The bird life of Texas has long fascinated ornithologists and bird-watchers alike. Due to its size and tremendous diversity of habitats, from Gulf coastal plains and marshes, to southern Piney Woods, to grassland, desert, mountains and even subtropical palmetto forests, as well as its geographic location on the boundary of both the eastern and western migratory flyways, Texas provides a unique opportunity to observe birds commonly found in both the eastern and western US, the great plains, and northern Mexico. Additionally, Texas boasts an endemic species, the Golden-cheeked Warbler, which only breeds in a small location of central Texas known as the Hill Country. We will spend part of our three weeks traveling around the Texas Hill Country observing and mist-netting the birds found there. The rest of our travels will take us to west Texas, to the Davis Mountains, and to Big Bend National Park, along the Rio Grande River to observe and mist-net that avifauna as well. We will have opportunities to meet Texas ornithologists and observe the research in which they are involved. We will also meet conservation managers that are leading efforts to preserve habitat that is crucial to the survival of not only Texas birds but other endangered and threatened wildlife.
This course satisfies: NS-1, Upper-level, “S” course requirement.