Audubon Outdoor Club was organized in
1957 to encourage and perpetuate the observation and conservation
of wildlife. To that end, the Audubon Outdoor Club owns five
sanctuaries and serves as stewards for two nature preserves owned
by the City of Corpus Christi. We support and participate in the
Hazel Bazemore Hawk Watch, and are Charter members of the Gulf Coast
Bird Observatory. We encourage the preservation of native
habitat, demonstrating its value by habitat restoration in Blucher
Park, a valuable migratory stopover for birds during spring
migration. Through monthly meetings and field trips, our members
remain aware of and are able to participate in activities to
achieve our goals of both wildlife and habitat preservation.
In recent years, a disturbing trend has been developing where
colonial nesting bird sanctuaries and rookeries are being deliberately
disturbed for various reasons. Some are out and out vandal attacks to
destroy nests and kill chicks out of ignorance and just plain meanness
(i.e. two young teens trashing nests and killing chicks with a truck in
Rockport Beach Park several years ago). Others come from incredibly poor
decision making by so-called birders and photographers who have no
respect for the natural environment, as in the most recent attacks to
colonial nesting islands in the Mesquite Bay complex.
Please click on this link for an
updated report and request for information from David Newstead of the
Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program regarding the most recent
and heinous unwarranted destruction of protected species and their nests
WE HAVE A NEW HOME!
BEGINNING WITH THE
MARCH 2013 MEETING, ALL MEETINGS
PREVIOUSLY HELD AT THE CC MUSEUM WILL NOW BE HELD AT THE SOUTH TEXAS
BOTANICAL GARDENS & NATURE CENTER!
We are tremendously excited to be at the
South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center. We thank the Board
and members for their generosity and community spirit in supporting
non-profit environmental preservation and conservation groups such
The physical address of the South Texas
Botanical Gardens & Nature Center is 8545 South Staples Street,
Corpus Christi, TX 78413. Click
here for a map & directions. For more information and details
about the facility, visit their web site at
Preparing Backyard for an Enjoyable Bird Watching
Bird watching is an interesting activity that offers great pleasure. The colours, sounds and playful activities of birds can fill anyone’s heart with interest and joy.
If you and your family are interested in bird watching, you will have to create an environment that’ll attract birds. Here are some expert tips for enthusiastic birders.
- Birds love to play in the water. They also need water to quench their thirst. So the first requirement is to make arrangement for fresh water. Create fountains and pools surrounded by green foliage like hand bowls and containers from trees. This will attract birds to your backyard.
- Erect ventilated birdhouses at safe spots. Ensure that these are at a safe distance from predators.
- Provide multiple types of grains, seeds and suet in feeders. Erect multiple feeders at different places. Sugar water in hanging containers attracts a number of birds.
- Offer them food. Supply your backyard with a variety of native plants that can offer berries, seeds, nectar and nuts to birds.
- Do not uproot dead trees. Birds often nest in hollows and nooks of such dead vegetation.
- Give them a place to stay. Create a brush pile in some corner for birds to hunt roost and nest.
- Plant a variety of flowers and shrubs. A colourful environment is congenial for their growth.
- Be careful while mowing your lawn and cleaning long grass. There may be birds nesting in somewhere, especially if you're sitting on a ride on mower.
- Avoid the use of insecticides in your backyard. Insects are an easily available food that provides the birds with fats and proteins.
All preparations mentioned above will attract the birds to your backyard. Now you need to make some arrangement for a relaxed and enjoyable bird watching.
You will need a nice place on patio or a window from where the feeding station and water pool can be easily viewed. You will also need a good set of binoculars to observe their activities whether close or far away.
The third essentiality is a field guide, a person or a journal with pictures, to help you know your avian guests.
The Right Seating Arrangement for Bird Watching
Bird watching is as educative as it is interesting. Birders do not just watch birds. They get curious, observe, take pictures and videos and even make informative notes. Doing so will take a lot of time and birders need to remain comfortable while enjoying their hobby.
The right type seating arrangement is necessary for a satisfactory experience and real fun. Your seating arrangement should not be too close to the birds’ visiting spots and not too far. The chairs, sofas, recliners or tripods should be stable and strong. They should also be comfortable. Creaky or shaky chairs may disturb the birds and scare them away.
