Published by the Ornithology Group, Outdoor Nature Club
Houston, Texas, Libby Price, Editor; Ellen Red, Asst. Editor
VOLUME XVII, No. 1
Wednesday Feb. 3: Deadline for Spoonbill material.
Deadline for Clearing House reports: send these
to Ted Eubanks, Jr. c/o NOVA, P.O. Box 1024
Houston TX 77251-1024.
Thursday, Feb. 4: Ornithology Group meeting at
Bayou Manor, 4141 S. Braes wood at 7:30 PM.
The program will be presented by John O'Neill
a local artist, well known for his bird paintings,
and now a professor at LSU. In this program,
"Tepuis, Andes and Birds," O'Neill will describe
a trip to Cerro de la Neblina in Southern Venezuela, and make some comparisons of that
area with the Andes.
Saturday, Feb. 6: Ornithology Group field trip to
West Harris and East Waller Counties, led by
Ron and Marcia Braun. Meet at the playground area in Bear Creek Park at 7:15 AM.
The playground area is reached from the west
entrance off Clay Rd., next to the golf course.
Bring lunch, and bug spray if the day is warm.
The trip will cover the winter woodlands birds
in the park, then sparrows, waterfowl and raptors in West Harris County, and some western
birds as we move into Waller County.
Thursday, Feb. 11: Outdoor Nature Club meeting at
the Houston Arboretum. The program, by Tim
Koehl, of the Valley Area Sierra Club, will be
NOMINATION OF OFFICERS
The members of the Nominating Committee
are: Carol Bookout, 448-8860; John Buckman, 359-
4685; Jerry Caraviotis, 668-2344; Joe Kennedy, 977-
7669; and Rob Thacker, 952-9464. Please call the
above committee members with suggestions for
people to serve in the four elective offices, which
are: 1. Chairman; 2. Vice-Chair man; 3. Secretary;
4. Treasurer. The committee needs to have nominees picked by February 15 to appear in the February Spoonbill and the March Nature Notes.
HOUSTON CBC - UNUSUAL YEAR
by Richard Uzar
So who thinks that folks who otherwise act
rationally will come out on a cloudy, rainy, windy
day to look for and count birds? Thanks to all fifty-
six of you who did exactly that. A good time was
had by all in spite of the weather. Though our
backs were dampened from occasional "hunkering
down" in the rain, our spirits were undaunted
throughout the day.
A lively countdown dinner was enjoyed at the
Baytown Wyatt's Cafeteria Saturday evening, December 19th. Then we were ready to check the day's
results. The count faired well despite the loss of
sightings from Area 11. That's our bay 'and waterways spotters' area. Weather and water conditions
prohibited the ships' leaving for the first time in
many years, and their observations are certainly
missed. Weather did not work against us all day,
and those hearty 56 did turn up a total -of 164
species plus one additional race. The total number
of individual birds, at 47,444, is lower than any
Houston count report since 1956.
Most noticeably absent were geese. Only one
area sighted any at all, and then only 80 Snows.
So are there fewer birds? Are we underestimating
numbers? Or were the birds somewhere else, keeping dryer than we did?
The most unusual bird, and a first for the
Houston count, was a male Lark Bunting. Some
birders aren't satisfied with simple observation and
identification, and Dave Dauphin was in that category while capturing and banding this bird. He also
does a worthy owl prowl each year. Thanks, Dave.
Other notables were a White-winged Dove,
another first for the Houston count, a Black-necked
Stilt in La Porte, Greater Scaup and an Empidonax
Special thanks to Wanda and Charles Smith,
Rene and Andrew Franks and Ed Rozenburg for
accepting the responsibility for working up teams
and leading groups in Areas 5, 7 and 8 this year.
Thanks also to all those regulars who gave of their
talents to make this a successful count.