GCBOs News

Gulf Coast Bird Observatory
Spring Fling and the Art Auction!
Spring Fling is here and we couldn’t be more excited!
Quintana Sanctuaries is in full bloom and already being visited by travel-weary birds. Stop by from April 7th to May 6th anytime from 9 am – 4 pm daily to wander the beautiful grounds and see what migrants have set up camp at the Sanctuaries.
Quintana itself has a little visitor center where volunteers can provide information about the birds seen on site as well as updating a daily sighting list. Snacks, water, tshirts and more are also available for purchase. Bring your cameras when you stop in because both the birds and the flowers make for fantastic subjects!
Additionally, this Spring Fling GCBO is hosting an online Art Auction. It will run for the duration of the Fling and features bird-themed pieces by mainly local talent. It has a bit of everything (prints, originals, paintings, quilts, and more) and, like our other auctions, proceeds go directly to GCBO’s conservation work. Gift your home a brand new piece of artwork AND shop for a cause by visiting our online auction HERE
(Please note that shipping/handling costs are not covered by the bidding and vary on a per item/per location basis. There’s a bit more information in the item descriptions.)
Nursery Help: Calling all Gardeners
Our native plant nursery, affectionately called “The Growery” was looking great after so much wonderful volunteer work last spring and summer, all headed up by Chris Kneupper. But it has had a bit of a tough time since Harvey and The following cold snaps this winter really haven’t helped either. With spring arriving and folks coming to buy plants we are trying to get it back on its feet.
To that end, we have designated all Saturdays beginning April 14th from 9 am – noon as Growery Work Days. We need a lot of help back there but our first challenge is to sort, organize and label our stock. We have a lot of it! If you are a gardener or a gardener at heart who wants to spend an hour or two outdoors working with our plants, please come on by! We need all the help we can get!
Migration Celebration is Almost Here
Migration Celebration is an annual free family friendly Nature Festival presented by the Friends of Brazoria Wildlife Refuges and Texas Mid-Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex. It begins Saturday April 21st from 9-5 and continues into Sunday April 22, 11-4. There will be a ton of fun activities for the kids including kids fishing, butterfly encounters, kite flying, bug sweeping, the birds of prey program and touch tanks. We will have a booth there, along with other environmental organizations, so stop on by and say hi!
Register for a Birding Trip Today!
What do a Russet-crowned Motmot, a Gray-crowned Woodpecker, a Lesser Ground Cuckoo, and an Orange-breasted Bunting have in common?
They’re all birds you might see on our Oaxaca Birding Trip!
Travel with GCBO as we offer multi-day trips to three different locations – Oaxaca and Veracruz in Mexico and Duluth, Minnesota – in pursuit of incredible birds. From raptor watching to a pelagic half-day boat tour, from hunting down Great Gray Owls to trying to spot the Blue-capped Hummingbirds, these trips promise great birding opportunities in a variety of different habitats with experienced birders to help make the most out of your experience.
You can now see the full itineraries for 2 of the 3 trips on our website
Contact Martin Hagne at mhagne@gcbo.org with questions and to book your spot!
Adopt an Oystercatcher Pair!
Just a continuing reminder that you can still adopt an Oystercatcher pair to support our research! Sue will update you monthly on your pair’s progress and you will receive a certificate with a photo of your bird and their banding information.
There’s a selection of pairs available on our website.
You can also follow along with our field season on our blog, The Oystercatcher Diaries, which can be found at the bottom of our home page.
GCBO Presents: Kevin Karlson’s “Birds of Prey” and Photography Workshops
Join us Friday, October 5th 2018 from 7:30 – 8:30 pm as Kevin Karlson presents this visually stunning program reflecting the mood and content of Birds of Prey by Pete Dunne and Kevin Karlson (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). The show begins with a video introduction by Pete Dunne where he explains the concept of the book as images of raptors are shown. Kevin will then present all the raptor groups with images from the book and share some of his birds of prey stories. A special musical ending will highlight some of the most spectacular raptor images ever assembled by 19 top North American photographers.
A $5 donation is suggested for admittance. Kevin will be available to sign copies of his book after and we will have his book for purchase at GCBO.