If you are watching birds from your patio or terrace, you can easily drag your home recliner or sofa and keep an eye on the bird bath, feeding stations and other spots. Sitting relaxed on sofas and recliners will keep your neck rested and you can remain in one position for a long time.
If you are on a field trip and watching birds in their natural places-- on hills and in forests, you will need to carry a light weight foldable chair with you. These chairs can be easily strapped to the body. The four legs can be made to stand on a levelled ground and they offer an easy recline and rest to the body while looking up and watching birds for long durations of time.
Some enthusiastic birders go deep in wooden terrains and hilly regions to watch some specific species of birds. They take the help of hides that allows them a closer view of birds with minimum disturbances. They usually take tripods or bipods that can be placed inside the hides and allow them some rest while they concentrate on birds and their activities. Some others have chairs specially designed for their specific requirement.
An Eventful Day for Bird Watchers
Next month is the annual bird watching party of the community. It is going to be a memorable day with friends and neighbours who enjoy an intimate sharing of birding experience along with a fun barbeque meal.
The day will begin early as it is the best time for watching birds from the terrace when they forage in the garden for insects and seeds. We can observe sparrows at the feeders near the windows. The songs of Blackbird, Robin, Song thrush, Greenfinch and Goldfinch will offer entertainment as we sip our morning tea and get ready for the day.
The afternoon and the evening will be spent in the backyard where a steaming barbecue will be accompanied by tiny twitters of avian visitors who are found in abundant numbers here. The song birds will again be visible at their feeders in the late afternoon.
The evening will be devoted to an intimate talk with friends where birding experiences will be exchanged and shared. There will be a video session where the group will be entertained with interesting videos of birds and their unique activities.
The night will be a tour in the nearby bird sanctuary to watch the bird’s activities after dark. The great horned owl can be found there. There are many water birds, flamingos, herons and ducks in the natural lakes and will be a prized observation. Night vision binoculars and cameras will enable the group to have a close look at the night time behaviours of birds.
The day is expected to be eventful and fun packed for all interested bird watchers.
A Guide to the Birding Sites In and Around Corpus Christi, Texas
- a new DVD has been produced showcasing dozens of the
world-class birding sites in and around the Corpus Christi area. Get
your copy today by clicking the link above. A portion of each sale
will be donated to the AOC so your purchase is doubly important.
(Hint: think of getting a few extras for birthday, Christmas
and other gifts,
Texas Birding on KIII-TV3 Corpus Christi - Linda Fuiman
hosts a weekly show featuring birds of the south Texas/Coastal
Bend. More information is on the
KIII-TV3 web site.
walks in Blucher Park! - Walks are guided each
April by AOC members and the price is right - it's always free!
Click here for map and directions to Blucher Park (next to
the Corpus Christi Public Library; main downtown branch). |
WATCH! - Monitor daily reports from August 15 to November 15 each
fall at Hazel Bazemore County Park through our sister hawk
watch web site, or go on up to the hill to see for
yourself! While Fall watches bring the most raptors
(upwards of 750,000 or more), Spring watches are also now
monitored for peak spring action, thanks to the volunteers of
the local Corpus Christi Hawk Watch non-profit support
group (many of whom are AOC members!). |
WHOOPING CRANE BOAT TOURS!
- Best sightings at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge from
November to mid-March. For up to the minute information on the status of the
whooping cranes at their winter grounds in Aransas National
Wildlife Refuge, check out our sister whooping
crane site. Whoopers are about to begin their trek
northward again, so be sure to get out to the refuge before
mid-April to see them. |
Nueces County Bird Checklist -
Huge thanks to Mel Cooksey, who put in tons of hours of work
compiling records and creating this incredibly thorough
literature database! Use it often! Click the link to open the
DataBase - Who maintains the area database and where do I
report bird sightings? Why, Nancy and Margie, of course! Click
the link for contact details. |
|Fund Raising - Contact Pat and Larry Bodkin for sales. We
have everything from AOC outdoor wear, to tote bags, to
beautiful enameled bird pins, and lots of donated items of all
kinds. All are great gifts any time of year! |