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GCBO May E-news
Gulf Coast Bird Observatory

April, 2014



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In this Issue:


TOS Meeting Wrap Up


Avian Conservation Science Center Update


Dow Black Skimmer Day


Bird Camp


Monthly Bird Banding at GCBO


Member Photo of the Month


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, Greg Lavaty, and GCBO staff.
View on GCBO website. 

May 2014


TOS Meeting Wrap Up

This past weekend was a busy one here at GCBO! We were the hosts for the Spring Texas Ornithological Society Meeting from Thursday evening April 24th to Sunday morning April 27th. 127 people attended the meeting which included 11 field trips on Friday, 13 field trips on Saturday, and on Sunday yet another field trip plus Breakfast With The Birds at GCBO. A total of 225 species were seen on all field trips combined including a White-cheeked Pintail found at the Mad Island WMA. Everyone had a great time and learned much from keynote speakers Drew Lanham, Mark Lockwood, and Lee Hoy who were very well received. A big thank you to all of them.

Avian Conservation Science Center Update

Building the Avian Conservation Science Center is a momentous step forward for Gulf Coast Bird Observatory and for Gulf-wide bird conservation. Center construction has progressed nicely and we expect to move in sometime during June. The new GCBO campus will benefit not only the communities in the Gulf region, but will also serve as an internationally recognized research, education, habitat protection, and ecotourism facility. We are working now to raise the final dollars needed and we want to offer you - our members - an opportunity to be part of making this dream become reality. Room Naming opportunities range from $2,500 to $100,000 and engraved pavers (samples shown above) for the front walk are economically priced at $150, $300, or $500 depending on size. Of course gifts of any level are welcomed. Paver and donation forms can be printed and mailed or submitted online and are available HERE.



Dow Black Skimmer Day

This year Dow Texas Operations will hold their annual Skimmer Day on Saturday, June 28th from 9:00am to noon. This free public event provides a rare opportunity to view one of the largest nesting colonies of Black Skimmers on the Texas Gulf Coast. Black Skimmers are considered colonial waterbirds because they nest in large colonies, usually on bay islands. These unique birds have a lower mandible longer than the upper which enables them to employ a unique feeding style. They feed by flying low over the water, opening their bills and skimming the water with their lower mandible to catch small fish. According to colonial waterbird data, Black Skimmers have declined on the Texas coast by 70% in the last 40 years so this colony at Dow is of increasing importance. Meet at the Dow A-41 gate located on FM 523 which is 1 mile south of the Hwy 332 and FM 523 intersection for shuttles to the site.


Bird Camp

In June, GCBO will be hosting our annual day camp for 8-11 year olds. The camp will be held June 9-13 from 9:00 in the morning to 1:00 each day. The campers will engage in a variety of activities as we learn about our feathered friends. Each year we have repeat attendees because they had such a great time and did not want the week to end. So sign up your kids, friend's kids, grandkids, nieces, and nephews, and they will thank you for it. Please call GCBO and we will e-mail the forms to you. Our camp is limited in number of attendees because we want each camper to get lots of individual attention, so don't delay!

Monthly Bird Banding at GCBO

It's May and the migrants.are still coming. Last month we caught four of the beauties shown above, Yellow-breasted Chat. Come join us from 8:00 til noon on Saturday, May 17th for our monthly bird banding session.Remember birds wake up at dawn so your best chance to see the most birds is early. 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 the month is from John and Becky Bradley, some GCBO visitor's from Newark, California. They were very happy to find one of our GCBO Barred Owls perched in view during the day.

Bird Tip of the Month: If you provide suet, reduce the amount you offer in hot weather. Heat can make suet rancid and unhealthy for birds. Runny suet can also stick to birds' feathers, making them hard to keep clean and useful. Use rendered suet or heat-resilient suet blocks that are available commercially.

Our Vision is a healthy ecosystem with abundant space for birds to survive and thrive around the Gulf of Mexico. | Telephone 979-480-0999 | Contact Us


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