his vantage point in an oak tree. He was heard to remark that he identified all of the
group correctly; which is more than they could say of him. An Ovenbird remarked that
several Birders exhibited rather unusual behavior in that they got down on their hands and
knees to look him right in the eye, A pair of shrike, feeding their young, reported seeing
the group perched on the banks of Buffalo Bayou eyeing a turtle the size of a platter, sunning himself on a log at the edge of the water.
Midmorning, the birders returned to the library and were seen roosting on the steps for
three-quarters of an hour. They chattered among themselves (the Mockingbird verified that
their sounds were a variation of English), interrupting their racket every few minutes to
peer through their binoculars.
The last sighting was made by a Ye How-breasted Chat, who reported that a half-dozen of
them alighted on the north lawn of the library. There they fed for thirty minutes or so,
overlooking nothing but a few crumbs. At noon the clean-up crew composed of House Sparrows
confirmed that this particular band of Homo sapiens left nothing that could be used for
nest building. The resident birds agreed that people-watching therefore, wnuld be of
greater interest possibly to migrant birds. Next spring, it is hoped that more of the
migrants will accept an invitation to meet with the birders, preferably at the Mulberry-
Hilton when the fruit is ripe.
THE DANGERS OF MIGRATION
by Dirk Hagemeyer
Early in April, I made several trips to an offshore drilling platform South East of the Mississippi Delta. During my first visit a norther blew in and within a few hours about a dozen
migrants had landed on the platform, With several hundred miles behind them, this must
have looked like a haven in that big expanse of empty water. No more struggle against the
However they did not know that this was a structure of steel, without trees and bushes,
grass and soil. Without insects. They were hungry after that long trip and hunted for insects in every nook and cranny. When an occasional mosquito or moth were sighted (don't
ask me where these came from) it was clear that these birds were tired, very tired. Most
of the time they were not able to catch a moth or to fly more than 25-50 feet. Sometimes
they nearly dropped from their perch. They had lost their usual cautiousness, and could be
approached to within a few feet. Later in the day one could even pick them up for a closer
look. There were 4 male Hooded, 1 male Wilson and a Blue Winged Warbler, 3 White-eyed Vireos,
an Ovenbird, and a male Orchard Oriole. The next morning I found 2 dead Hooded Warblers and
4 White-eyed Vireos, what happened to the others I hate to guess. They nearly made their
big trip across the Gulf, 20 more miles to go and then were doomed by a drilling platform.
Besides these Warblers there were some Tree Swallows, that seemed to find insects just above
the water. These appeared healthy and agile. And there was a Green Heron,which was still
there a week later, at least I assume they were the same bird.
On my second visit a Hummingbird got fooled. There was a truck on the platform with amber
running lights. Out of the blue sky a Hummingbird appeared and started tq probe those
amber lights for nectar. It only stayed a short time and then went North, The last 20
miles must have seemed very long, but I believe it made them.
by Dirk Hagemeyer
In the April Spoonbill, David Marrack mentioned Cattle Egrets in Bellaire. These were not
the first ones to visit that city. In February and March of 1969 there were usually 3 to
4 Cattle Egret in some open fields near,,the Pearl Beer place.
They are also invading the Koisant International Airport, New Orleans, Recently while landing
there in a big jet, I noticed 50-100 Cattle Egret feeding in the grass right along the runways.
They did not bother to move when the big jet passed within a 100 feet. How come that these
new arrivals to the American continent adapt themselves so well to changing environment,
while others like the Snowy Egret barely hang on?
A LETTER FROM BESSIE CORNELIUS
A birder who performs a "labor of love" is the esteemable Earle R„ Greene of Oxnard, California, who compiles the A.O.U, "600 Club" and his work is to be highly commended, I am inclosing the new Summary and we now have two Texans as members of this exclusive club plus
the ex-Texans, Jerry and Nancy Strickling.