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Settled In at Old Settlers The Loggerhead Shrike is a songbird with a raptor’s habits. They skewer their meals on barbed wire or thorns for easy eating. Some Shrikes have also found a nice nesting place in a busy Round Rock, Texas park. Thanks to John Brush, Mira Furgoch and Mark Vance for sharing some shrike eating footage with us.
Natural Wasteland Birding hotspots are not always where you might expect them to be. See the sights, hear the sounds, and smell the smells of a "marginal nature" haven. What are we talking about? Places like the Hornsby Bend wastewater treatment plant in Austin, Texas.
On the Right Track Follow along as biologists track Whooping Cranes at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. Using satellite GPS technology the team hopes to help protect this endangered species.
Meet some landlords, looking out for their tenants, at a high-rise condo complex. Those tenants are The Martins, and they aren't people--they're purple. For more information about purple martins, visit: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_bk_w7000_0254.pdf http://www.purplemartin.org
A classic competition from the coast is now statewide and open to all. How many different birds can be seen day, morning, or from just one spot? Meet some folks who decided to find out. To learn more about the Great Texas Birding Classic, visit: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/events/great-texas-birding-classic
When bald eagles built a nest in a tree right beside Highway 29 near Llano, drivers gawked and people came flocking to see them. As Texas Parks and Wildlife reports, it's rare to find bald eagles nesting this far west in Texas, but it shows how our national bird has made a comeback in recent decades. The pair of bald eagles are still returning each year and stick around until June. For more information, visit http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us
Enjoy this rare view of an endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler nest, found only in Texas! Golden-cheeked warblers build nests, lay eggs and raise young in the spring. They nest exclusively in the closed-canopy oak juniper forest of Central Texas. One of the rare places left in the hill country for the birds to nest is the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve. Efforts to keep an eye on this population at the preserve are underway. For more info, visit: http://www.balconescanyonlands.org
A cloud of acrobatic birds surrounds a highway over the Trinity River...it's a colony of cliff swallows. Beneath the bridge is a bustling bird city of mud nests, baby birds waiting inside, and busy bird parents bringing home the bacon. TPWD's Cullen Hanks explains how these cliff-dwellers have adapted to life along the roadside. To learn more about birds, visit: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/wild/birding/
Get an up close look at the endangered Black-capped Vireo. Texas Parks and Wildlife Television cameras got a rare glimpse of these birds as they cared for newly hatched chicks at Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge near Austin. More on Black-capped Vireos at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/wild/species/bcv/
Watch some pretty interesting behavior by some common moorhens as they scrap for territory. This video from Brazos Bend State Park shows a group of males as they fight to establish territory. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's resident ornithologist Cliff Shackelford gives us the play-by-play of this avian action. Be sure and watch the Texas Parks & Wildlife television show on the Texas PBS stations. www.tpwd.state.tx.us/tv
This is a look at recent efforts to save the Attwater's prairie-chicken, one of the most endangered birds in North America. We spend some time with biologists from The Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge as they work to save a bird that is on the brink of extinction.
In 2005 news of the extinct Ivory Billed Woodpecker being found in the woods of Arkansas electrified the birding community. Now a team is searching for the elusive Ivory Billed here in Texas. We followed the Texas team for six months as they explore the bird's historic range, The Big Thicket National Preserve in East Texas. From using state of the art technology to good ole foot power, see what it takes to try and find a bird that hasn't been seen in 60 years. Learn more about the woodpeckers of the piney woods at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/wild/birding/woodpeckers_pineywoods/. For places to go birding in Texas, see http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/parks/things-to-do/birding-in-state-parks
Sandhill Cranes, A Migrating Muse. Texas is the winter home to the largest concentration of sandhill cranes in the world. Some spend the winter months in the Panhandle and High Plains while others head for the Texas coast. We'll visit some of the best spots to see sandhill cranes up close to learn more about these migrating wonders.
Of the 900 different bird species in the U.S., 600 of them are found in Texas, making it one of the top birding spots worldwide. Many birds fly hundreds of miles nonstop to get here. This video explores how they navigate and survive their amazing journeys. For more information, visit www.tpwd.state.tx.us/birding
With more species than any other state, