GCBO January e-news
Your New Years Gift Will Do Wondrous Things For Birds
Birds make life better in so many ways. They are providers of invaluable ecosystem services, such as pest control, seed dispersal, and pollination. As the focus of bird watching, they help generate billions of dollars for international economies, and birds bring solace to our complicated world. Your support means that we can continue our avian stewardship and land protection actions that save the birds you love and enjoy and we hope you recognize how urgent it is that our conservation practices continue. Because of increasing stresses on our environment, many bird populations are declining, so it is up to those of us who love birds to lead the effort to conserve them - please do whatever you can to help. All donations will support our 2015 conservation projects including American Oystercatcher, Black Skimmer, and Whooping Crane stewardship; Gulf Coast Young Ornithologists and Summer Bird Camp; and land protection via the Land Acquisition and Tropical Forest Forever programs. Send your new years gift today by clicking HERE.
This year we are expanding the timeframe and categories for our Raptor Rodeo event. Now you can compete within your region in Texas from January 15th through February 28th. Pick any day during that time period and go out and see how many raptors you can find. You can compete in one of five areas within the state including Far West Texas, Panhandle Plains, Prairies and Pineywoods, Heart of Texas, and Gulf Coast. The areas are delineated on the TPWD website. This citizen science project will help us get a handle on the number of wintering raptors and their general location and will support the Smith Point Hawk Watch. For a $50 donation you and up to three friends can spend a fun day counting raptors and knowing that you are doing your part to help GCBO keep the Smith Point Hawk Watch active! For more information check our website.
We are happy to announce the newest member of our staff, Mary Gibson. Mary has been a resident of Texas since 1981. She earned her B.S. in Business Management with studies in Organizational Development and Human Resource Management from Colorado State University. She is also a certified Mediator and has volunteered at the Harris County Dispute Resolution Center doing conflict-resolution mediations during the last few years. She has spent many hours participating in several local community activities and is supportive of nature conservation and animal protection. An avid outdoor enthusiast, Mary enjoys traveling, camping, fishing, hiking and visiting parks and lakes throughout Texas with her husband and two furry companions, Jax and Gus. Mary has jumped right in as our new office manager and we are all grateful for her help!
Third Annual Birdies for the Birds Golf Tournament
On Monday, March 23, 2015, GCBO will host our annual Birdies for the Birds golf tournament at The Wilderness in Lake Jackson, TX. This tournament is a four person scramble with check-in at 11:30 and tee time at 12:30. We are currently looking for sponsors and players. Sponsorships come in a variety of choices starting at $5,000. For only $150 your business or organization can be a hole sponsor where your proceeds will go directly to our bird conservation programs including Summer Bird Camp, Spring Fling, and recovery of the endangered Whooping Crane. We need some help identifying new sponsors so please consider asking one of your business friends to join you in a fun day of golf that supports our birds. We anticipate this being a great fundraiser for GCBO, but we can't do it without your help! Contact Carol for more information.
Monthly Bird Banding at GCBO
It's a new year! Start the year off right by coming out to GCBO bird banding. January usually brings goldfinches and other winter wanderers. In December we caught two "butcher birds" otherwise known as Loggerhead Shrikes. These guys are a handful to get out of the net but we managed to do it with minimal damage to us mere humans. Come see what we turn up this month! The Gulf Coast Young Ornithologists will meet at 9:00am too so bring your kids. Bird banding this month will be on Saturday, January 17 from 8:00 until noon. Remember, the birds get up early so the earlier you are here the more you will see. 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 photo of a LeConte's Sparrow in hand was taken by GCBO biologist Susan Heath at the Eagle Lake tract of the San Bernard NWR during sparrow banding with refuge biologist Jennifer Wilson. LeConte's Sparrows are numerous during the winter in our region but you seldom get to see one so close up!