cluck noises it can make,
31st of March,
apart from it's exciting call. Our first Swifts were seen
At 5s15 April 2nd I counted 95 Broadwinged Hawks and 1 NightHawk over Herman Park
wheeling in the turbulance of a new Pacific front coming by, I saw two roosting
in our Hackberry that evening and another with several Turkey Vultures over Middle
Bayou during the canoe trip 5th April and also a Palm Warbler, A Chuch-Wills-Widow
was in the garden 6th April,
Looking back over the winter the highlight was 8 eagles-4 Bald and 2 Golden (1U.ID,)
at Warner Ranch Lake in January in one look!, In Bellaire for the first time 16
(usually) Cattle Egrets hunted in the grass on the S.W, corner of the intersection
of 610 and Bellaire Blvd. through most of January and February, I saw others on
Evergreen and onoe in the garden. Starlings and Robins have been more numerous at
the feeder and lawn than for the past 3 years and Waxwings were plentiful but Goldfinches and Siskin seem to have been scarce, A Black-Crowned Night Heron has spent
its days in the tree of a neighbor up the road.
My wild Screech Owl has been a less frequent caller for mice this year but will still
take them from my hand when "he" comes and it is still a thrill.
PROBLEMS OF THE WHITE-WINGED DOVE (part 2)
by Hank Robison
Because of the great shortage of native brushland that is suitable nesting habitat,
the White-winged Dove started using the orange and grapefruit groves of the Rio
About one-half of the Whitewing nesting occurs in citrus. (A rough estimate over the past
15 years). In 1969 brush made up 39$ of the nesting habitat and it supported 53$ of the
Evidently citrus groves are second choSce of the Whitewing because it ahs a population
density of 11,5 birds per acre, as compared to 20,5 birds per acre in the wooded brush-
land. However they are forced to use the citrus for nesting habitat.
This is a big hazard, as the value of citrus groves to nesting Whitewings is reduced to
almost zero when a hard freeze forces the grove owners to prune back their trees, and
replant their groves.
On February 1, 1951, a freeze destroyed 85$ of the citrus trees the Whitewing used, and
the following; summer, the breeding population dropped to 110,000 birds.
In January of 1962, 61$ of the citrus was destroyed,
Whitewings dropped seriously low again.
and as a result the broodstock of
Bandings and recovery of Valley Whitewings (1940-1964) indicates that the bird has a
mortality rate of 48$. This means that each adult nesting pair must produce 1,84 young
to maintain a stable population. On a i:i production rate it is evident that the mortality rate is about as high as the Whitewing can tolerate, without a serious reduction in
The White-winged Dove is an international GAME bird. Hundreds of thousands are killed by
U„S, hunters every year. Consider that the hunting season is in the fall, and the nesting
season is in the spring, A successful fall hunt (200,000 to 300,000) is followed by a bad
freeze with the loss of citrus for nesting habitat.
If we start out with 600,000 Whitewings in the fall and the hunt kills 250,000 birds, we
still have 350,000 left. Suppose this winter we have a hard.freeze and lose the citrus for
nesting. Only half the birds raise families, and we end up with only 175,000 Whitewings.
This is especially dangerous when you consider it will take a few years for the citrus
groves to make a comeback. Then too, if we get a second hard freeze a year or two later
before the groves have recovered, it could mean complete disaster.
In addition to the purchase of 164 acres recently by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the World Wildlife Fund has made purchases of land suitable for White-winged Dove
habitat, as this bird was the primary purpose oftheir land purchase project.
Unfortunately, land clearing is. going on faster than purchases are being made. It is
being cleared for farming, real estate developments, and of course for new citrus groves.