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Bird Surveys

Hermann Park Bird Survey

Next Survey: December 10, starting at 7:30 AM

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

Photographed by Ben Hulsey at Hermann Park

Volunteer Coordinator: Jim Winn

The public is invited to join us at Hermann Park on the second Monday morning of each month. There is no charge for these bird walks and children are welcomed. We meet in parking lot "D" on the south side of the Miller Outdoor Theatre stage. From Hermann Park Drive parking lot "D" shares the entrance with parking lot "E". From the fountain in front of Hotel ZaZa, drive around on Hermann Park Dr.(also shown as Golf Course Dr. on some maps) past the Museum of Natural Science and McGovern Centennial Gardens. The entrance to Parking Lot D will be on your right side, just before you get to the large lots in front of the main zoo entrance. The entrance will say Parking Lot "E". Go in there. Parking Lot "D" is behind Lot "E".

Latest Report: November 12

Many thanks to Harlan and Skip for coordinating the park survey. The November survey produced some species not often found in the park – Cattle Egrets, two Bald Eagles and a Red-Vented Bulbul. Additionally there were four seasonal duck species and three warblers – Orange-crowned, Pine and Yellow-rumped warblers. Participants on that chilly day were Skip Almoney, David and Leta Barry, Jackie Davis, Larry Dybala, Harlan Evans, Ben Hulsey, Joy Hester, Thomas Johansen (Denmark), Barbara Massey, Missy Moore, Sam Steph and Pauline Zinn. The next Hermann Park Bird Survey will be on December 10 at 7:30 AM. Dates for most of the Christmas Bird Counts for this area have been posted. None conflict directly with this survey. However, Houston Audubon strongly supports the CBCs and if for you it will be a choice between this survey and a CBC, we hope you will choose the CBC. Or one can double the fun and do both! We look forward to seeing you next month on December 10.

  --  Jim Winn

Notes for Birders

Hermann Park, one the city's oldest and most popular parks, has many attractions not only for people but birds as well. The wooded areas, ponds and bayou attract over 150 species of birds each year. Braes Bayou runs through the 407 park acres. This varied park habitat supports a variety of birds. Commonly found in the park are Mallards, American Coots, Rock Pigeons, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Mourning and White-winged Doves, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Northern Cardinal, and Great-tailed Grackle.

On the west side of the bayou we find the large McGovern Lake surrounded by various trees—pines, bald cypress, sycamore, red maple, and a variety of oaks. Birds are also drawn to Turk's cap, American beautyberry and yaupon in the understory. At various times throughout the year this habitat attracts Ring-necked Ducks, Cormorants, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Black-crowned Night Heron, Green Heron, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Laughing Gull, and Chimney Swifts. Over on the east side of the bayou there are a variety of hard woods including hackberry, oaks, and bald cypress. And the understory includes yaupon, palmetto and coralberry. Seasonal birds seen there include Barn and Cliff Swallows, and various warblers such as Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Magnolia Warbler and Blackburnian Warbler. Other species seen at the bayou have been Brown Pelican, Least Sandpiper, Osprey and American Pipit.
-- Jim Winn

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