GCBO November E-news
Gulf Coast Bird Observatory

November, 2012





In this Issue:


One Step Closer to Construction


Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival


Wine and Cheese Benefit


November Birds and Bottomlands Blitz


GCBO Biologists Visit Cuba


Holiday Sale and Open House


Monthly Bird Banding at GCBO


Member Photo of the Month


You Search...We Give!


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 our Ways to Donate page for more opportunities to support our conservation efforts. 

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

November 2012

One Step Closer to Construction

GCBO received exciting news last week. The John P. McGovern Foundation has awarded us a grant of $100,000  in honor of Kathy McGovern. This grant will be used for the construction of our new Avian Conservation Science Center! This means that we now have 82% of the funds needed for construction. So, where are we now? Construction plans are complete and have been submitted to local contractors for bidding; we will have the builder within a month; site preparation work is already underway; and lastly we need to raise the final dollars to make this ten year plan a reality. Building the new center is a momentous step forward for GCBO. We want all of our members and friends to be a part of this new era for the GCBO. For more information on how you can help, please call Cecilia. Stay posted for more information.

Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival

Join Carol Jones at the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival in Harlingen, Texas on November 7-11. This year's festival includes three keynotes along with seminars on hard to identify birds like shorebirds and sparrows, field trips, a tradeshow, and several events including a silent auction, big sit and reception. For more information check the Rio Grande Vally Birding Festival website.

Wine and Cheese Benefit

Join us for a wine and cheese tasting benefitting Gulf Coast conservation at The Grape Taste Wine Bistro. Deborah Wassberg, owner of the Bistro has selected a very special wine and cheese pairing at an exclusive rate. There will also be many silent auction items and door prizes. $40 per adult. Tickets can be purchased at Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, 103 Hwy 332 West, Lake Jackson, TX 77566. Due to the limited capacity of the restaurant, reservations will be restricted to the first 60 people responding with payment. We encourage you to send an RSVP early! E-mail Jessica or call 979-480-0999.

November Birds and Bottomlands Blitz

GCBO is happy to join forces with our local Cradle of Texas Master Naturalists to again offer a morning in our sanctuary to study nature and learn more about the importance of the Columbia Bottomland hardwood forest which is a critical link in many species' life cycle. November's Birds and Bottomlands Blitz will cover insects of the bottomland forest. Insects are a critical part of the food chain and one of the major reasons the bottomlands forest are important to birds. Come learn about them with Ed Barrios, a Cradle of Texas chapter Master Naturalist and our leader for November.


Biologist Visits Cuba

GCBO, ECOVIDA, and site partner Guanahacabibes National Park jointly organized a migratory bird festival October 23-26 in communities near the National Park located in the most western limits of Cuba.  In addition to supporting many resident and endemic birds, Guanahacabibes National Park is also an important wintering and stopover area for wintering and migratory birds from North America.  The bird festival was an effort to highlight the importance of migratory birds in this area and was organized as part of our new joint Migration Monitoring Project initiated in August 2012 and intended to be the focus of conservation activities in the area.  During late summer and fall local schools were visited by park staff who discussed migratory birds with teachers and students.  Art and writing competitions were organized for grades 1-12th.  More than 200 drawings, paintings, and poems were presented for the competition.  The festival included art and photo exhibits, presentations by GCBO and ECOVIDA staff, and birdwatching hikes and tours for school children all designed to highlight the importance of migratory birds. At the conclusion of the festival there was an awards ceremony that included music, songs, poetry recitals, and short theatrical sketches all regarding migratory birds.  The festival was such a success that the National Park has decided to make migratory birds the flagship symbol of their park and an annual Migratory Bird Festival will be their main environmental education activity. Support for this project is being provided by the GCBO and the Christopher Reynolds Foundation.

Save the Date - Holiday Open House

Friday December 7
Shop from 10:00AM to 5:00PM
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 www.gcbo.org 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

November is a great month for winter birds to be on territory here on the Texas Coast. Join us from 8:00 until noon on Saturday, November 17th for our next monthly bird banding session and see who has arrived for the winter. 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 is a Golden Eagle taken at Smith Point by our hawk watcher this year Tony Leukering. We have had two Golden Eagles this year and a record number of Bald Eagles.


Our Vision is a healthy ecosystem with abundant space for birds to survive and thrive around the Gulf of Mexico.

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