Hogg Bird Sanctuary
Upcoming Survey: Saturday, March 17
Leader: Cin-Ty Lee
We are conducting a monthly survey at Hogg Bird Sanctuary. Surveys are normally scheduled for the third Saturday of the month. The Hogg Bird Sanctuary is adjacent to Bayou Bend and shares its parking facility at 1 Westcott Street. Meet at the parking lot at the dead end on the south end of Westcott Street. We meet at 7:30 AM in the parking lot. If the gate is locked, we can park in the upper parking lot and then walk down to the lower parking lot to meet. Everyone is welcome. Beginners, experts, or even if you're just curious.
Latest Report: December 16
Vaughn Phillips and I were the only ones out on the birdwalk today. It was very cold, so bird activity seemed low. However, some interesting birds showed up. Just before 7:30 AM, there was a Black-throated Green Warbler, which is unusual in the winter. This was followed by a calling Eastern Screech-Owl. The highlight of the day, however, was a most obliging Winter Wren. We heard it call from the vines on the west edge of the parking lot, so we decided to play a recording of its song. It popped up and posed for us for a couple minutes, giving us clear views!
-- Cin-Ty Lee
About Hogg Bird Sanctuary
--by Aaron Stoley
The Hogg Bird Sanctuary is located at the south end of Westcott St., just off Memorial Dr. It is across Buffalo Bayou from River Oaks Golf Course. It shares the parking lot with Bayou Bend. It has been managed by Houston Parks and Recreation Department since its origin on October 21, 1958. The Hogg Bird Sanctuary is a special place, being a small natural area essentially unchanged by development. It is more a sanctuary than a park and contains no recreational equipment. It remains a natural area with many native plants. It also has quite a few non-native invasive plants. Efforts to control the invasives are continuing. For example, most of the large rain trees have been removed, but new growth trees continue to be a problem.
The First Monday Bird Survey began in 2010. At that time it was fairly difficult to get around in the area. Since then the Houston Parks and Recreation Department has continued to create and maintain a number of hiking trails, resulting in a much more accessible sanctuary. The bird population varies as seasons and weather change. The average number of species seen during a survey is 23. The total number of species recorded is over 60. Included are mostly local nesting species such as Northern Cardinal, Blue Jay, American Crow, Carolina Wren, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Chickadee, White-winged Dove, Northern Mockingbird, Pileated, Downy, and Red-bellied Woodpeckers, to name a few. Because much of the boundary of the sanctuary is Buffalo Bayou, a few waterbirds have been recorded such as Snowy Egret, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, Little Blue Heron, Wood Duck, Belted Kingfisher, two varieties of cormorants, etc. There have been a few migrants, but it is difficult to know if they will nest or move on to Minnesota or the Arctic. A nesting Red-shouldered Hawk was a favorite until the sycamore branch that held the nest broke.