For The Answer
Express-News Weekly Article
Saturday, May 13, 2006
By Calvin R. Finch, PhD, SAWS Water Resources Director,
This year despite the heavy rains on Saturday morning, 23 individuals birded and approximately $20,000 was raised. Birders who obtained pledges totaling $500 or more were rewarded with the opportunity to “bird” with Kenn Kaufman, author of several books including Birds of North America, Butterflies of North America, and Guia de Campo Kaufman a las Aves Norteamerica.
Overall, it appears that about 125 different species were identified. Marge Lumpe, long-time Mitchell Lake Wetland Society and Audubon supporter, identified 101 species herself. The Gardening South Texas/KLUP Radio Team, of which I am a member, along with Jerry Parsons, and Milton Glueck, identified 80 species (with the help of Kenn Kaufman) on Friday morning. We had pledges of over $1,000 from listeners of the radio show and Milberger’s Nursery matched all pledges for a total of over $2,000. The largest portion of the $20,000 came from the Tesoro Team, their birders raised $10,000.
Other business supporters included the H.E.B. Environmental Group, McCarter Communications, Starbucks, Allied Waste, Curious Naturalist, and Dr. Lynn Parsons. Councilman Roland Gutierrez, and Councilwoman Elena K. Guajardo of Districts three and seven, respectively, also provided support.
the 125 species of birds identified, a Caspian tern and willet were most
unusual for the
Some of the interesting birds on the Gardening South Texas list were painted buntings, American avocet, common yellow throats, indigo buntings, and orchard orioles. We saw a horned owl forced out of its roost by mobbing mockingbirds and there was a lonesome yellow parakeet that accompanied us on our walk for 40 or 50 feet trying to figure out if he would persuade us to take him home or if he liked being free in the refuge.
If you are interested in the entire Gardening South Texas Bird list, it is posted on the plantanswers.com website. This year I was able to eliminate the Cessna, Boeing 707, and Wendy’s chicken sandwich that appeared on our list last year. Jerry Parsons is good at spotting birds, but is not skillful at identifying them. Sometimes he does not take our yearly participation in the Birdathon as serious as he should. Susan Albert, Audubon Development Officer, who accompanied us on our trip around the Refuge, kept catching him making shooting motions, and shotgun sounds as we observed the ducks, pelicans, and shorebirds. Milton Glueck was a little more sensitive about his duties as a birder, but next year we need to make sure he does not wear his glow in the dark yellow shirt.
If you have never visited the