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The Spoonbill, Vol. 32, No. 12, December 1983
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The Spoonbill, Vol. 32, No. 12, December 1983 - Image 2. December 1983. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. July 14, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/2007_023/item/1010/show/1003.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(December 1983). The Spoonbill, Vol. 32, No. 12, December 1983 - Image 2. Outdoor Nature Club Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/2007_023/item/1010/show/1003

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

The Spoonbill, Vol. 32, No. 12, December 1983 - Image 2, December 1983, Outdoor Nature Club Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed July 14, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/2007_023/item/1010/show/1003.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title The Spoonbill, Vol. 32, No. 12, December 1983
Alternative Title The Spoonbill, Vol. XXXII, No. 12, December 1983
Contributor (LCNAF)
  • Robison, B. C.
Publisher Outdoor Nature Club
Date December 1983
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Ornithology
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • newsletters
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
Original Item Location ID 2007-023, Box 11, Folder 16
ArchivesSpace URI /repositories/2/archival_objects/9868
Original Collection Outdoor Nature Club Records
Digital Collection Outdoor Nature Club Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/2007_023
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://libraries.uh.edu/branches/special-collections/
Use and Reproduction Rights Undetermined
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Image 2
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
File Name uhlib_2007_023_b011_f016_008_002.jpg
Transcript BIRDING IN BRAZOS BEND STATE PARK by Jim Morgan Brazos Bend State Park, formerly known as Hale Ranch, is scheduled to open to the public in early 1984. The park will provide a welcome addition to the list of prime UTC birding spots. The park is comprised of 4,897 acres in southeast Fort Bend County, with an eastern boundary of 3.2 miles of Brazos River frontage. In addition to the river frontage, the park's other major water course is Big Creek, which meanders diagonally across the park. The habitat of the park is typical "Brazos Bottomlands", with mixed hardwood vegetation, a variety of natural and man- made lakes, ponds, sloughs, swamps and freshwater marsh, plus a flat uplands tall grass prairie. Some of the moss covered and vine-draped live oaks are among the most spectacular of any in Texas. In January 1977, immediately following purchase of the property by The State of Texas, the OG was asked by The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to put together a small team of active birders to take a census of the birds and wildlife for the State. Initially under the capable organization and leadership of Margaret Jones, a small party visited "Hale Ranch" on January 22, 1977. I was fortunate to be among this first group and my enthusiasm for the area continued for five more years. Eventually Margaret turned the compiling chores over to me, and I made the final compilation of all bird species in seasonal abundance format for the State. This data will eventually be released by the State as the checklist for Brazos Bend State Park. All sightings were also carefully documented in The Clearing House of The Spoonbill. During a four and one-half year period of censusing, 81 visits by OG members were made to the park. During these visits 230 species of birds were accurately recorded, 56 species were confirmed to be nesting in the park, and 20 more species were suspected of nesting. I have listed 22 more species which are expected to be recorded within the park as more birding takes place after the park opens. Besides Ted Eubanks, Jr. and myself, major contributors to the checklist included Kelly Bryan (former TP&W employee and a competent birder), Marilyn Crane, T. Paul and Margaret Jones. Ted Eubanks, Jr. assisted me in the final checklist compilation, and Ted and I were fortunate enough to have made the most visits to the park during the census period. Ted also organized a Breeding Bird Census which was published in American Birds. What follows below is a summary of the most noteworthy aspects of the birdlife of Brazos Bend State Park. There is probably no better spot on the UTC to find Anhingas. As an example, the most recent OG field trip to the park on Nov. 26 recorded 4 0+ Anhingas. The park is a haven for large wading birds and waterfowl. A major inland rookery exists at the north end of Pilant Lake. Ted and I reached the rookery by canoe once in June and found 10,000 Cattle Egret nests plus hundreds of nests of other herons and egrets. A very unusual inland record of Reddish Egret was obtained in the park on June 20, 1981 by Kelly Bryan, Tony Gallucci and me. Twenty species of ducks have been recorded in the park. The swamps, sloughs, and wooded edge to the lakes makes the area especially attractive for Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Wood Duck and Hooded Merganser. The Black- bellies and Woodies are regular nesters and, amazingly, on Ben Feltner's only visit to the park, he observed a female Hooded Merganser flying into a nest hole in a dead tree. Mary Ann Chapman and Dr. C. Dean Fisher also observed this amazing event. A check of the nest the following day revealed two eggs. This is the only known nesting attempt by this species in Texas. The eggs are in the possession of Dr. Fisher at Stephen F. Austin University. These observations took place on March 4-5, 19 77. Also of interest is the number of wintering Ring-necked Ducks. At least twice, 400+ of this species were observed on visits to the park in winter. Raptors are well represented in the park. Vultures roost in numbers, and all the UTC kites have been observed in the park. White-tailed (Black-shouldered) Kite nests in the park and Mississippi Kite is regular in summer and an individual was observed carrying nesting material. The beautiful Swallow-tailed Kite was observed on three occasions, twice in May, and once on July 17. The latter probably was an early fall migrant, but it is conceivable that the species nests somewhere along the Brazos River. Kelly Bryan observed and photographed a Golden Eagle over the park, and a Bald Eagle has been observed on several occasions, including a June 1, 1980 observation . Nineteen species of shorebirds have been recorded in the park, but the area cannot be considered prime shorebird habitat except for American Woodcock. A rare sighting of Roadrunner took place June 18, 1977. The bird was seen by Bob Moulton and Bob and Mary Ann Moore. Owls are well represented in the park. Nests of Barn, Great Horned and Barred Owls have been found. Screech Owl is rare to uncommon in the park but most likely nests there as well. There is no better spot I know of on the UTC for Barred Owl. David Dauphin once called up 1^5 of this species at the same time in the daytime! The small woodland birds of the UTC are in abundance at the park. A highlight of these small birds in the park is the representation