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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

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February GCBO e-news
Gulf Coast Bird Observatory

February, 2012





In this Issue:


Birds and Bottomlands Blitz - Lichens and Mushrooms


Summer Bird Camp


Cuban Biologist Visit


It's Great Backyard Bird Count Time!


Are You Up For Spring Gardening?


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

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

February 2012


Birds and Bottomland Blitz

Join Warren Pruess for the February Birds and Bottomland Blitz at GCBO on Saturday, February 11 from 9:00 to 11:00am. The monthly program is a joint effort by the Cradle of Texas Master Naturalists and GCBO to raise awareness of the importance of this habitat type to birds. This month's focus will be Lichens and Mushrooms of the Bottomlands. Come learn about the Columbia Bottomlands from the experts. Your leader is a long-time GCBO volunteer. Warren is our go to guy for all plant identification questions. We are sure you will enjoy learning everything about bottomlands lichens and mushrooms from him!

Next month's topic is Bird Migration with Cecilia Riley and Carol Jones.

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 3:00 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. Each child will need to bring a lunch including a drink, sunscreen, and insect repellant. 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).

Cuban Biologist Visit


From January 24th through the 31st, GCBO hosted Osmani Borrego and Alina Perez, Cuban biologists from our site partner Guanahacabibes Peninsula Biosphere Reserve in Pinar del Rio, Cuba. During their time here, we visited several site partner sites on the Upper Texas Coast and discussed conservation management techniques with local staff. This experience was invaluable to Alina and Osmani as they work towards sustainable management practices in Cuba and develop their ecotourism and outreach programs. We would like to especially thank the staff of the Midcoast National Wildlife Refuge complex, the Texas Chenier Plain National Wildlife Refuge complex, Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge, and The Nature Conservancy's Texas City Prairie Preserve and Mad Island Marsh Preserves. They went the extra mile to make sure our visitor's were shown a great time.

It's Great Backyard Bird Count Time!

The 15th annual Great Backyard Bird Count will be conducted February 17th through 20th, 2012. You can count birds wherever you are, including your backyard, off your balcony, at a local park, or even at GCBO. People of all ages and bird-watching experience are welcome. For details, see the GBBC website.


Are You Up For Spring Gardening?


Late February is the perfect time to prepare the GCBO's wildlife gardens for the upcoming spring. We need assistance pruning back dormant vegetation, mulching, and weeding. GCBO has all the tools, work gloves and equipment on site - all you have to bring is yourself - and binoculars of course. We would welcome your help for an hour or a full day. We don't need a lot of notice so if you prefer to wait and pick a sunny beautiful winter day that's fine with us. Please contact Reba to schedule your work day (979-480-0999) and we'll be prepared for you.

Monthly Bird Banding at GCBO

The Ruby-crowned Kinglet shown above is one of our most common winter birds but you don't often get to see the red crown. With a bird in hand, you can often see features that aren't visible through binoculars and discover where the bird got its name. Join us from 8:00 until noon on Saturday, February 18th for our next monthly bird banding session. Winter residents are already prepping for spring migration so you better come see them before they depart! We still have lots of hummingbirds too. We were able to verify that the adult male Black-chinned Hummingbird with us this winter is the same one that has been with us for three previous winters! This kind of data is only possible through bird banding. 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! | Telephone 979-480-0999 | Contact Us


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