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Bird Surveys

Hogg Bird Sanctuary

Upcoming Survey: Saturday, December 16

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: November 18

Present were Vickie and David Grove, Stuart Nelson, Chris Hammond, Chris and Alex Hysinger, and myself. Best birds were a couple of Savannah Sparrows, a Lincoln's Sparrow, and a surprise Black-and-white Warbler that Vickie spotted in a mixed flock. We also had two Blue-headed Vireos, a couple Wilson's Warblers, a Catbird and a few White-throated Sparrows. Next month's birdwalk will be on Dec 16, the third Saturday of December.
-- Cin-Ty Lee

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

Photographed at Hogg Bird Sanctuary by Ben Hulsey

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.

 

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