VOLUME XLV, No. 9
One-third ef the blue heron's length is neck and beak. *
This one-third is a model of versatility. Each vertebra *
of the neck is precisely fitted to allow rotation upon the *
one below. Stretched to utmost height, the neck becomes a *
watohtower for the eyes, scanning an expanse of 360°, about *
330 more than the human neck. Among tall reeds with neck *
extended, the heron appears to be one of the bunch and may *
sway to match the rhythm of the windblown grass. The neck *
can be neatly folded back upon itself for flight or rest. *
It can be tucked safely under a wing for deep sleep during *
the night; it 'enables the bill to smooth out all feathers. *
Finely coordinated muscles in the neck act as a power- *
ful spring to snay up the most alert fish or frog. Young *
herons know the value of the sharp bill and neck as a wea- *
pon to discourage hungry enemies. Within the neck, an ex- *
tensive windpipe has a musical range from a deafening whoop *
of alarm to the doting croak of a mother. On a heron honey-*
moon,, the pair pledge their troth with affectionate neck- *
twining. Jot hours the interlaced couple perch unmoving, *
nibbling occasionally at each other's plumes. For all its *
gawky appearance, the heron's aeck is a very ingeaious struc-
"Rubberneck,"Texas Game and Fish,(back *
cover- Vo XXI, No. 3 March, 1963) *
PUBLISHED BY THE ORNITHOLOGY GROUP, OUTDOOR NATURE CLUB, HOUSTON, TEXAS
January 29 (Saturday) Regular OG Field Trip to Cineo Ranch, led by Harvey Patten. We hope to see
the many species of sparrows which we saw on last'year's trip. Meet at 9 AM
at the intersection of Beeler Road and Westheimer, just East of Barker Dam.
February 3 (Thursday) Regular OG meeting at 7:30 PM, Downtown Recreation Center. Dr. David Marrack'
will speak on "Food for Birds," an excellent wintertime subject. Dr. Marrack,
who "caught the bug" to study birds from his schoolmaster in 1934, chose Houston as his place of residence because of the good birding in this area. Dr.
Marrack is a biochemist and is Chief of the Section of Biochemistry of Research
Clinical Pathology at the University of Texas M.D. Andersoa Hospital and Tumor
February 8 (Tuesday) Regular ONC meeting, in the Garden Center, 1500 Hermann Drive, 8 PM. Mr. D.H.
Luchtel will speak on "The Bald Eagle."
February 16 (Wednesday) Audubon Wildlife Films "The Vanishing Sea." Houston Home Builders Assn. Auditorium, 2710 W. Alabama, 8 PM.
February 19, 20 (Saturday and Sunday) ONC Field Trip to Aransas Wildlife Refuge, led by Jim O'Neill.
This trip is in three parts: (l) Saturday- The Refuge. Meet at Refuge Headquarters at 8 AM SHARP. Bob Shields and Gordon Foltzenlogen will lead us to
areas of the Refuge that are off limits to the public. Bring picnic lunch to
be. sater. at the picnic grounds. In the afternoon we will be free to bird
elsewhere on the Refuge. (2) Sunday morning- Rockport. There will be a field
trip for birds in the Rockport area. (3) Sunday afternoon- SS Whooping Crane.
Meet at the Sea Gun Marina at 1:00 PM for a cruise up the Intra-Coastal Canal
to the Refuge. Last February 22 the O'Neills saw 23 of the 42 Whoopers while
on this boat. Tickets are *5.00 and BESERVATIONS MUST BE MADE BY FEBRUARY 1
with Mr. or Mrs. James O'Neill, 1815 Effie Lane, Pasadena, GR 3-7855. The
Refuge and the boat operator must be notified as to how many our group will
comprise, so please observe this deadline if you plan to make the trip.