Here's what's happening at Houston Audubon this month!
Houston Audubon owns and manages 17 bird sanctuaries totaling over 4,000 acres, many of which are open to the public! Our most frequented sanctuaries include the Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary in west Houston and our High Island and Bolivar Flats sanctuaries on the coast.
February is a hectic time for the coastal staff as we ready the sanctuaries to receive thousands of human, and hundreds of thousands of feathered visitors during the spring. We anticipate the first Purple Martins will arrive within the first ten days of February, and by the end of the month we will likely see our first northbound Louisiana Waterthrushes, Northern Parulas, and Yellow-throated Warblers (our logo bird!) The several inches of rain we received in January has gone a long way to raise the water levels of the rookery ponds at Smith Oaks, and we’re anxiously awaiting the first nest-building pairs of Neotropic Cormorants and Great Egrets.
Thank you to those who volunteered during our January High Island workday. We managed to clear several acres of young privet within a previously treated area and installed three new benches on the Clay Bottom Pond overlook on the McGovern Canopy Walkway. At the Coastal Nursery workday last month, we planted several trays worth of various forbs, including Mexican Hat. This month we will continue to propagate milkweed and other grasses and forbs and may even do some planting near the Field Station and sanctuaries prior to spring migration. Join us for our upcoming work days at the nursery and sanctuaries!
- Entergy Coastal Natives Nursery Work Day | Thursday, February 8, from 8:30 am-noon Register »
High Island Sanctuaries Work Day | Saturday, February 10 from 8:30 am-noon Register »
Further down the coast, coastal staff have partnered with SPLASh on two clean-up events.
Frenchtown Road, adjacent to Horseshoe Marsh Bird Sanctuary near the Port Bolivar ferry landing | Saturday, February 17 from 9 am-noon Register »
North Jetty in Port Bolivar, adjacent to Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary | Saturday, February 24 from 9 am-noon. This will be an excellent opportunity to see many shorebirds and likely thousands of American Avocets Register »
Birding with the Greener Gulfton Community
Just outside the 610 Loop in southwest Houston, you’ll find the international community of Gulfton, the hottest neighborhood in Harris County. A heat mapping project showed Gulfton was 17 degrees warmer than the coolest part of the county, which can be attributed to the long stretches of pavement that hold heat and a lack of tree cover. According to a Rice University Kinder Institute study, urban heat islands are disadvantaged areas and communities of color that suffer from urban tree inequality. Through the Greener Gulfton plan, The Nature Conservancy, organizational partners, and community members are focusing on nature as a way to improve physical and mental health, enhance climate resilience, and increase biodiversity in Gulfton. Learn more about the Gulfton community in our latest blog post.
Satellite images give scientists a better understanding of habitat needs of Golden-crowned Sparrows
To better understand and protect our birds, we have to look at their movement through habitats across broad landscapes. Typically, scientists do this by counting birds and surveying plants where the birds occur, but this takes a lot of time and money, and usually only covers a small area of land. By using satellite imagery instead, researchers study previously unknown habits of the Golden-crowned Sparrow, which helps conservation biologists better understand how to protect this species.
Focus on the Good Binocular Donation Program 💙
Give your binoculars a second life! We've teamed up with Land Sea & Sky to refurbish and distribute your donated binoculars to underprivileged individuals in our community and guides in developing countries.
Conservation License Plate 🚗
Show your love of birds when you hit the road! Order your specialty license plate to support bird conservation while driving around town. $22 of the $30 annual fee comes to Houston Audubon.
Join the flock - become a member today! 🦅
Join Houston Audubon today to start getting access to free members-only birding trips, free admission to select events like the speaker series, two annual mailed publications, discounts at Houston Audubon shops, and more!
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