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Common Nighthawk

Finding Hope and Inspiration Through the Resilience of Nature

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature - the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.” 
― Rachel Carson

As we navigate these challenging times, I am reminded of Robert Jordan’s quote, “The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.” We, as individuals, as an organization, and as a region have weathered many storms over the years, and we’ve learned to be resilient, flexible, and adaptable. I believe today is no different. Amidst this global pandemic, we should be encouraged by looking to the subject of our mission – birds and nature. 

Houston Audubon remains steadfast in our duties. While teleworking and social distancing have become a new way of operating to keep the organization’s business and mission moving forward, we continue to be connected to each other, our donors, our members, and our volunteers through purpose and technology. 

Team members are in regular communication with each other, coordinating actions to adapt spring programming and migration activities. Houston Audubon is abiding by county orders and federal guidelines as we provide virtual birding and educational experiences to those who want and need it most during these unprecedented times. 

Houston Audubon’s website and social media platforms are utilized to deliver lively and informative content to thousands of households across the world. Opportunities for people to connect to nature while the sanctuaries are closed are offered through our webcams and live sanctuary broadcasts. The Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary and the Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary webcams bring an immersive nature experience to anyone with internet and a computer in the comfort of their home. The live sanctuary broadcasts from Smith Oaks Bird Sanctuary, Boy Scout Woods Sanctuary, and Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary are engaging and fun, and provide relief for those at home that miss the spectacle of migration on the upper Texas coast. With these offerings, we hope to bring the joy and wonder of birds to thousands regionally and around the world.

In addition, valuable educational content through virtual experiences is provided online through Houston Audubon’s website and the Center for Interactive Learning Collaborative (CILC). Live broadcasts and recordings are conducted by individual team members through Zoom at Houston Audubon’s Raptor and Education Center. Bird Buddies (preschool program) continues to be held with live virtual programs every Friday. Live broadcasts and pre-recorded virtual programs are being delivered to senior living facilities that were normally visited in-person every month.  Recordings of some of our traditional programs for children are also available on the Houston Audubon website for all to enjoy.  In partnership with the Center for Interactive Learning Collaborative (CILC), live broadcasts are periodically offered and delivered to households across the U.S., Canada, England, Vietnam, and Columbia.  

The above overview highlights some of our offerings. We hope all of you will find joy in nature, whether it is in your neighborhood or through Houston Audubon webcams, live broadcasts, and virtual programs. 

Our thoughts are with each of you—stay well!

Caption: This photo of Great Egrets is from one of the Smith Oaks Rookery live broadcasts taken by Houston Audubon Sanctuary technicians staying at the Field Station in High Island. More photo highlights.