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Thursday, January 18, 2018

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GCBO September E-news
Gulf Coast Bird Observatory

September, 2010





In this Issue:


It's Time for XHX!


Hawk Happening


Many Thanks!


Tropical Forest Forever Fund


Let's All Plant Milkweed!


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

Photos courtesy of ProAves, Greg Lavaty, and GCBO staff.
View on GCBO website.

September 2010

It's Time for XHX!


Emily Martinez adopting this fall's first hummer at GCBO

Hummers are already arriving and the sanctuary is just about ready. We look forward to sharing our hummingbirds with you!  Be sure to join us on September 11th and/or 18th when we will host our annual Xtreme Hummingbird Xtravaganza. This year's XHX will be held the middle two Saturdays of the month to allow everyone a chance to attend. You can watch hummingbird banding, symbolically adopt a hummingbird, browse the Nature Store, hear exciting guest speakers, walk the nature trails, climb our new bird observation tower overlooking the Heron's Haunt Wetland, or buy a plant to attract hummingbirds and butterflies to your own garden. We would be remiss without extending a big THANK YOU to this year's Event Sponsors: ConocoPhillips-Sweeny Refinery, The Dow Chemical Company, Freeport LNG, First National Bank of Lake Jackson, Walmart Store #808, and Allstate - Vicki Melass.

Hawk Happening

On Saturday, September 25, we will hold our annual Hawk Happening Event at the Smith Point Hawk Watch from 8:00am to 3:00pm. The Smith Point Hawk Watch is held at Candy Abshier Wildlife Management Area in Chambers County southeast of Houston. Come out and view the spectacular Broad-winged Hawk migration which should be in full swing during this time. At this free event, we will also have passerine bird banding by Dr. Brent Ortego of Texas Parks and Wildlife and great cuisine by Trails End for sale. All proceeds from food sales will go to fund the hawk watch. Directions to Smith Point can be found on our website.

Many Thanks - You Made It Happen!

Remember last month when we appealed to you for help with the Malcolm C. Damuth Foundation Challenge Grant? The $25,000 grant to grow our Land Acquisition Endowment was offered with a caveat – that we raise $12,500.00 in match from our membership by the end of September. Your response to the appeal was tremendous. With your support we exceeded our goal –raising a total of $18,985.00 to date! When Cecilia reported back to the Foundation these results, the director was so impressed he offered another challenge grant for next year - AND - said that the overage from this year could be applied to the 2011 Challenge! So if you had not had a chance to send in your gift, it’s not too late to help GCBO expand and protect bird habitat for today and for the future. Your gift can be mailed directly to the office or you can make a gift via credit card online (please mark your gift: Land Acquisition). Our members soar!

Tropical Forest Forever Fund
El Paujil Bird Reserve in Colombia

In Mid-August we awarded a TFFF grant to the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and their partners at ProAves to expand protection efforts at the El Paujil Bird Reserve in Colombia. Established in 2004 this Reserve is dedicated to the protection of the critically endangered Blue-billed Curassow. Located within the 700 mile-long Magdalena Valley this beautiful Reserve has an exceptional diversity of endemic birds, plants, mammals, amphibians, and other groups, with many other endemic species including the critically endangered Variegated Spider Monkey, considered one of the rarest primates on earth. Importantly, the area contains the last remnant populations of several large mammals such as the Magdalena Lowland Tapir, Jaguar, and Spectacled Bear. The reserve also holds the world's largest population of Blue-billed Curassows. ABC and ProAves worked for over a year to raise $220,705 of the total cost for the two Clavijo properties being purchased. The $20,000 grant from the Tropical Forest Forever Fund will anchor the other protected lands that form the El Paujil Bird Reserve. Using these coordinates: 6:2:711N  74:15:848W and GoogleEarth you can view an image of the preserve.

Let's All Plant Milkweed!

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed the North American Monarch migrations as an endangered phenomenon in 1983. The western Monarch population has demonstrated a consistent downward trend in census numbers over the past decade, and the eastern population was at its lowest on record during the 2009 overwintering census conducted by the World Wildlife Fund. The Monarch Joint Venture was formed in December 2008 to work throughout the U.S. to conserve and protect Monarch populations and their migratory phenomena by implementing science-based habitat conservation and restoration measures. Breeding habitat is declining for Monarchs as milkweed is reduced in abundance through habitat conversion and changes in land management practices. Without milkweed, Monarchs cannot reproduce and continue their life cycle. You can read more about the plight of the Monarch in the North American Monarch Conservation Plan.

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