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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Great Urban Birds of Texas Tour 2011

For the past two weeks I've been in Texas, where I got to lead a 2,200 mile whirlwind tour of urban birds and birding sites from Houston to Beaumont to Galveston to Rockport to Harlingen to McAllen to Laredo to San Antonio to Austin. We found over 260 birds including some favorites like Green Parakeet, Monk Parakeet, Red-crowned Parrot, Audubon's Oriole, Scaled Quail, White-collared Seedeater, Clay-colored Thrush, Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Golden-cheeked Warbler, and Plain Chachalaca. Great to see how much birding infrastructure has been built along the Texas coast in recent years, and I was very happy with the birding opportunities in Laredo. It was great to see how projects that I had a small part in working on as the acting chair of the Audubon Texas board in the early 2000s have come to fruition (Mitchell Lake Audubon Center in San Antonio and Blucher Park in Corpus Christi) and great to visit with Paul and Georgean Kyle at the Travis Audubon Chaetura Canyon Preserve in Austin (see photo). Four days of the tour were spent at the International Urban Wildlife Planning and Management Conference in Austin, so great to visit with lots of fellow urban bird folks as well as visit old friends in Austin. Of course we spent some time out at Hornsby Bend, my birding home. Great trip, great birds, and great friends--to say nothing of the great TexMex and BBQ!
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