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GCBO November e-news
Gulf Coast Bird Observatory

November, 2013



You Search...We Give!


In this Issue:


Cuban Bird Festival


Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival


First Annual Raptor Rodeo


Avian Conservation Science Center Groundbreaking


Land Acquisition Challenge Grant


Holiday Open House

Monthly Bird Banding at GCBO


Member Photo of the Month


If you found this e-newsletter interesting, please consider taking the next step and becoming a member or volunteering for one of our many outreach activities.  If you are already a member, thank you for your support!  Check out ourWays to Donate page for more opportunities to support our conservation efforts. 


Photos courtesy of Mike Gray and GCBO staff.
View on GCBO website. 

November 2013

Cuban Bird Festival

Osmani Borrego, Education Specialist for Guanahacabibes National Park, directing students on one of the field trips for students and teachers during the 3 day festival last week.
The Second Annual Migratory Bird Festival was held within Guanahacabibes National Park & Bioreserve in Cuba last week in conjunction with our Site Partner. Programs on migratory shorebirds were presented to around 250 students and teachers. The number of submissions from students for the art contest was almost double what they were the first year. Carol Jones, GCBO's Education Director was one of the judges and it was a difficult task!The festival is helping raise awareness of the importance of the habitat for migratory (and endemic) birds with the residents from numerous small communities within and at the periphery of the park.

Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival

The Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival is having it's 20th anniversary this year and they are planning an extra special event including a Warbler Workshop with Scott Whittle, one of the authors of The Warbler Guide, Field ID Workshops with Kenn Kaufman, a talk on the Psychology of Bird Identification by David Sibley and too many more to list here. There are over 35 field trips to choose from and many family oriented activities. GCBO's own Carol Jones will be on hand at our booth at the Birder's Bazaar so stop by and say hello. For more information on the festival click on the RGVBF promo.


 First Annual Raptor Rodeo

Our first annual Raptor Rodeo will be held in January 2014 and everyone can participate! This citizen science project will help us get a handle on the number of wintering raptors and their general locations and will also help support the Smith Point Hawk Watch. The rules are pretty simple. Form a team of 2-4 people. Register with GCBO. Pick any day in January and go out and see how many raptors you can find. Easy! Your $50 donation for participation will help fund the Smith Point Hawk Watch. You can double your impact by getting matching funds from your employer or getting birdathon type pledges from family and friends. Help us help the birds and have a day of fun while you're at it! For more information check ourwebpage.

 Avian Conservation Science Center Groundbreaking

On October 29th, GCBO broke ground on the new Avian Conservation Science Center. Helping GCBO staff and Board kick-off this long-awaited construction project were Brazoria County Commissioners, members of the Brazosport Chamber of Commerce, Mayors and City Managers from Lake Jackson and Freeport, our architect Nathan Moore, builders Nobel Construction, and a large cadre of contributors to the capital campaign. Pictured here are the attending contributors representing GCBO Board givers, indivdual members, Houston Endowment, and Gulf Chemical & Metallurgical. To see a full list of contributors to our captial campaign and to find out how you too can make a contribution please visit our website HERE.

Land Acquisition Challenge Grant

For the past three years, the Malcolm C. Damuth Foundation has offered GCBO a gift of $30,000 towards our Land Acquisition Endowment if we could raise $15,000 in match from our membership. Thanks to your generous donations we were able to meet this match all three years. Because of your amazing support, the Foundation has extended the challenge to 2013 and 2014. The Land Acquisition Endowment is a sustainable source of funding for the acquisition of vital stopover habitat for migratory birds and has grown to $216,833 through these grants. If you can help us meet our match goal of $15,000 by December 15th please call the office or click here for more information.


Save the Date - Holiday Open House

Friday December 6
Shop from 10:00AM to 6:00PM
103 Hwy 332 West, Lake Jackson

Enjoy holiday shopping at a leisurely pace this year at the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory's HOLIDAY SALE. GCBO's Nature Store will offer our local friends and members a place to find a "natural" gift for everyone on their wish list while supporting bird conservation efforts and our local sanctuary. Can't get by GCBO? Check out our offerings on-line at or call the office for that special book order or to Adopt-A-Hummer certificate.

On this one day, enjoy tax free shopping. As always members receive a 10% discount for a total savings 18.25%.  For more information call 979-480-0999.

Monthly Bird Banding at GCBO

By November our winter residents should be in place and we might just get an exciting recapture of a bird that was banded in a previous year. Our Buff-bellied Hummingbird has already returned and we can see that he is banded. Now we have to figure out how to catch him so we can read the band! Come join us from 8:00 til noon on Saturday, November 16th for our monthly bird banding session and see what turns up in the nets. Remember birds wake up at dawn so your best chance to see the most birds is early. Seeing birds in the hand is a great way to get kids excited about wildlife, but all ages are welcome. See the map on our webpage for directions or find a map by going to Mapquest or GoogleMaps.  Note that some other navigators will not take you to the correct location.

Photo of the Month

This month's photo of the month comes from GCBO member Bob Woods who captured this Snowy Plover taking a bath on Bryan Beach. Is that cute or what?!

Bird Tip of the Month: November along the Gulf Coast is when we are most likely to pick up over-wintering hummingbirds, so leave out at least one nectar feeder all winter. Remember to clean it weekly and fill with an energy-rich mixture of one part dissolved granulated sugar to three parts water.

Our Vision is a healthy ecosystem with abundant space for birds to survive and thrive around the Gulf of Mexico. | Telephone 979-480-0999 | Contact Us


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