numbers these days.
"We are currently gearing ourselves to establishing a continuing laboratory service to help with well-documented cases, but, meanwhile, all
I can do is to suggest freezing specimens after wrapping them carefully in
saran wrap, which will help prevent dehydration, and then looking around
for a laboratory which is willing to analyse them at a reasonable cost. It
is particularly important to have a full history of what happened in connection with these deaths, since, otherwise, they will mean little.
"Experimental work has recently demonstrated that birds can die from high
levels of chemical pesticides in their systems when they become exposed
to stress conditions that cause them to lose weight. Migration and starvation are such stresses, and this is why birds which have been poisoned
in the north may not die until they reach you.
FROM THE PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT (with comment)
"Mission, April... The birds and the bird watchers are packing Bentsen-
Rio Grande State Park this winter as they never have before and Luhe
McConnell, park manager, chirps like a hungry sparrow in telling all about
Of course, McConnell, who has been cited by the National Audubon Society,
is the crusading type and as the host at the internationally famed flyway
rendezvous boasts that visitors arriving without knowing a scissor-tailed
flycatcher from a buzzard generally depart as confirmed birders.
The twittering at the 587-acre, river-front park began early this year and
has lasted late. The birds were there in great numbers, with a few newcomers,
and the camping visitors have kept close to the 100 per day since December.
Birds and bird watchers vie for distances traveled. McConnell said 98 per
cent of the patrons are from out of state. As for the birds, most of them
stop by during migration. But there are some standbys such as the headline
attraction--the famed green jay with its solid black head and predominantly
green body and tail, and the Lichtenstein oriole, with its distinctive
bright yellow wing patch.
The park manager said a conspicuous visitor this year has been the rose-
throated beeard, a lively songster about the size of a blue bird (sic).
He said he had recently seen two females. Observations of other strange
birds also have been reported to him.
Rare specimens at the park include Audubon's oriole, hooded oriole, zone-
tailed hawk, Merill's (sic) pauraque, groove-billed ani, Sennett's thrasher,
and red-eyed cowbird."
Those of you who are fans of Hubert Mewhinney, the resident classicist,
grammarian, natural historian, archaeologist, flint chipper and conservationist of The Houston Post, know that he is conducting a contest between
the leading national liberal and conservative political journals to see
which can make the bigger boo-boo in grammar and in historical fact.
Well, 1 would like to challenge the appropriate department of any state
government to a similar contest with our Texas Parks and Wildlife Department,
and I would like to enter the above article as the first and probably last
entry. I believe that we can win hands down with this one blow.
The head of the green jay is not solid black. The whole crown and nape are
quite blue with a large blue face patch. Some people may not think that the
green jay's generic name, Cyanocorax (Gr. kyanos, blue + Lat. corax, raven
or crow) is quite appropriate, but that is what it is, nonetheless.
The majority of the names used in the last paragraph have been obsolete since
1957 when the fifth edition of The A.O.U. Check-list of North American Birds
was published. And, in the process of using a sub-specific vernacular name,
i.e. Merrill's pauraque,(a practice presently discouraged by ornithologists)
Merrill was misspelled.