Volume XXIII, No. 9
PUBLISHED BY THE ORNITHOLOGY GROUP, OUTDOOR HATURE CLUB, HOUSTOH. TEXAS
HE WILL BE MISSED ***!&-.
Clayton Gilman, an active and long-time member of ONC, died last month, after a short
illness. A man of wide ranging interests, he was ever agreeable to share his knowledge with anyone who asked. He was known to many as the leader of the bus trips ' ■
made by ONC in recent years. And when he was on a field trip, he always "brought up
the rear" to be sure no one got left or lost. Clayton's love of botany and birds
made the readers of THE SPOONBILL richer over the years thrdugli his advice on attracting birds to the' yard by plantings. Following are some of his ideas- on "Nature's
bird feeders", which he had sent to THE SPOONBILL several weeks before his death.
"Trees are for the birds* Well, not all of them, but two come to mind- that particularly fit that description. Of all trees grown, it seems to me that the red mulberry
(Morus Rubra) attracts more birds of more species than any other tree. Not only is
it favored by those birds which delight in the fruit, but the fruit and leaves being
also attractants of insects of many kinds, the insect-eating birds find a well-laden
lunch table. Incidentally, mulberry pie is mighty good.fare for humans.
"Another favorite of seed-eating birds is the hackberry (Celtis-Occidentalis) which Is
especially attractive to cardinal, phoebe, cedar waxwing, mockingbird, bluebird and
brown thrasher. The hackberry is an interesting tree in appearance and, having small
leaves, does not require as much housekeeping as some other ornamentals.
"This section of our country is fortunate for its compatibility with the growing of a
number of holly (Ilex) species, all of which furnish food for an many as 45 species
of birds, including quail, flicker, waxwing, catbird, thrushes and robin. Native
; hollies include American (I. opaca), Yaupon (I. vomitoria), Georgia (I. longlpes),
Carolina (I. ambiqua), deciduous or possum-haw (I.,.Decidua), and Inkberry (I. Glabra).
Introduced varieties include Dahoon (I. cassine), Chinese (I. cornuta) and Burford
(I. cornuta car. Burfordi). The English hollies are beautiful plants but do not appear to like our climate.
"It must be borne In mind that hollies are dioecious, that is, male and female flowers are borne on separate plants. Only the female (Pistillate) plants bear fruits,
so there must be one or two male plants in the vicinity for fertilization. There is
no way to distinguish between the .sexes prior to flowering. All those mentioned except Georgia, Carolina and deciduous are evergreen and are very desirable plants for
landscaping. The deciduous varieties make a fine fhowing until the birds find them
when they suddenly become completely bare."
Clayton Gilman will indeed be missed.
A SHRINKING COLONY
Our Bellaire colony of Ringed Turtle Doves has diminished quite a bit, it seems. When
we started watching this group, in 1973, some 13 to 15 birds could be accounted for.
As reported previously, some have moved out of the immediate area. We found out last
week from a neighbor, who has been closely observing them, that at least 3 birds were
killed by cars, at least 2 by cats, and 1 by a dog. (X myself, once, had to stop my
car, get out, and shoo a bird out of the street, before proceeding. - Ed.) In spite
of the fact that some of these birds nested and produced young, we, at this time, can
find only 3 In the original area, and 2 a few blocks away.
The unwarlness of birds, historically cage-bred, seems to be a very large factor in
an inability to establish and thrive in the wild. r '*