a bibliographic rart+y) accumulated a simply enormous amount of factual material
about the migrations, distribution, concentrations, breeding, response to weather
and climate, casual occurrences, and general status of hundreds of species along the
entire Texas coastal area. I wish there were space here to list the names of the
dozens of people who contributed faithfully to the publication over many years. But
I must mention two who are now dead, and whose contributions were outstanding: the
late famous "bird woman" of Rockport—Connie Hagar; and the late Arlle McKay of Cove,
Texas, near the mouth of the Trinity River. The material that was complied In The.
Gulf Coast Migrant has been used by professional ornithologists ever since—including
Roger Tory Peterson in his Field Guide to the Birds of Texas and Harry C. Oberholser
In his monumental Birds of Texas; and It was the source from which Stephen G. Williams compiled his Checklist of Birds of the Upper Texas Coast (published In 1962 by
the Ornithology Group and long out of print).
Since The Gulf Coast Migrant ceased publication In 1951, the Ornithology Group has
added much new knowledge to what was then known about birds of the Texas coast, and
The Spoonbl11 has made this knowledge available to all. But The Gulf Coast Migrant's
accumulation of fifteen years of specific facts about birds of the Texas coast was a
pioneering achievement as well as a consistent and (within Its scope) thorough Job
In a field that had previously been covered only spot+lly and by guess-work. I believe it was the very first ornithological journal ever published In Texas. Fortunately, it has been (as Edgar Klnkald said In notes on Oberholser's Birds of Texas)
"largely replaced" by The Spoonbl11, the first Issue of which appeared In July, 1952,
six months after the last Gulf Coast Migrant.
In many ways, however, the accumulation of accurate information about bird species
on the Texas coast was less significant than some other results effected by the publication. Among these results were the following: (I) For the first time the enorm
ous wealth of bird life on the Texas coast In spring, autumn, and winter was reveale
(2) For the first time the Texas coast became universally recognized as one of the
major migration areas (If not the major migration area) of North America. (3) For
the first time the direct and specific influences of wind and weather on migrations
was fully demonstrated. (4) For the first time the regular occurrence In winter in
the Gulf coastal region of scattered Individuals of many western species was demonstrated. (5) As a result of all these revelations, Audubon Field-Notes (now American
Birds) began running a regular column (now edited by Fred Webster) on the SouTh
Texas region. (6) For the first time the ornithologists of the Texas coast, especially those of the Houston-Galveston region, became a group who knew one another,
cooperated with one another in ornithological activities and research, kept records,
and shared one another's knowledge and discoveries. Perhaps this is the most valuable of the results that the old Gulf Coast Migrant helped to produce.
[We are deeply Indebted to George Williams for delineating our birding Information
"roots". Unfortunately, there are few OG members who have seen any copies of The
Gulf Coast Migrant, and even more unfortunately, the OG Library has no copies on
its shelves. The Fondren Library of Rice University has a complete set, and anyone
whD Is Interested can read them there. —Ed.]
A NEW GUIDE BOOK OF INTEREST
Ronald G. Bisbee, Refuge Manager of Brazoria & San Bernard NWRs, has sent us news of
the publication of a Guide to the National Wildlife Refuges by Laura and William
Riley, published by Anchor Press/Doubleday. This is a guide to America's almost 400
national witdlife refuges. It tells where they are located, how to get there, what
to see and do, where to camp or stay, the best time to visit, how to dress, and what
equipment to take. Also Included tn the book are birding highlights for every reglo
of the country.
U.S. national wildlife refuges, which were begun as a national project when Presldenr
Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed tiny Pelican Island as a wild bird sanctuary In 1903,
now cover more than 30 million acres In almost every state. Including Alaska and
Hawaii. They harbor wtldllfe called by President Russell Train of the World Wildlife
Fund - U.S. "as diverse and Interesting as that of any country In the world"—an extraordinary array of more than 220 species of mammals, more than 600 of birds, 250
of reptiles and amphibians, over 200 species of fish and uncounted numbers of plants,
from wild orchids to unique kinds of palm trees.
This first comprehensive guide ever published to these refuges says of Brazoria an<?
San Bernard NWRs: "These relatively new refuges along the Texas Gulf Coast offer w d
and roadless habitat for large numbers of ducks, geese and waders along with rails
and other marsh types and Interesting small birds.....Brazoria Is part of the annual
Audubon Christmas Count which centers in nearby Freeport and which often Is highest
;n the nation In the number of species seen". Access, It points out, Is limited,
however, and by permission only through the refuge office.