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VOLUME XLV, No. 10
Greasy kid stuff is nothing new in the bird world. The
oil gland is a small nipple-tipped structure hidden under
soft feathers at the root of the tail. Under stimulation
by the bill, it secretes fatty acid, fat and wax.
Shape and amount of secretion vary with the species.
As many as eight openings may be bunched around it, creating a brush for easier distribution. The gland reaches
its maximum size in aquatic birds and is reduced or nonexistent in quail and hummingbirds.
A b'ird preens upon awakening, or after a dip in a puddle or following a refreshing dust bath. The bird's probing bill releases the oily substance and the bird liberally
anoints head and beak with it. Meticulously it is spread
over every feather, loose ones being pulled out and rumpled
Deprived of this structure, a bird would not survive
long in the wild. The protective coating insulates and
streamlines it for flight. Even the bill benefits; without
secretion it would bscome dry and scaly.
"Built-in Dry Cleaning," Texas Game and Fish
(back cover, Vol, XXI, Ho. 5. May, 1963)
PUBLISHED BY THE ORNITHOLOGY GROUP, OUTDOOR NATURE CLUB, HOUSTON, TEXAS
March 8 (Tuesday) Regular ONC meeting in the Garden Center, 1500 Hermann Drive, 8 PM. Dr.
Dewilt C. Vansiclen will present his topic, "Houston on the Brazos."
March 16 (Wednesday) Audubon Wildlife Film: "Wildlife of the Eastern Woodlands." Houston
Home Builders Assn. Auditorium, 2710 W. Alabama, at 8 PH.
March 19, 20 (Saturday and Sunday) ONC field trip to George West, Texas, led by Clayton Gilman.
Hake your reservations at the Buenos Noches Motel on Rt. 59 in George West,
and don't miss this great opportunity to =ee many different species of birds.
Meet both days at the Buenos Noches Motel at 8 AM. We hope to see the Olive-
backed Warbler, which highlighted last year's 'rip, many other'interesting
birds, as well as many wild flowers,, and even some snakesS Mr, Gilman says
that the Ferguson Restaurant in George West is a good place to eat. This trip
is a "must" for all birders.
MarcFa 26 (Saturday) OG field trip to the Galveston area, led by Joyce Wildenthal, with the able
assistance of Charlotte Johnson. Meet at Kempner Park in Galveston at 8 AM.
Kempner Park is on "0" St. \ block east of 29th St., next to the Hutching
Estate. This should be a very "birdy" trip because of the migration season
and the choice locality.
February 27(Sunday) Operation Conservation—Save the birds in Waller. See announcement on p. 2.
April 1,2,3 (Friday thru Sunday) TOS Spring Meeting at Galveston.. See details on p. 3.
WINTER VISITORS by John Tvetea
Oa January 15 Gloria and I had the thrill of seeing a lifer, Anna'a Hummingbird, thanks to
the bird call. While a number of us were watching the male, another Hummingbird joined it in a
large tree. I only saw another bird of apparently the same fize, but others who got a better look
at it felt it was a female Anna's. Is it possible that a pair is breeding Here? I photographed