-sighting of a wild Aplomado Falcon is near the top of almost
every birder'* list. The northern Aplomado, which in
Spanish means, "lead colored," is a colorful, narrow-winged,
long-tailed, medium-sized falcon which was historically found
in the United States in-south and west Texas,-southern New
Mexico, Arizona, Mexico, Central and South America in
habitats of -savanna grasslands with yucca, mesquite and
cacti. The Aplomado Falcon which is abundantly found in
South America is a separate -sub-species and differs slightly
in size and coloration from the northern Aplomado subspecies. Work to recover this beautiful falcon includes the
completion of a five-year pilot study to develop new
techniques in both captive breeding and release in south
Texas where the bird was historically found. Efforts to
restore the Aplomado falcon to its unoccupied range began
in 198S when four young birds were hacked on the King
Ranch. Since then, an additional 20 young birds produced
by The Peregrine Fund were hacked at the Laguna
Atascosas National Wildlife Refuge near Harlingen, Texas.
The goal of the recovery program is to hack 50 or more
falcons per year. So far, no nesting has been confirmed
from the released falcons. Numerous sightings of banded
falcons have been reported since 1989 in the vicinity of the
release sites. Sightings have been recently reported in New
Mexico and Texas of unhanded (released birds all have leg
bands) falcons indicating there is some nesting in northern
Mexico or possibly the U.S. Last year, the FWS funded a
project to survey northern Mexico for Aplomado Falcons...a
population containing .a minimum of 25 birds on several
large private Mexican ranches was documented. Exact
locations of these birds are not being disclosed in order to
protect the birds and ensure privacy for cooperating
landowners. FWS News Release, September 23,1992.
_~JkfflNUTES OF OCTOBER 5, 1992 OG MEETING:
Karen Beekman conducted an informative Learning Corner
on migrating hawks.
David Bradford, chairing the meeting, had the
opportunity of introducing an honored guest, Roger Tory
Peterson. Mr. Peterson explained he was present to
compare Greg La-ley's slides to his taken on a trip to
Venezuela. He also discussed how photography had become
an important medium of artistic expression and an added
dimension to birding.
Librarian Julie D'Ablaing noted several new books
now in the library. Since she cannot bring all OG's books
and tapes to the meetings, please check her complete listing
and she'll make available your requests.
Frank Peace asked for reports on any kettles of
Broad-winged Hawks consisting of 100 or more individuals.
He is working with a radar service and needs these reports
to help distinguish migrants from other radar blips.
Gail Luckner introduced the speaker for the
evening, Greg Lasley. Greg's slide program on the llanos of
Venezuela brought us close to another world consisting of
exotic birds, rivers loaded with Cayman, territory where five
foot iguanas roam and 12-14 foot Anacondas can be found.
It was a great presentation enjoyed by all. Christine
Bv Noel Pettingell
20 YEARS AGO/FROM OCTOBER 197? SPOONBTIJ.
Minutes of regular OG meeting, Oct. 5,1972: Harry Brister
reported that Pasadena still needs a great deal of money
towards the purchase of the 930 acres along Armand Bayou.
A nationwide solicitation for funds will be made in Time,
Newsweek Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and U.S. News and
BIRD SURVEY OF ARMAND BAYOU: At the end of
August those club members organizing the survey of birds in
the vicinity of Armand Bayou met with Dr. Walter Abbott of
Environomics and Mr. Carl Aiken to discuss Environomics'
survey of Dickinson and Armand Bayous. At this meeting
we told Dr. Abbott that we had been contemplating the need
for a birding checklist of the area surrounding Armand
Bayou and wished to include the bayou -since it is receiving
so much publicity. After some discussion the matter Dr.
Abbott and Mr. Aiken agreed that the Outdoor Nature Club
survey would in no way interfere with their data as the
activities would be taking place on opposite sides of the
bayou. Dr. Abbott then explained the appropriate-scientific
method to be used in collecting data. He suggested that if
the birders participating in the survey would use this method,
the data collected might very well be helpful for his survey
as well as for compiling a birding checklist.
OG OCTOBER 1992 PELAGIC TRIP
by Mike Austin
On Sunday, October 4th, eighty-five intrepid birders spent
thirteen hours cruising the placid waters of the Gulf of
Mexico off Port Aransas on a pelagic trip sponsored by the
Ornithology Group of the Houston Outdoor Nature Club.
Birders from as far away as Waco, Austin and Fort Worth
attended in numbers. Although pelagic birding in the Gulf
was, as usual, spotty, we did manage exceptional looks at
most of the pelagic species we encountered thanks to the
cooperative crew of the Scat-Cat.
The trip got off to a slow start. Although we
cruised a promising-looking line of sargassum weed and
prowled through a squadron of active -shrimpers, we
encountered only in-sh ore species until we reached the deep
blue water about 9:30 A.M. As flying fish exploded from the