From the Dow bulletin: "Hikers and nature lovers who have enjoyed Dow's Nature Trail
for the past few years are experiencing the hazards of progress. In an effort to Improve drainage In Clute and Lake Jackson, the Velasco Drainage District is constructing a huge collecting system near Flag Lake and on the Nature Trail.
"Effective Immediately, for the safety of visitors, that part of the traiI south of
Old Flag Lake Is closed to the public. The area at the very beginning of the trail
(just off Highway 332 and South Sycamore) will remain open to +he birding public.
Some very rare birds have been slgh+ed In this area In recen+ years.
"A more concise description of the area still open to the public Is: that bordering
on Highway 332 and the drainage ditch on the north, the drainage ditch on the west,
Old Flag Lake on the south and South Sycamore on the east.
"Dow and the Drainage District are co-operating with the Lake Jackson Park Board to
provide a new Nature Trail which will be part of the new park area south of Highway
332 and east of Buffalo Camp Bayou. Development work on the new trail Is now In progress. The entire project should be completed and ready for use by early spring."
(Editor's comment: Dow has proven to be a good friend to birders in the past, and
Is continuing that practice, as you can see. Some of you may not know that Dow underwrote most of the cost of the most recent edition of our Checklist, the one that we
currently use. The OG is grateful to Dow for their efforts on behalf of birders).
FINDING THE EARED TROGON by Dr. C.E. Hall
Birds are constantly being added to the list of endangered species, but It Is a rare
and noteworthy event when a new bird Is added to the U.S. list. The most recent such
occurrence began as follows.
On Oct. 23rd 1977 Mr. Richard (Rick) Taylor, who was working with the Elegant trogons
(TJiogon elegant,) In the South Fork of Cave Creek Canyon in the Coronado National Forest of Southeast Arizona observed a strange bird. It was clearly a trogon, but lacked
the white bib, was larger than the Elegant and had a dark bill. He described the
bird to VInce Roth, Director of the Southwestern Research S+a+Ion of the American
Museum of Na+ural Hls+ory, which Is loca+ed In Cave Creek Canyon, who tentatively
Identified It as an Eared trogon (Ewptilotu* neoxenui). This was confirmed by Its
distinctive calls, which were recorded by Bill Roe of Tucson. It is a species normally inhabiting the mountains of western Mexico at altitudes of 6000-10,000 ft. The
feathery tufts or "ears", from which Its name is derived, are unique among trogons.
Possession of these, and the typically largely white ven+ral tall surface, clinched
My wife and I arrived on Nov. 2ls+ for a Thanksgiving vacation that had been arranged
in May, and by sheer happenstance coincided with the trogon's appearance. It was an
On the morning of Nov. 22nd we hiked up the trail to Maple Camp and beyond, the location from which it had most recently been reported, carefully examining the Madrone
trees (.Anbutui aAi.zoni.ca] en route. The berries of this tree constitute a preferred
Item of diet, as they do also for hordes of robins, hermit thrushes, flickers, sap-
suckers, Acorn woodpeckers, etc. A four-hour search proved fruitless, but during It
w,e met Mr. E.M. Cutler, an enthusiastic, local, birder, who was able to fill us In on
Its habits and appearance.
That evening we dropped In on Dr. Walter Spofford, an old friend who lives In Portal,
who told us that Mr. Cutler had reported seeing two males and heard a third bird
calling from nearby, late In the afternoon up at Maple Camp. He said that we should
have another go at the birds the nex+ morning.
A+ 9 a.m. we en+ered Trogon trail, and again hiked beyond Maple Camp without seeing
trogons. On the return trip we stopped at a grove of Madrones just above the fifth
creek crossing. We had sat there for two hours on the preceding day. Glancing about
I caught a glint of bluish-green through dense foliage. Putting the binoculars on
It, I got a tinge of red. "There It is" I yelled "the trogon". Dr. Spofford confirmed the diagnosis, as did a Mr. Clay from California who had just arrived. Typically, the bird gave Its call and immediately took off to another Madrone about fifty
yards away, where It joined another maie! We headed through the trees In that direction and soon spotted the +wo birds, but Imagine our surprise when we heard the call
coming from ano+her loca+lon, and saw a female s!++lng In a pine +ree. We were +he
first birders to see three birds at the same time.
We returned each morning on the three following days, and each time saw only two
birds, a male and a female.