GCBO June e-news
Gulf Coast Bird Observatory

June, 2012

 

 

 

 

In this Issue:

 

Help Us Celebrate Another Milestone!

 

Summer Bird Camp

 

GCBO Initiates Long-Term Avian Monitoring for Local Refuges

 

Anahuac NWR

 

Beach Nesting Bird Signs

 

Monthly Bird Banding at GCBO

 

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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 ourWays to Donate page for more opportunities to support our conservation efforts. 

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

June 2012


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 (979-480-0999).

 

 

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 thewintering 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.

 

 

Anahuac IMBD

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.

 

If you are an ExxonMobil employee or retiree and would like to help us raise funds through their VIP Group matching grants program by donating four hours of volounteer time, please let us know!

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