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Gulf Coast Bird Observatory News
Gulf Coast Bird Observatory News

October, 2012





In this Issue:


Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival


Protecting the Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil: Streseman's Bristlefront Reserve


GCBO Presents Oystercatcher 101 at Kleb Woods


October Birds and Bottomlands Blitz


A Visit to Fort Morgan, Alabama


XHX a Great Success


Monthly Bird Banding at GCBO


Member Photo of the Month


You Search...We Give!


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.

October 2012


Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival

 Join GCBO at the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival in Harlingen, Texas on November 7-11. This year's festival includes three keynotes along with seminars on hard to identify birds like shorebirds and sparrows, field trips, a tradeshow, and several events including a silent auction, big sit and reception. For more information check the Rio Grande Vally Birding Festival website.

Protecting the Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil: Streseman's Bristlefront Reserve

photo by Ciro Albano

The Brazilian Atlantic Forest once covered eastern Brazil from the state of Rio Grande do Norte, south to Porto Alegre, and reaching inland as far as Paraguay. It is now one of the most endangered ecosystems on Earth, having been reduced to less than 8% of its former extent, and in some places having disappeared completely. One of its inhabitants, the Stresemann's Bristlefront is a critically endangered species of tapaculo, found only here in the Atlantic Coastal Forest of eastern Brazil. Brazilian NGO Fundacao Biodiversitas and American Bird Conservancy mobilized in 2007 to purchase 1,468 acres to establish the Stresemann’s Bristlefront Reserve. However, the forest surrounding the reserve continues to be under extreme pressure from logging and conversion to pasture. This month GCBO has awarded a Tropical Forest Forever Fund grant of $20,000 to ABC and their partners to purchase an additional 120 acre, high-quality forest tract to help secure the future for this elusive species. This is the 15th land acquisition grant we have awarded via our Tropical Forest Forever Fund - see all of the exciting projects on our website.


GCBO Presents Oystercatcher 101 at Kleb Woods

photo by Woody Woodrow


On Friday, October 19th, at 9:00am biologist Susan Heath will give a talk on GCBO's American Oystercatcher Stewardship Program at  Kleb Woods' Free Friday Fall Feathered Features. Susan has been heading up a study of this species for two years and will present her findings as well as insights into how this species uses the Texas coast. Free Friday Fall Feathered Features is offered by Harris County Precinct Three Commissioner Steve Radack at the Kleb Woods Nature Center at 20303 Draper Road, Tomball, TX.

Birds and Bottomlands Blitz to Return in October

GCBO is happy to join forces with our local Cradle of Texas Master Naturalists to again offer a morning in our sanctuary to study nature and learn more about the importance of the Columbia Bottomland hardwood forest which is a critical link in many species' life cycle. We will resume the Birds and Bottomlands Blitz in October when the topic will be Trees and Shrubs. The leaves will still be on the deciduous plants and many have fruits, nuts or berries. Identification can be tricky but you will learn the basics and feel confident knowing some of the most common species. USFWS botanist Thomas Adams and biologist Mike Lange will be the leaders on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 9:00 am. So come on out and invite friends and family to join you. This will be the first BBB for this season with programs each month on the second Saturday morning.



A Visit to Fort Morgan, Alabama

Each spring and fall the Hummer/Bird Study Group headed by Bob and Martha Sargent runs a bird banding station at the Fort Morgan State Historical Park in Alabama. This fall the session runs from October 6th - 18th. This park is located on the immediate coast just east of our Site Partner Dauphin Island and is a fantastic place to see birds in migration. It is the site of first landfall in spring and the last departure point in fall for thousands of birds crossing the Gulf of Mexico. This provides an excellent opportunity to monitor population levels and the general condition of migrant birds, as well as gaining important insights into the effects of weather on bird migration. All banding sessions are open to the general public. GCBO biologist Susan Heath will be helping to band birds October 6 - 12. If you are in the area stop by and say hello!

XHX A Great Success

Our September Xtreme Hummingbird Xtravaganza was a great success. We wish to thank all of our 818 guests and 50 volunteers who participated. The event generated $10,866 for our avian conservation program and gave us the chance to visit with our friends and share our hummingbirds with all. Pictured here is XHX guest Audrey Vanramshorst with her raffle prize, a Best 1 Complete Hummingbird kit. We would like to give one more acknowledgement of our 2012 XHX sponsors: Phillips 66, Dow Chemical, Wells Fargo Advisors, First National Bank-LJ, Freeport LNG, The Source Weekly, Clute Visitors Bureau, Allstate-Vicki Melass. Hope to see you all again in September 2013!

Monthly Bird Banding at GCBO

October is a great month for migrants on the Texas Coast. Join us from 8:00 until noon on Saturday, October 20th for our next monthly bird banding session and see who has arrived for the winter and who is passing through. 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.

Member Photo of the Month

This month's photo of the month comes from Bill Cone. His birdbath photo from the Brazosport TX area is very colorful, sporting all of our backyard favorites: Baltimore Oriole, Eastern Bluebird, and Northern Cardinal. Thanks Bill!

Submit your photo to Sue for inclusion in our e-news as the photo of the month or on our member gallery on our website.



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