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GCBO August e-news
Gulf Coast Bird Observatory

August, 2014



You Search...We Give!


In this Issue:


Mark Your Calendars for XHX


Expanding the Cerro Prieto-Cerro La Luz Reserve


SPHW Season Starts


Gulf Coast Young Ornithologists Club


Support the ACSC With a Paver


Summer Interns Spruce Up GCBO


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


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

August 2014


Mark Your Calendars for XHX

It's that time again. We are gearing up for Xtreme Hummingbird Xtravaganza in September. We are already starting to see the first Ruby-throated Hummingbirds making their way south for the winter. They will continue through the end of October so if you are a hummingbird enthusiast, its time to get ready. We will hold our XHX event at the peak of their migration, the middle two Saturdays of September, the 13th and 20th. The success of this event depends greatly on volunteer participation so if you want to volunteer to help, contact Carol.

Expanding the Cerro Prieto-Cerro La Luz Reserve

In April GCBO awarded a Tropical Forest Forever Fund grant of $20,000 to Grupo Ecologico Sierra Gorda - our fourth grant in support of the long-range plan to protect all of the ecosystems of the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve in Queretaro, Mexico. Since 1996, Group Ecologico Sierra Gorda has protected a network of private reserves, via their Joya del Hielo A.C. Foundation. This most recent Tropical Forest Forever Fund grant resulted in the expansion of the reserve with the purchase of the 122 acre Hoya de los Escorpiones tract. This heavily forested, mid-elevation tract is mostly pine, oak, and white cedar and provides shelter for Crested Guan, Bearded Wood Partridge and neotropical migrants including Townsend's, Wilson's, Black and White, Grace's, Black-throated Green, and Hermit Warbler; Ovenbird; Hepatic and Summer Tanager; House Wren; and Swainson's Thrush. GCBO is a proud partner in preserving the Sierra Gorda.


SPHW Season Starts

It's time for the Smith Point Hawk Watch again! We are starting on August 1st still hoping to catch some of the early Swallow-tailed Kite migration. The site will be staffed from 8:00am to 4:00pm every day. Our 2011 counter, Jason Bojczyk is returning for his second year as counter and he is anxious to get going so come on out and enjoy the raptors with us. We are looking for volunteers to help relieve the full time counter one day a week so if you are interested in learning to count raptors at one of the most exciting hawk watches there is, please contact Sue.


Gulf Coast Young Ornithologists Club

Gulf Coast Young Ornithologists (GCYO) is a new initiative of the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory for school age kids. An annual membership of $10.00 entitles the young person to receive a membership backpack with age appropriate birding materials and they become a member of the GCBO as well. The GCYO group meets the third Saturday morning of every month at GCBO in Lake Jackson, TX, in conjunction with our monthly bird banding. We are in the initial phase of the program and currently signing up members. If you know any school age person that might be interested, please let them know about this program. Beginning in October the group will meet and participate in age specific activities. For more information, please contact Carol.



Support the ACSC With A Paver

Building the Avian Conservation Science Center is a momentous step forward for Gulf Coast Bird Observatory and for Gulf-wide bird conservation. We will be moving in during late August so your first opportunity to see it will be during our annual Xtreme Hummingbird Xtravaganza. 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. You too can be a part of this exciting new venue! Recognize yourself, your family, a loved one, etc. with an engraved paver (samples shown above for small & large) for the front walk - they are economically priced at $150, $300, or $500 depending on size. Of course gifts of any level are welcomed and Room Naming opportunities range from $2,500 to $100,000. Paver and donation forms can be printed and mailed or submitted online and are available HERE.


Summer Interns Spruce Up GCBO

Since the middle of June, GCBO has had two Brazosport High School seniors working hard on a daily basis. Karina and John have endured mosquitoes and poison ivy as they helped clean up the native plant nursery, weed flower gardens, trim trails and assist with cleaning and reorganizing our attic and garage work areas. Because of their efforts, we were able to accomplish multiple tasks that helped us get ready for our big move to the new building. Karina and John came to us via a Workforce Solutions Summer Work Program for first job experience and they have been a great addition to GCBO this summer! 

Monthly Bird Banding at GCBO

August is the beginning of the fall hummingbird season and we are sure to catch some of them at our monthly bird banding session. There should also be some other early fall migrants as well. Come join us from 8:00 til noon on Saturday, August 16th for our monthly bird banding session.Remember the 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 a young Masked Booby was taken by a Surfside resident on July 27th on the beach there. Clearly this young bird wasn't afraid of people! They were afraid the bird was in trouble but they went back later and it was gone so it must have flown off on its own.

Bird Tip of the Month: Now is the time to get your hummingbird feeders cleaned and hung out with fresh sugar water. We are already starting to see fall hummers at GCBO! Clean your feeders with a 10:1 water clorox solution and then rinse well. A sugar water solution of 4:1 works fine but if you want a stronger solution 3:1 is fine also. Be sure to clean your feeders every few days as the sugar water will go bad quickly in the summer heat. The hummers will appreciate your diligence and keep you entertained!

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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