Beak of the Week – Reddish Egret

By Ryan Call, Houston Audubon Young Professionals Advisory Council 2021 Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens) Family: Ardeida Throughout coastal flats, saltmarshes, tidal ponds, and lagoons, the Reddish Egret excitedly forages for prey—primarily fish—accomplishing what many birders call a “drunken dance.” The bird hunts shallow water, lurching back and forth, half-jumping and half-marching, its wings half-extended or […]

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My Journey to Bird Friendly Backyard Habitat

Chris Bick, Houston Audubon Young Professionals Advisory Council 2021 Three years ago, I wanted to create a vegetable garden consisting of cucumbers, tomatoes, and zucchini. I created a small planting box in the center of my cookie-cutter backyard that was 100% St. Augustine grass. I would spend roughly an hour each day just checking on […]

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YPAC Members on a Mission: Supporting Houston’s Feathered Friends

By Taylor Rhoades, Special Project Chair, YPAC, and Anna Vallery, Conservation Specialist, Houston Audubon It doesn’t take much effort to find advice on how to support birds. In fact, a simple Google search produces hundreds of helpful resources in a matter of seconds. So, if the information is out there, then why are so few […]

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Working for Woodpeckers

By Sneed B. Collard III On a balmy, pre-covid morning in June 2019, I arrived at the W.G. Jones State Forest at 5:45 a.m. There I was met by an enthusiastic biologist named Donna Work. Why? So that she could teach me about one of the world’s most intriguing birds, the Red-cockaded Woodpecker. Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, […]

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Voices of a Flyway in High Island, TX

I awoke well before dawn on April 6, 2019. A night of fitful, anxious sleep pushed me out of bed. After a year of planning, I was eager to start work at Smith Oaks Bird Sanctuary in High Island, Texas. Walking about a quarter of a mile east into the sanctuary, I reached the rookery […]

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From Avian Absence to Bountiful Bird Haven: How One Yard Finally Got It Right

On Christmas Day 2018, my 7 year-old daughter joyfully opened a gift we had both long-awaited, that of a DIY birdhouse kit. I had envisioned a project we could complete together, one that would develop her budding interest in bird watching and give us something to do during the cold winter days ahead. Indeed, after […]

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How to Start a Native Container Garden

By Catherine Lee Clarke, Houston Audubon 2021 Young Professionals Advisory Council (YPAC) I live in the southwest Houston neighborhood of Willow Meadows. We have a typical lot for the area, about 9,500 square feet, with about 2,500 square feet of backyard. There was a mature pecan tree along with a fig tree, citrus trees, a […]

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Helping my feathered friends during an unexpected winter freeze

Over the past couple of years, I have been learning more about birds and how to help them (involuntarily, as my sister started working at Houston Audubon and became very interested in birds). I have always had a couple of feeders in the backyard, but I started planting native plants, put out a birdbath, and […]

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How to organize a “Zoom call” with birds – a new, DIY approach to bird cameras

One of the unintended benefits of having to stay home during this pandemic is an added appreciation for the commonplace beauty of our households, backyards, and parks. Being a senior in high school and eagerly anticipating college, I have always taken the comforts of my home for granted. It was through birdwatching during this pandemic […]

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Winter Birding on the Upper Texas Coast

By Glenn Olsen There is so much excitement surrounding spring bird migration and rightfully so, as many colorful and interesting birds return to North America for breeding. I enjoy spring migration, but I also look forward to winter birding with equal excitement as spring!  Resident Birds Naturally, we have our resident birds, such as the […]

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