Photography Workshops with Kevin
Kevin will be running two photography sessions the Saturday and Sunday after his talk (October 6th and 7th). See below for details:
Saturday, October 6, 2018: Wildlife Photography
Cost: $80 for Saturday only or $140 for Saturday and Sunday combined
Join wildlife photographer Kevin Karlson at GCBO’s headquarters in Lake Jackson, TX as he shares basic and advanced techniques for photographing wildlife in action, and the crucial awareness of lighting principles to maximize your success.
Topics covered will include: handheld versus tripod techniques; proper exposure/camera settings for different field conditions; subject acquisition; subject tracking/synchronous panning; advantages of manual exposure for quick light compensation; balancing white and dark subjects using exposure basics; artistic exposures and creative lighting. Each of these topics will be simply explained, with a variety of photos providing visual examples of each, often with camera setting information. This workshop is somewhat technical in nature, with knowledge of basic camera operation required.
Bring a photo for a critique session! Each participant can bring a photo (first 20 registrants can bring two) on a thumb drive to submit for critiquing and feedback by Kevin and the group as a whole. Participants will discuss alternative composition options and balance for photos providing a fun learning experience for everyone!
Saturday workshop limited to 40 participants.
Below: Scissor-tailed Flycatchers by Kevin Karlson
Sunday, October 7, 2018: Raptor Photography
Cost: $80 for Sunday only or $140 for Saturday and Sunday combined
Join Kevin at the Smith Point Hawk Watch at Candy Abshier WMA in Smith Point, TX for an in-field session photographing raptors in flight, butterflies, wildflowers and whatever else we can find! This comprehensive interactive workshop will build on Saturday’s workshop by putting to use the instructions and tips in field situations. Kevin will explain the principles of flight and action photography and how these techniques are best applied in field situations. Topics covered will include the basics of flight and action photography, including handheld technique; proper exposure; subject acquisition; subject tracking; advantages of manual exposure; and importance of practice with a variety of subjects. Each participant will get individual attention on how to best capture flight and action wildlife images. If you want to take your action photography to the next level, this is a good workshop for you. Remind – there are no services at Smith Point. Bring your lunch, sunscreen, hat, binoculars, camera, spotting scope, and plenty to drink.
Sunday workshop limited to 20 participants
Cost: $80 for Saturday
$80 for Sunday
$140 for Saturday/Sunday combination
Please call GCBO at 979-480-0999 to reserve your spot and make payment, All proceeds benefit the Smith Point Hawk Watch
Location & Time:
Saturday, October 6, 2018: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm at the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory,          
                                                  299 Hwy 332 West, Lake Jackson, TX 77566
Sunday, October 7, 2018:   9:00 am – 1:00 pm at the Smith Point Hawk Watch
Above: Osprey by Kevin Karlson
Join us for banding Saturday, April 21st
It’s migration time which means a lot of awesome birds might be hanging around GCBO! Join us on the 21st from 8 am – noon (the earlier the better as the action dies down around 10:00 am) for your chance to see birds up close and in the hand and to learn about how and why we catch birds right at the GCBO headquarters.
Wish List
Your in-kind contributions help us tremendously by freeing up much needed funds for our research and projects. Thank you!!
Black Oil Sunflower Seed
We feed year-round here at GCBO, and during migration at Quintana. We stock our GCBO feeders to help augment natural foods, and this also helps our monthly banding research project. 
1 Gallon Plastic Pots
We can use your used 1 gallon nursery plant pots for the Growery. We go through a lot of 1 gallon pots when potting up new plants. Let’s recycle them here. We’ll take one or a hundred! 
Our hummers are thirsty! We keep hummer feeders up all year and those guys suck up that sugar water! We always need regular sugar. We mix 4 parts water and 1 part sugar, and no food coloring!! 
We do a lot of projects around here and in the field. We are missing some critical tools. We could use: 
·        Standard socket set (regular and deep socket)
·        Large slip-joint pliers
·        Adjustable wrench set
Now when you shop at Kroger, you can support GCBO!
GCBO is a registered charity through Kroger’s Community Rewards Program. This means that you can register your Kroger Plus Card online and select GCBO as the organization of your choice. Every time you use your Kroger Plus Card, Kroger will donate a portion back to GCBO! This is an easy way to support GCBO while you shop – your donations help us continue to protect birds and birding habitat around the Gulf Coast and beyond. To register your Plus Card, click here. Our charity number is #80345.
Donate to GCBO!
Telephone: 979-480-0999 | Email Us