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The Spoonbill, Vol. 38, No. 1, January 1989
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The Spoonbill, Vol. 38, No. 1, January 1989 - Image 2. January 1989. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. November 21, 2019. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/2007_023/item/3187/show/3180.

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.

(January 1989). The Spoonbill, Vol. 38, No. 1, January 1989 - Image 2. Outdoor Nature Club Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/2007_023/item/3187/show/3180

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. 1, January 1989 - Image 2, January 1989, Outdoor Nature Club Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed November 21, 2019, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/2007_023/item/3187/show/3180.

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. 1, January 1989
Alternative Title The Spoonbill, Vol. XXXVIII, No. 1, January 1989
Contributor (Local)
  • Price, Libby
Publisher Outdoor Nature Club
Date January 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 Rights Undetermined
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Image 2
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
File Name uhlib_2007_023_b012_f005_001_002.jpg
Transcript 10 YEARS AGO/FROM JAN., 1979 SPOONBILL "PLACES TO GO..As you will see when you read the Clearing House and Field Notes, W. Harris County or habitat similar to that area, will be productive. With W. Harris County harboring Golden and Bald Eagles, Ross' Geese among the thousands of Snows and Blues, it isn't surprising an Oldsquaw popped up on the Cypress Creek Christmas Count. "Longspurs will be seen in that area until the end of January, if past appearances hold true. Quoting from the January Spoonbill of 1977: '...look for a loose flock that will rise, fly, wheel, and turn with a flash of white bellies, then as they get close to the ground, will drop all at once. Shorebirds, and there are some out there, fly in tight flocks, and never very high as they wheel over a wet field, and blackbirds are much less disciplined in their flocks, and, of course, never flash that white.' The Varied Thrush hopefully will stay around for awhile (the one seen in 1965 stayed two months). So far, Sun Oil has not objected to birders entering their property in search of this bird, who is staying in a large Hackberry grove. Complete directions may be gotten from David Dauphin or the editor." THE CLEARING HOUSE: HISTORYgPURPOSE The Clearing House is a record of birds that occur on the Upper Texas Coast. Most of the sightings are made by OG members, but other local birders and some visitors also contribute. The name "Clearing House" was chosen by Noel Pettingell, the first designated editor of The Spoonbill, in July, 1953. He conceived of it as a section of the newsletter that collected, compiled and dispensed information on bird sightings by members. For some time the birding diaries of Arlie McKay and Clinton and Linda Snyder were published separately, as well as field trip lists and spring censuses. The Clearing House was not a complete list of birds seen, but rather a chronological list of sightings of rare or seasonal or just interesting birds seen, along with the names of observers and locations of sightings. It was not until 1960 that Ben Feltner, then Spoonbill editor, revised the Clearing House "to include every bird reported on the UTC in phylo- genic order and is forever damned by subsequent editors and typists," as the 30-year anniversary issue of The Spoonbill put it in July, 1982. The Clearing House did become a monster to type, with all those numbers, abbreviations, parentheses and punctuation marks to confuse the typist and make proofreading difficult. The wonder is that there were still dedicated members every year to continue compiling it. From this year on there was need for a Clearing House Editor, though the husband and wife teams who followed Ben Feltner did not necessarily use the title. As the number of OG members grew the number of sightings also increased. Ron Braun, who took over as Clearing House Editor in July 1984, was the first to put the data on computer, with the help of his wife, Marcia. They put in an incredible number of hours, like the people before them. The Brauns were a hard act to follow, and before our present group of editors took over, Ted Eubanks volunteered to be an interim editor. He too slaved over the hot computer, trying to devise a simpler program that would provide all the information desired and keep the data in a form, that could be merged and later retrieved as desired. He also added Waller County to the area covered. If any of you observers have not been paying attention to this addition, please send in Waller reports as well as those from the traditional area. Our present editors began compiling the Clearing House in May 1988. Andrew and Rene Franks together, Peter Gottschling and Lynne Aldrich together, and Wally Gardner alone, are alternating months and experimenting with the format. They expect to settle on a form that a compiler can live with and the members can profit from. The usefulness of the Clearing House may not be apparent to new members. However, they have no trouble appreciating the value of a checklist. If they think about it they will realize that there could not be a checklist without the records that have been compiled by the Clearing House over the years. The OG has published six checklists, each one longer than the one before, and will be publishing a new one in 1989. For a checklist to be accurate, there must be validated records of sightings by good observers over a period of time. Another use for the Clearing House has occurred to many members who are increasing their life lists past the -beginner's stage and have not happened on some species they know occur. By looking over past issues of The Spoonbill they find the months when and the places where the species are regularly seen, and then go out and find them. In case of difficulty, the names of observers are printed so that these intermediate birders can call the experienced members for help. The scientific value of the Clearing House is limited. It is not a census: coverage is not uniform, but rather focuses on hotspots; some people fail to turn in complete lists; there are many more observers than there are reports; there are hot months during which only the die-hards go birding, and at this time the trees are so leafy and brush so thick that it is hard to see the birds that are there. Nevertheless, the Clearing House does reflect great changes in species' numbers—prairie chickens, burrowing owls and swans way down and blackbirds way up—and the difference in the species that inhabit the areas where development has occurred. But Clearing House supporters are not just motivated by scientific interest, they also find it extremely interesting and a challenge to their skills. As new birders increase their skills, we hope that they, too, will contribute their sightings.