REDDISH EGRET SURVEY
Reddish Egrets have been marked near Rockport, Texas with red and yellow plastic colot
bands to study movements and to determine age at first breeding. The bands have been
placed above the Intratarsal joint. Please send reports, Including color of band,
leg banded, date and location of sighting, and activities to: Richard T. Paul, Research Department, National Audubon Society, 115 Indian Mound Trail, Tavernler, Florida, 33070.
AROUND AND ABOUT
** We have been asked to calI to your attention the recent petition by Governor Dolph
Briscoe to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service which would allow Golden Eagles to be
killed in 31 Texas counties by any rancher or landowner who found it necessary to kill
them for protection of livestock. Your comments on this should be sent to Briscoe
in Austin, and Nathaniel Reed, Asst. Secretary of U.S. Dept. of Interior, Washington,
** Russ Clapper says that just before the recent teal season opened, a state biologist, flying over the area between the Sabine and Trinity rivers, estimated 350,000
to 500,000 teal had moved in.
** A new smaller-format edition of "Operation Nature Guide", 50 pages of addresses
and phone numbers of volunteers and other sources in virtually every state plus a few
in Canada and England to give the traveling birder and nature enthusiast information
about where to go and what to see Is now off the press. Published by the Tahoma Audubon Society in Tacoma: $1.30 postage included, from Nature Guide, 34915 - 4th Ave.,
So., Federal Way, Washington 98003. —from Audubon Leader
** A letter from our departed friends and fellow-members, David and Dorothy Lefkovits, says they have been working hard, getting settled in their new home near Wood-
vllle. They have already recorded 56 species of birds in their yard in just a couple
of months, but say they have no hope of approaching their record of 161 species made
at their home in Baytown. Their mail is delivered to a rural box: R.R. #1, Box
86CI3, Woodville, Texas 75979, and their phone number is 713-283-5145.
HIGH ISLAND — A PERSPECTIVE by Ted. L. Eubanks, Jr.
To measure a community's value to society, one must take into account far more than
just a monetary assessment of its capital holdings. The area's historical heritage,
the talents and resources of its inhabitants, the critical IrreplaceabiIity of its
unique eco-system; all are necessary contributors to a broad, well-informed appraisal.
Fifty miles to the southeast of the metropolis of Houston, Texas, at the northeastern
base of the Bolivar Peninsula, conspicuously stands a live oak shrouded mound known
historically as High Island. Presently recognized for its fiscal Importance to the
petroleum Industry with the surrounding coastal plains containing some of the oldest
active oil fields in the State of Texas, this immense elevated salt dome more importantly offers both a singular eco(oglcaJ significance and a historical legacy that has
all but disappeared from the Texas Gulf Coast.
To a historian with an abiding Interest in Texiana, such as local resident Annabelle
Nicar, High Island holds a key position in the overview of events that have shaped
Texas and Its people, particularly in the coastal region. Long used by the Karawanka
and Atakapa tribes as a haven from the storms which cyclically sweep the Gulf expanse,
the non-flooding crest of the dome (approximately twentyfive feet above the surrounding wetlands) subsequently was utilized by assorted pirates, fishermen, and trappers
who occupied the region periodically, including the Infamous Jean Lafitte. In the
early I800's the Mexican Government finally granted the dome and all of the coastal
lands toward the southwest to one Martin Dunman and his brother Joseph (the region Is
still recognized as the Martin Dunman Survey). The township of High Island became
officially sanctioned in 1835, but the community didn't flourish until 1901, when the
Guffey Company drilled the first oil well in the area. This venture combined with
the famous Spindletop field that had been brought in earlier in the year by Captain
Lucas, Initiated the era of the "East Texas Oil Boom". The settlement rapidly prospered with the influx of workers and jobs brought in by this fledgling Industry, and
tracts such as the "Old Townslte" (located adjacent to what is presently known as
"Boy Scout Woods") developed in the ensuing years.
Perhaps one of the most ecologically captivating areas of High Island, certainly to
regional naturalists and birders, is a dense live oak motte on the northern edge of
the crest known as Smith's Woods. The fresh water supply that It offers was the pri-
mary'reason for It first being settled in the late 1800's by George E. Smith (the old
well house still stands just south of the main entrance to the estate). The property