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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

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GCBO May e-news
Gulf Coast Bird Observatory

May, 2015



In this Issue:


Spring Fling Wrap Up


GCBO Partners with TNC to Protect Louisiana's Atchafalaya Basin


It's Time For Bird Camp


GCBO Hosts Junior Duck Stamp Awards


Gulf Coast Young Ornithologists


GCBO Hosts Partners In Flight Meeting


Monthly Bird Banding at GCBO


Member Photo of the Month


Use Amazon Smile to make your shopping dollars benefit GCBO


Bring Us Your Food King Receipts! GCBO gets a 1% cash back on each receipt we turn in.


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

May 2015

Spring Fling Wrap Up

A couple from Oregon checks the daily list to see what they've seen and what they've missed

Yesterday officially ended the month long Host Station at Quintana for another migration Spring Fling. And birds did not disappoint, we had lots of colorful warblers, buntings, and orioles, catbirds and sparrows were common, as well as normally elusive thrushes. If you missed visiting this year, join us in 2016. We can't thank the volunteers enough for all the dedicated time they spent welcoming and helping all the visitors who ventured to the island in hopes of experiencing some magic moments with the migrating birds. Thank you to: Patty Brinkmeyer, Jean Britt, Jane & Jerry Eppner, Tad Finnell, Donna Graham, Jackie & Jim Hicks, Margo & Bill Johnson, Ann Lange, Zane Lee, Roy Morgan, Laurel Owen, Peggy & Pete Romfh, Dick Schaffhausen, Brooks Short, and Tom Taroni. This would not be possible without you!

GCBO Partners with TNC to Protect Louisiana's Atchafalaya Basin

The Atchafalaya River Basin is a national and global treasure. At nearly one million acres, it provides essential flood protection for millions of citizens along the Mississippi River. It also contains the largest contiguous tract of forested wetlands in the Lower Mississippi River Alluvial Valley as well as 35% of the remaining bottomland hardwood and swamp forests remaining in the lower Mississippi River. The Atchafalaya forms the heart of Acadiana which provides the foundation for fishery commerce, in addition to services that benefit people and are worth billions of dollars annually. But much of the region is impacted by hypoxia, excess sedimentation, degraded forest conditions, and land loss. GCBO is proud to support The Nature Conservancy's acquisition of 5,436 acres of near-pristine bottomland wetlands in the Atchafalaya River Basin of Louisiana with a grant of $15,000 from our Land Acquisition Endowment. Together we will be protecting substantial numbers of breeding, migratory and wintering waterbirds as well as neotropical songbirds.

It's Time For Bird Camp

A great schedule with many fun games and learning activities has been developed for another weeklong Summer Bird Camp. This year camp will be held June 8-12 from 9:00am to 1:00pm each day at the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory sanctuary in Lake Jackson. Enrollment is limited to allow each camper a special experience with lots of hands-on involvement and discovery. Early bird registration fee is $125 and ends May 15. The regular fee is $150 with some scholarships available. Reduced fees apply for families with multiple campers. Regular registration ends June 3rd. Please e-mail Carol with questions or to have the registration forms sent to you.


GCBO Hosts Junior Duck Stamp Awards

The Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program is a dynamic arts and science curriculum designed to teach youth about waterfowl and their habitat needs and to build a foundation for lifelong wildlife appreciation and conservation, land stewardship, and the importance of connecting to their natural worlds. Started in 1990, more than $1.25 million in Junior Duck Stamp proceeds have been used to provide awards, incentives, and scholarships to participating students, teachers, and schools. GCBO recently hosted the judging for the 2015 Texas Junior duck Stamp art (winners shown above). The winning Texas entry now competes in the National Junior Duck Stamp competition.

Gulf Coast Young Ornithologists

The Young Ornithologists braved the elements and havoc following the storms of Friday April 17th to participate in a birding contest at the Quintana Neotropic Bird Santuaries. With volunteer Tad Finnell's help, Emma D. identified 30 species of birds and was the winner of a field guide. Join the group on Saturday May 16th from 9:00 to 11:00am at the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory Sanctuary in Lake Jackson for another fun morning of birding and learning. The peak of spring migration will be winding down but one never knows what late migrants will show up. All school age youth are welcome to join if you are not already a member.

GCBO Hosts Partners in Flight Meeting

The Partners in Flight Science Committee is the driving force behind assessing landbird populations and habitats, and developing objectives for appropriate conservation actions. The Tri-Initiative Science Team came into being at the conclusion of a Population Objectives Workshop in October 2009 with the goal of facilitating science communication and collaboration among the bird habitat Joint Ventures - along with participation by the landbird, shorebird, and waterbird initiatives (now called Bird Conservation Plan Partnerships). In April, GCBO was honored to host the joint meeting, termed "historic" by the attendees, in which discussion focused on developing a unified species assessment and database for landbirds, waterbirds, and shorebirds.


Monthly Bird Banding at GCBO

Don't miss our May bird banding session! In April we caught several special visitors including the beautiful Blue-winged Warbler shown above. We should still be seeing some migrants so you never know what will turn up. Bird banding returns to the third weekend of the month in May on Saturday May 16. The Gulf Coast Young Ornithologists will also meet the same day at GCBO. Bird banding starts at 8:00 and ends at noon. Remember, the birds get up early so the earlier you are here the more you will see. 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

The photo of the month comes appropriately from Quintana. Tom Spruill snapped this excellent image of a bobcat posing on the rocks around one of the ponds.

Bird Tip of the MonthWhile a greater variety of foods will attract more birds, backyard birders should take care not to offer kitchen scraps to feed birds during the summer. While small quantities of bread, cooked rice and other scraps won't harm adult birds, these foods offer no nutrition for nestlings and other young birds. Avoid offering this "bird junk food" during the months when young birds need a healthy diet to grow into strong, mature adults.

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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