Published by the Ornithology Group, Outdoor Nature Club
Houston, Texas, lobby Price, Editor; Ellen Red, Asst. Editor
VOLUME XXXVIII, No. 2
Thursday, Mar. 2: Ornithology Group meeting at
Bayou Manor, 4141 S. Braeswood, at 7:30 p.m.
Don Richardson will present the program:
"Spring Migrants Other Than Warblers."
Friday, Mar. 3: Deadline for Spoonbill material and
for Clearing House reports.
Thursday, Mar. 9: Outdoor Nature Club meeting at
the Houston Arboretum at 7:30 p.m. Doug
Williams, a staff member of the Arboretum,
will present a program on wildflowers.
Saturday, Mar. 18: Ornithology Group field trip to
Jones Forest and nearby areas. The leader is
Steve Gast. Meet at 8:00 a.m. Steve will do
some advance work and try to locate a Hairy
Woodpecker. If he is successful, and if the
bird stays where he tells it to, we may see
all eight local woodpeckers on that day. Bring
lunch and plan on spending all day. We'll
spend time near Stubblefield Lake and Lake
Conroe, and in the afternoon we'll visit Houston Audubon's Damuth Sanctuary. To get to
the forest exit 1-45 nine miles north of Spring
Creek (the Harris-Montgomery County line).
Go west on FM 1499 for 2.4 miles and turn
left into a dirt road that parallels the forest
on the west side. We'll meet at the wide spot
about 200 yards from the highway. For more
information call Don and Lee Richardson at
Two beautiful prints will be auctioned at the
March 2nd meeting. These prints were bought by
T. Paul Jones years ago when they were auctioned
for the benefit of the OG. Margaret Jones has
donated them to be auctioned again for the OG.
One is The Immature Tundra Peregrine by John
Langford, and the other The Red-tailed Hawk, by
Charles Frace' Both are signed and numbered.
Come and make your bids!
HOUSTON CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT - 1988
by P. D. Hulce
The 1988 Houston Christmas Bird Count was
characterized by unseasonably nice weather. A total
of 62 observers turned out to enjoy the sunshine and
participate in the oldest Christmas count in the area.
1988 was the 75th anniversary of the first Houston
count in 1913. Held intermittently until 1940, the
1988 count was the 49th consecutive count and the
55th count in all.
In a year marked by drought, and a possible
preview of the "greenhouse effect," the species total
for the Houston count was 163, only down one from
the 1987 total. The total number of individual birds
seen, however, 773,579, was the fourth highest total
ever for the count.
The best birds of the count were probably the
12 Brown Pelicans, seen for only the third time
since 1956. One bird was seen on the 1982 count,
and eight birds were seen in 1965. Let's hope that
this is continuing evidence of the reestablishment
of this bird on the UTC.
Other good birds seen on the count included
Northern (Bullock's) Oriole, Yellow-throated Warbler,
American Oystercatcher, Black Duck, Greater Scaup
and Harris' Sparrow.
1988 also marked a break in count coverage
of the H L & P Cooling Ponds. For whatever
reason, H L & P refused to allow even one person
one hour of observation time, at any time during
the day. Perhaps next year we can get permission.
The compilers would like to thank our great
area leaders, who get the people out in the field,
rain or shine, and everyone who helped. We hope
to see you all again next year.
PRINTING ERROR FOUND
by Randy Finkston
Spoonbill readers who own the book Hawks in
Flight, by Dunne, Sibley and Sutton, will be interested to know that there is a printing error in the
captions on page 80. They should be corrected so
that "C" is the Prairie Falcon, "D" the Gyrfalcon
and "E" the Peregrine. This was first noticed by
Harry Goldstein of Philadelphia and John Stellwagon
of Goshen, N.Y.