Category Archives: Birds

The bird sounds of Houston

Open your Houston windows to the soft, hot humidity early in the morning and listen. You may hear tires on asphalt of the West Loop, but you will also hear the birds. Just five species fill much of the sound … Continue reading

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Dawn in the Texas Hill Country

The last morning at Double Helix Ranch Writer’s Retreat, I arose before the first bird called, around 4 AM. The Big Dipper had rotated over the house, still pointing to the North Star. It was clear, though by first light … Continue reading

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Pecos River headwaters, pinyon jays, and dear friends

Remember the Pecos River as we saw it from the bridge on Highway 90 in Texas? We were returning from Big Bend National Park, driving to San Antonio. The muddy river swelled between cliffs, savoring its last moments before joining … Continue reading

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Migrants from Yucatán crash in an April storm

First the wind clattered the live oak branches. Then the rain came, wetting soil and streets, steaming up the rich promise that comes with water. Raindrops are large in Houston, can almost sting on impact, and quickly flood the streets … Continue reading

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Birding the glorious oak at Rice with Cin-Ty Lee

We met up there for the warblers and saw some of the subtle ones, a Tennessee, actually about 5 of them, then a mysterious one that turned out to simply be an orange-crowned warbler, one of our winter residents. … The longer I’m gone, the more the live oaks, prairies and marshes linger in my thoughts. IMG_2590.JPG Birding the Rice live oaks. P5013069.JPG Cin-Ty Lee flanked by two other birders, looking for a hidden bird. IMG_2548.jpg It helps to have a strong neck when the birds are right overhead! Continue reading

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A hooded warbler, a pond, gone

Out the window, I look over the blue scarf, and see a hooded warbler, male, in full mating plumage, black against yellow, improbable brilliance. … But there were thousands more, now robin food. P5015250.JPG The yellow-crowned night herons loved our pond. IMG_2034.JPG Looking down on the garden, overtaken by a pumpkin vine. DSCN1977_1.JPG Life needs water, and found it in our pond. IMG_3455.JPG June 2009 we planted this front garden, not knowing we would only get 2 good years out of it. Continue reading

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Nancy Rowe, landscape guardian

That was back in 1996, and one of the students watching the finches for the class I taught, a lab in animal behavior, is now a professor at University of Georgia. … Take the time to check out the more natural corners, and before you know it, up will come Nancy, full of information, and love of the place. IMG_2587.JPG Continue reading

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