Every season brings a different wonder and joy in the world of bird conservation. As we enter September in the Houston Gulf Coast region, summer breeding gives way to fall roosting and migration, and Houston Audubon sanctuaries and programs are where we can experience it all. From Purple Martin watch parties and Houston Bird Week festivities to exciting bird sightings at our sanctuaries, Fall brings a renewed excitement. Every season also calls our attention to additional actions we can take to help protect the birds we love, like turning our Lights Out for Fall Migration. Join us this September to celebrate birds!
- Helen E. Drummond, Executive Director
Join us for Houston Audubon's annual fall celebration of our region's critical role in the journey of billions of migratory and resident birds. Every September, Houston Audubon and local conservation organizations come together to host a week of free and low-cost events throughout the city (and online) centered around birds and conservation. Join us for a bird walk, book club, yoga, birding and photography classes, native plant sale, art class, or another of our many fun and birdy events! Be sure to connect with us online and tag us in your photos @HoustonAudubon! Your participation will help our city continue to be a welcoming home for birds.
Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary
Despite the heat, drought, and city water restrictions, the pond remains full for wildlife to drink and cool down. Some trees are losing leaves and dropping branches, but most will recover. Please be cautious of falling branches while visiting.
Fall programs are kicking back into gear at Edith Moore! Programs for kids include Fledgling Friends and Stories and Crafts in the Cabin in addition to our next Home School Nature Day celebrating birds on September 28. Families can join a Night Hike to explore the woods after dark, get creative at Art with Raptors, or attend another fun fall program!
Edith L. Moore Sanctuary is open daily but certain amenities such as the cabin and restrooms are not available on holidays and Sundays. We welcome wildlife photographers and families taking pictures of each other, but professional photo sessions do require a permit. Be sure to stop by and enjoy the trails!
Rain lilies popped up around the cabin after the sanctuary received light rain!
Raptor and Education Center
The summer heat and drought has certainly taken a toll on the vegetation at the Raptor Center. It has been a tough summer for all wild things. The wild hawks in the neighborhood are now frequent visitors to the bird bath and pond. Water is Life! Consider putting out a small dish or the bottom of a planter filled with fresh water each day for our thirsty birds.
The Raptor and Education Center is open for visitors on Fridays from 10 AM - 4 PM and by appointment. Call (713) 640-2407 to make an appointment outside these hours. Admission is free for Houston Audubon members and $5/person for non-members.
On the Coast - High Island and Bolivar Flats
In collaboration with SPLASh, we managed to remove 647 lbs of garbage from the North Jetty in Port Bolivar, and 774 lbs from the beach adjacent to the Port Bolivar Ferry landing. Both of these sites are important for beach-nesting birds, and as roosting/feeding areas for migrant and wintering shorebirds. We will be having another beach clean-up on Saturday, September 30th at Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary, when hopefully the weather will be a little cooler.
Our beach-nesting bird monitoring season has concluded, right as the numbers of migratory shorebirds are building. Half a dozen Wilson’s Plover nests hatched this season across six sites along the Bolivar Peninsula and Galveston Island, and at least three broods fledged successfully.
Migrant passerines (particularly flycatchers, swallows, and some warblers) have been conspicuous in the coastal sanctuaries since mid-August as they begin their journey southward. The dry weather means there are few mosquitos to contend with in the woods, and birds are more concentrated at available water. The main drip at Boy Scout Woods and Katrina’s Corner in Smith Oaks have been productive.
The colonial-nesting birds at Smith Oaks have finished for the summer, but hundreds of herons, egrets, cormorants, and spoonbills fly in to roost nightly at Smith Oaks. While more protracted than spring migration, fall is still an excellent and rewarding time to go birding, especially on the Texas coast. We’re looking forward to discovering what this fall has in store for the coastal sanctuaries.
Thank you to the three dozen volunteers who braved the sweltering weather to help with our two beach clean-ups in August.
Shop our Amazon Wish List
You can support Houston Audubon by shopping our Amazon wish list! From office supplies to sanctuary maintenance equipment, your donation will help our staff and volunteers carry out their critical work.
"Focus on the Good" Binocular Donation Program
Houston Audubon and Land Sea & Sky are teaming up to refurbish and donate your old binoculars to underprivileged individuals in our community as well as bird guides in developing countries. Learn more and donate your old binoculars today!
Avian Affair Wine Pull
Donate a bottle of wine valued at $40 or more for the Avian Affair Wine Pull. You can purchase a bottle at Houston Wine Merchant by calling them at (713) 524-3397 or stopping by their location at 2646 S Shepherd Dr. Be sure and mention Houston Audubon. Supporters will also receive 10% off on any other wine purchases that they make for themselves!
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