join us from 8:00 til noon on Saturday, July 19th for our monthly bird banding session. Last month we caught this stunning Yellow-crowned Night-heron! Remember birds wake up at dawn so your best chance to see the most birds is early. 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
photo of a Least Bittern comes from Peggy and Pete Romfh. It was taken at Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge. Least Bitterns breed in marshes all over the eastern U.S. but they are really hard to see. This is a great shot of one showing off!