^.JVESTING SWALLOW-TAILED KITES
DOCUMENTED IN EAST TEXAS. Almost a year after
completing a three-year survey for American Swallow-
tailed Kites, Dan Boone, a Texas Parks and Wildlife
Department biologist in Jasper, has verified the first active
nest in Texas since 1911-14.
...The birds have been seen occasionally in East
Texas, but there has not been an active nest documented
for about 80 years. ...The nesting pair was found on
Temple Inland Forest Products Corp. property in Tyler
Boone said he has suspected isolated nesting
activity in East Texas during the past four years, but this
was the first time an active nest has been found. ...Temple
Inland is taking precautionary measures to ensure the
success of the nesting pair. Consequently, public viewing
will not be allowed. Texas Parks and Wildlife News,
.......WANT TO HELP SAVE AN ENDANGERED
SPECIES? GET RID OF THAT BIRD FEEDER! In
scenic Austin, where real estate development has been
stymied by fights over preserving endangered species, it
turns out the main enemy of the Golden-cheeked Warbler
is not the bulldozer. It's the Blue Jay.
"It's tough to tell people that the best thing they
can do to help endangered songbirds is to get rid of those
bird feeders, but everything points to that conclusion," said
Tom Engels, who conducted a study to determine why
warbler populations are declining.
Austin's unique ecosystem of limestone hills, cedar
trees, caves and aquifers makes it home to more
endangered birds and bugs than any urban area in the
United States. Songbirds such as the warbler and the
Black-capped Vireo, plus several rare cave spiders, have
stalled everything from construction of shopping malls to
cedar chopping on private land.
City of Austin biologist, Chuck Sexton, said
"Once subdivisions are slapped up, the humans who live
in them are impacting the warblers even further. That's
because we're raising Blue Jays. And they are marauding
beyond the boundaries of the houses."
Blue Jays grow fat on food in bird feeders, cat and
dog food left outside, and insects in lawns and garbage.
The ecosystem remains in balance as long as natural trees
and shrubs stay in place. When jays get access to birdseed,
pet food and Bermuda grass, their populations explode—
and warblers hit the skids.
"The message we hope folks get out of this is to
minimize the impacts of their lifestyle on native areas,"
Sexton said newcomers who want to help warblers
can leave native plants and bushes in place instead of
planting lawns-and stop feeding birds.
Hummingbird feeders are fine, but because jays
cant get to sugared water. But open feeders encourage jays
and lead to the decline of warblers. The Houston Post,
MaryLenz, May, 1994.
--^.OSPREYS FLEDGE YOUNG AGAIN AT LAKE
HOUSTON. Ospreys have nested for at least the last two
years on top of a Houston Lighting and Power transmission
pole in Lake Houston. Richard Britton first reported the
nest during April, hatching in mid-May and fledging of two
young in Jury. This same nest site was occupied by a pair
of Osprey last year and they were reported to fledge two
young then as well.
Nesting Osprey are rare in Texas. Recent nesting
activities have been only reported at two sites on Sam
Rayburn Reservoir. During the previous decade, Osprey
were reported to nest on Lake Fork Reservoir and the lower
Laguna Madre. Brent Ortego, Texas Parks and Wildlife
20 YEARS AGO/ FROM JUNE 1974 SPOONBILL
by Nod Pettingell
Clearing House Notes
Bachman's Sparrow: On Jury 22, 1972, Paul and Phyllis
Nimmons found two Bachman's Sparrow near Russ Clapper's
house in Chambers County.
Just east of the intersection of FM 562 and FM
1985 there is a road that veers off of FM 1985. The
sparrows were found about eight tenths of a mile down this
Investigating their report, Ben Feltner and I found
a Bachman's Sparrow singing there at 8:45 am. on May 2,
1974. It was singing from the tip of a pine branch. The
song is a slow trill with a lower introductory whistle, and
varies with trills and whistles on different pitches.
Visually, the bird is nondescript, long tailed and clear
Bachman's Sparrow were formerly recorded
around Lake Houston, but in recent years none have been
reported This sighting seems to represent a rediscovery of
the bird in the UTC area DanHardy