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The Spoonbill, Vol. 7, No. 8, December 1958
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The Spoonbill, Vol. 7, No. 8, December 1958 - Image 9. December 1958. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. June 23, 2021. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/2007_023/item/2970/show/2964.

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 1958). The Spoonbill, Vol. 7, No. 8, December 1958 - Image 9. Outdoor Nature Club Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/2007_023/item/2970/show/2964

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. 7, No. 8, December 1958 - Image 9, December 1958, Outdoor Nature Club Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed June 23, 2021, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/2007_023/item/2970/show/2964.

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. 7, No. 8, December 1958
Alternative Title The Spoonbill, Vol. VII, No. 8, December 1958
Publisher Outdoor Nature Club
Date December 1958
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 9, Folder 9
ArchivesSpace URI /repositories/2/archival_objects/9843
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 No Copyright - United States
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Image 9
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
File Name uhlib_2007_023_b009_f009_012_009.jpg
Transcript page 5 Your editor has at hand a fascinating little deal put out by the Department of the Interior in 1878 entitled! NOTES ON THE ORNITHOLOGY OF THE LOWER RIO GRANDE OF TEXAS, FROM OBSERVATIONS MADE DURING THE SEASON OF 1877, by George B. Sennett. Edited with annotations by Dr. Elliott Coues. Unless you holler mighty loud (and why should you holler, I'm the guy who has to figure out who the boids with the Latin names are) I'd like to run parts of it from time to time. I take it that many of our birds take their names from these two ornithologists, don't you? Sennett's white-tailed hawk, for instance. As I go along I'll try to compare their lists with our present findings for this area. This is gonna be fun? Here are some notes from Sennett's letter of transmittal: "I set out for Texas on February 23d of the present year (1877) On the evening of the 20th of March, we arrived at Brownsville, our objective point. Hy plan was to work down the lower coast of Texas and arrive at Brownsville, as a base of future operations, before the breeding season had fairly commenced. We were exactly two months on the southern border. The country worked over lay between Point Isabel, a point a few miles above Hidalgo, embracing a distance of a hundred miles by road or 300 miles by river."(Then, as now, the Yankees were complaining bitterly about Texas, for he says: "On some days the weather was intensely hot ... We were constantly on the alert for huge rattlesnakes, tarantulas and centipedes, yet more troublesome enemies were with us continually in the shape of wood-ticks and red-bugs" (Just in case you are interested, their method of prevention was an ammonia bath each night and a daily bath of kerosene before going into the brush) Sennett claims that under such circumstances it requires courage and enthusiasm to persevere in any pursuit, and I think he's got something there! The result of the trip was the securing of some 500 birds, three of which were new to our fauna and one new to science. Here are some of the birds he saw in 1877 and in each case I will try to compare his findings with present conditions for the areas HOCKINGBIRD - First seen in great numbers at Corpus Christi. Abundant everywhere on the Rio Grande. He complains about being fooled by their imitation of the chachalaea. LONG-BILLED THRUSH: (Wolfe calls him the long-billed thrasher, Toxostoma longlrostre Bennett!) He found this bird next to the mockingbird in point of numbers but a check list of birds of Laguna Atascosa lists it as uncommon now. Wolfe lists it as being re stricted to area 7. Santa Ana lists it as common in all seasons. CURVE-BILLED THRUSH (thrasher to us) Not so common as the long-billed thrasher at that time. Now listed as common in Brownsville. Sennett says also that he did not encounter the bird until he eame to Brownsville. BLUEBIRD: Sennett saw only one pair of bluebirds on the Rio Grande - near Hidalgo. He is still listed as occasional to rare for Laguna Atascosa and Santa Ana. BLUE-BRAY GNAT-CATCHER! Sennett had only seen this bird once or twice. Found a nest in April near Brownsville. Now listed as abundant in Santa Ana and Laguna Atascosa except in the summer. BLACK CRESTED TITMOUSE; These lively and sweet singers were everywhere abundant, says Sennett. He had difficulty finding the eggs. Now the bird is uncommon in Laguna Atascosa but common in Santa Ana. YELLOW HEADED TITMOUSE: This one threw me.' Turns out it is the verdin. Sennett comments on the beauty of the nest, far excelling all other bird architecture. The nests were found in open chaparral country. Birds were by no means abundant. Now it is reported as common in Laguna and uncommon in Santa Ana. BERLANDIER'S WREN: I just couldn't find this under the name he gives it: thryo- thorus Ludovioianus (that much is Carolina wren) Berlandieri, but wonder if it might be the Carolina wren (Lomita) which is now uncommon in Santa Ana and Laguna. Sennett found it to be common on the Lower Rio Grande. BEWICK'S WREN: As common on the southern border as the house wren in the north. He found them nesting in the woods and most abundantly in the brush fences. They are abundant to common in both refuges now. Sennet found no house wrens though they are now common to abundant in Fall and winter in both valley refuges now. HORNED LARK: First found by Sennett on the dry sandy ridges adjoining the salt- marshes. Seen often with the horned larks were McCown's longspur (Sennett called it hunting just to throw me off) Still seen in Brownsville area but not Galveston. MISSOURI SKYLARK: This one after a bit of detective work turned out to be our Sprague's pipit.' We call it a 3WR but he says "I think this bird has not before been noticed so far south" This is where he saw it in Galveston "South of Galveston, just without the city limits, are lagoons and salt marshes, The low ridges dividing them ace covered sparsely with grass, and, as in other sandy tracts, all of the tall grass grows