Purple Martin Parties in Austin!

Our northern neighbor Travis Audubon is hosting 3 weekends of Purple Martin   Parties.!

What:    Purple Martin Parties

Where: Near the Applebee’s at La Frontera Village (2700 Parker Dr Ste A, Round Rock, TX 78681)

When:   July 20-21, July 27-28, August 3-4

Time:    7:45 pm – 8:45 pm

Cost:      Free

Travis Audubon will be hosting, once again, its Purple Martin parties where hundreds of people congregate to watch 400,000+ Purple Martins“swirl” into their roosting site at La Frontera Village in Round Rock. Birders and non-birders alike will be entertained by the show, so bring your family, friends, and neighbors and join us for an evening of fun.

Purple Martins begin roosting together by the thousands in early summer, as soon as their chicks leave the nest, in preparation for their migration to South America, where they live during our winter.

After dining on insects during the day and prior to settling down for the night, these highly social birds put on a spectacular aerial acrobatics show before landing in roost trees.  Onlookers from previous performances described it as, “a hurricane of birds,”“way cool,”and “better than the bats!”

Binoculars are optional, but lawn chairs, cameras, and hats are highly recommended!

 

Contact:  Caley Zuzula: caley@travisaudubon.org, 512-300-2473

For additional information, please see below:

Purple Martin Parties 2018: https://travisaudubon.org/purple-martin-parties

Purple Martins at Highland Mall (Texas Parks and Wildlife) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AG9ktu6p4t4

Feathered Friends: Aviculture at the San Antonio Zoo

Monthly Audubon Program

Thursday, August 2 at 7pm

SA Zoo Education Center

Presenter: Michelle McLean, SA Zoo Bird Department 

Discover how attending an internship at the Sylvan Heights Avian Husbandry & Manage-ment program in North Carolina has helped Michelle McLean with the breeding and rearing of birds at the San Antonio Zoo. Michelle is in charge of American and Chilean Flamingos, Bald Eagles, cranes and a large variety of waterfowl at the zoo, in-cluding ducks, swans and geese. Michelle says her greatest passion at the zoo is aiding the conservation status and needs of waterfowl. 

Click on map to enlarge!

Jewels of the Sky! Make your yard hummingbird friendly!

Audubon Monthly Meeting,  Thursday July 5 at  7pm

San Antonio Zoo Education Center 

Creating a Hummingbird Hotspot 

Presenter: Kathleen Scott, Comal Master Gardener Association 

Learn which plants are best for attracting humming-birds to your yard from Master Gardener Kathleen Scott of New Braunfels. She will talk about the hum-mingbirds that frequent our area in Texas, what they need to survive and reproduce, tips on feeding and how to create an irresistible habitat for them. 

Kathleen and her husband have made certified wild-life habitats on their prop-erty and have had over 100 species of birds in their yard. You’ll enjoy seeing Kathleen’s plant list, which includes deer resistant plants as well! 

Click on map to enlarge:

Audubon Monthly Meeting & Program:  Panama Birding

picture of gartered trogon.
Gartered Trogon by John Prentice 

Thursday, June 7 ● 7:00 PM San Antonio Zoo Education Center 

Presenter: John Prentice, SAAS Member 

Imagine visiting differing habitats in Panama from high elevation to lowlands, plus the Panama Canal, and seeing 402 bird species! John Prentice presents  photos of a birding trip to Panama he took with his wife, Linda Gindler.

John has degrees in Aquatic and Marine Biology and says he was very fortunate to have an occupation he really enjoyed in fisheries management and research. Upon retirement, he has become a member of Texas Master Naturalists, enjoyed all kinds of outdoor activities with his family and is a “born again” birder. Linda and John like to combine birding with activities such as camping, travel and scuba diving.

Proposed road threatens Cascade Caverns

The Texas Department of Transportation (TXDot) is exploring bypass routes around Boerne.
One of these routes would pass through the property of Cascade Caverns.
www.cascadecaverns.com

The owners of Cascade Caverns have asked Audubon members to write to TXdot to support their opposition to this route and to suggest that the consideration of any such route includes an environmental study.

Please address your letters to

Jonathan Bean, TXDot
POB 29928
San Antonio TX 78229-0928

or email Jonathan

Jonathan.Bean@txdot.gov

If you have any questions, please address them directly to Lance Kyle at Cascade Caverns: downunder@cascadecaverns.com

Thank you for your help.

Border Wall through Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge Blocked

from the Texas Tribune:  

“But the omnibus bill signed Friday also includes language that blocks construction of a barrier in the Rio Grande Valley’s Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge, which U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Brownsville, called a hard-fought victory.

“Keeping the border wall out of the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge was a top priority and the barring of border wall funds at the refuge will ensure that Texans and Texas wildlife can enjoy this habitat for years to come,” he said in a statement.”

Read more in the Texas Tribune article here.

Stop Industries from Getting a Free Pass to Kill Birds

This year, as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), our most important bird protection law is under attack. Legislation in Congress (HR 4239), and a new interpretation of the law by the administration, would end the ability to hold industries accountable for bird deaths.

These proposals would prevent enforcement of “incidental” bird deaths, removing incentives for companies to adopt practices that protect birds from threats such as oil waste pits, and eliminating penalties for companies that kill substantial numbers of birds, including from large oil spills.

Urge your members of Congress and the Department of the Interior to uphold the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  Click on the following link to sign the National Audubon Society’s Petition to Congress:  act.audubon.org

Please call your Senator or Representative and let them know this matters to you.