You’ve come to the right place if you want to be in the know about what’s going on in our organization. Be sure to check back regularly to get our latest news updates.
The $6.25M Bolivar Nature Trail proposal Houston Audubon submitted for RESTORE Act Direct Component (Bucket 1) funding was included on the draft funding list published on the Restore the Texas coast website on February 17, 2017. The next step is a 45-day public comment period followed by submission to the federal Treasury for approval as part of the Multi-year Implementation Plan.
The Volunteer Appreciation Party was held in the historic log cabin at the Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary in west Houston. The annual event honors our exceptional volunteer of the year, presented to Ben Hulsey. Congratulatory remarks were given by John Bartos, President, and Helen Drummond, Executive Director.
The Houston Audubon Education Team had a great time delivering a Bird Tales program to the residents at the Belmont on February 17. Birds Tales is a special program developed by Audubon Connecticut and a dementia specialist. The Belmont Village Senior Living Hunters Creek is going to be delivering these specialized programs to their residents on a regular basis with assistance and training from Houston Audubon staff. Houston Audubon will also be helping them set up bird feeders and a native plant garden for the residents to enjoy.
The new Houston Audubon website is three months old! We re-launched the website in November 2016 with three goals:
1. Mobile-friendly for use on smartphones and tablets.
2. Easier to navigate and find things.
3. Better visual appearance.
Over 40% of our visitors now view the site using a mobile device. And statistics show that people are visiting more pages than before. We just had the busiest day of the year when registration opened for the Edith Moore summer camps.
We're happy with these results, but we're always looking for ways to improve and provide better information. If you have any ideas, please use the link to our website feedback form.
Highlights of the new site include: basics, native plants, yard program, model habitats, citizen science, bird map, sending and posting learning boxes.
The February Senior Bus Trip to the Katy Prairie was a great evening. The White-tailed Hawks were a special treat and the Bald Eagle chasing the Snow Geese. Thanks to Bob Honig and the Katy Prairie Conservancy for all they do to protect this special place. Calling curlews, chasing cranes, simmering sunset, and wonderful camaraderie made the evening very special.
Dr. Peter Marra presented his research and case studies used to determine the effects of free-ranging domestic cats on wildlife.
Super Bird 51 Results
The results are in! It was a great day for the big game and a hearty crowd was ready for Super Bird 51. The Gridiron Goatsuckers got off to an early lead with waxwings and cormorants abounding on the field of play. In the end, the Superb Owls pulled out the win with a commanding 54 species and 20 minutes left to play. The Goatsuckers rallied and spotted a Belted Kingfisher and grackle to reach 51 species before the whistle blew. Congrats to the Superb Owls! The Goatsuckers will patiently wait for Super Bird 52 to get some revenge!
Terese "Terry" Tarlton Hershey (1923-2017)
For more than half a century, Terry Hershey devoted substantial time, energy and resources in significant conservation projects throughout Texas, including the founding of Houston Audubon in 1969. Today, we pay tribute to Terry in memory of and gratitude for her leadership, dedication and passion to making Houston and the life of Houstonians better.
Houston Audubon is honored to have been a part of Terry’s life. Not only was she a founding director, but also a long-time member of the Board of Directors and Board of Advisors.
Click the title link above to read more.
Our very dear friend, Board of Advisor member, and former Board of Director member Lettalou Whittington passed away on January 16, 2017. Lettalou was a lifetime member and served Houston Audubon and the birds in so many ways over the years. She served on the Board of Directors from 1995 to 2004.
As the initial funder of the Winnie Burkett Sanctuary Intern Fund, Lettalou helped establish a program that continues to provide budding scientists with invaluable field experience while offering our sanctuaries a helping hand. This program has become a core element of our sanctuary management efforts today.
Lettalou did so much for Houston Audubon and in recognition of her dedication, Houston Audubon named its Birdathon Grand Prize – Most Money Raised award in her honor. We call it the Whittington Award, the highly coveted award for Birdathon.
Lettalou planted many seeds at Houston Audubon over the years and the fruit of her work continues to soar. She will forever be in our heart!
The January workday proved to be very productive. The photo shows the volunteers and the massive pile of Chinese privet that was cleared. Thank you to all who could attend! The weather wasn’t cooperative for painting the Winnie St. kiosk, but hopefully it will cooperate the next time around. We were able to haul out all of the old boardwalk and mount a very successful effort to clean up the picnic area in Smith Oaks. Our next High Island volunteer workday of the season is scheduled for Saturday, February 11th. We’ll meet at the green maintenance building on 5th St in High Island at 8:30, work until 12, and then enjoy lunch provided by Houston Audubon. Please let me know if you can attend so we have lunch for everyone. We hope you’ll be able to join us!
The Audubon Docent Guild hosted our annual holiday party on the coldest day of the year. Despite the temperature, a hearty group of Docent members and volunteers showed up to enjoy the holiday cheer at the log cabin in the Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary.
Click the link above to see photos taken at the event.
Houston Audubon was awarded $239,800 to create two new colonial waterbird nesting islands and enhance existing nesting habitat for thousands of birds that depend on this important habitat. The Smith Oaks Bird Sanctuary Rookery Island Restoration and Enhancement project located on the Upper Texas Coast at High Island is part of a landscape-scale effort to restore lost colonial waterbirds impacted by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The project is made possible with funding from the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF).