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The Spoonbill, Vol. 38, No. 11, November 1989
Image 5
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The Spoonbill, Vol. 38, No. 11, November 1989 - Image 5. November 1989. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. September 26, 2021. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/2007_023/item/1045/show/1039.

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.

(November 1989). The Spoonbill, Vol. 38, No. 11, November 1989 - Image 5. Outdoor Nature Club Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/2007_023/item/1045/show/1039

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. 38, No. 11, November 1989 - Image 5, November 1989, Outdoor Nature Club Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed September 26, 2021, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/2007_023/item/1045/show/1039.

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. 38, No. 11, November 1989
Alternative Title The Spoonbill, Vol. XXXVIII, No. 11, November 1989
Contributor (Local)
  • Price, Libby
Publisher Outdoor Nature Club
Date November 1989
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 12, Folder 5
ArchivesSpace URI /repositories/2/archival_objects/9874
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 In Copyright
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Image 5
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
File Name uhlib_2007_023_b012_f005_010_005.jpg
Transcript Nearctic region and cross into the Neotropic. I encourage anyone who has considered going on the El Naranjo and Rio Corona counts to go, and soon. The discussion at breakfast before crossing the border included much talk about the destruction of habitat in Mexico. I said, "Well, it's see Mexico now," and Gene responded with, "You are nearly too late." Mexico's growing population and worsening economy will place more burdens on the habitat and ecosystems of Mexico. I only hope that more habitat in Mexico will be preserved, and that this article will encourage the appreciation and preservation of Mexican birds. IN PURSUIT OF PELAGIC BIRDS by Don and Lee Richardson On October 7, 1989 we joined a group from Dallas and elsewhere for a delightful and successful pelagic trip into the Gulf of Mexico. The boat trip itself lasted from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. We departed from Port Aransas on the Scat Cat with about 80 persons. That may sound like a lot of people but the boat accommodated us well, and there was little need to compete for vantage points. The birders on board, friendly and helpful as they always are, were great at helping those who had not spotted a bird. As we left port we saw the kind of thing you would expect close to shore: gulls and terns of all sorts, a dozen or so Brown Pelicans, and not too far out from shore a Magnificent Frigatebird. A little farther out a Peregrine Falcon flew over the boat while eating a meal in flight. As we proceeded out to sea we continued to encounter small groups of terns, mostly Royal, an occasional Laughing Gull and even a couple of flights of Black Skimmers. Finally, when we were about forty to fifty miles into the Gulf we approached an oil rig. We saw two or more Peregrine Falcons perched high in the rig. They remained as we drew closer and we were able to study them closely* As we drew even closer we began to find other bird life on the lower parts of the rig. A pair of ground doves were resting on a sloped solar panel, and a Northern Waterthrush bobbed busily as he worked his way around the very lowest platform. Finally the carcass of an American Redstart could be seen near the bottom of a ladder. As we approached a second oil rig we could see that the Peregrine Falcon was not going to be a rarity that day. Four of these magnificent birds were resting on this rig, and two, quite near to each other, were very different in size. The female was huge when compared to the smaller male and contrasted against the bright sky. A total of twelve Peregrines were seen, many close up, by the time the day was over. Passerines were also plentiful and were seen on almost every oil rig we approached. Their presence was certainly the reason the falcons were so common. Our checklist of passerines includes 2 Northern Waterthrush, 3 Ground Doves, 2 Mourning Doves, 1 Black-throated Green Warbler, 1 Long-billed Thrasher, 1 Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, 3 Lark Sparrows and about 10 American Redstarts. On two occasions passerines flew over to our boat. A Northern Waterthrush landed on the lower deck and remained for a half hour or so, giving our group some good close observations. Two American Redstarts came to us, one to a rail around the upper deck within a foot of some of our party. The orange tinge in the breast color would indicate a young male. He rested on the rail for some time, moved to the arm of one of the observers for awhile, and then moved farther to the man's shoulder where he continued to rest. Finally he flew to a pile of bags, packs and scopes where, we think, he rested until we hit landfall that night. The second Redstart visitor wasn't so fortunate. She flew to the upper deck also but tried to return to the rig. She was so tired she never made it and fell into the water after returning only half the distance. The passerines seemed quite feeble, especially the Redstarts. This probably accounts for their seeking a resting place after traveling only forty miles from land. It's appropriate that they should become nourishment for the falcons. Pelagic birds are what we came for and pelagic birds are what we got. Our first were two jaegers. We were unable to determine the species. They flew by quickly at 100 yards, took deep strokes with their wings and then raised them high, and disappeared just seconds after their arrival. Soon after, there appeared a Masked Booby. It was quite distant and poorly lit. Many of us didn't see the bird at all, some caught a glimpse, and a few briefly saw the black and white pattern on top of the wing. Look ahead! Just to the right! Two birds sitting in the water, was the cry. The captain turned toward the birds and slowed. The birds rose from the water to fly away. They glided on long slender wings as they rose over the crests and sheared through the troughs. Shearwater is the perfect name. They lit again on the water. We continued slowly and then stopped less than 50 yards from these great birds. The view was perfect and the light just right. The bill color was what we were looking for and it was clear, pale yellow and dark at the tip. They were Cory's Shearwaters. We studied them for several minutes before they left us with that beautifully graceful flight. We thought it was a great way to end our day. We checked on some more oil rigs but found very little on them. Some of us saw something large and white fly in back of a rig but then lost it. As we left the rig We spotted it again flying fairly high. The bird flew closer and closer as it worked over its hunting area. The sun was at our backs and the bird was perfectly lighted. It was a Masked Booby, still working its way closer. The white and black pattern dazzled in the sun as it glided and banked in the wind. Then it dove from a great height, tucked its wings like a falcon in a stoop and plunged into the water. It emerged with its quarry and flew away. Now we headed into port arriving at seven in the evening just as the sun was setting. Everyone on board was tired but happy; nearly everyone had gained at least one lifer. REPORT OPEN PITS Open oil, brine or chemical pits are responsible for the death of many thousands of birds. As of October 1, 1989 unscreened pits are violations of law in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Report to Brian Cain of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife at 750- 1700 if you notice any open pits.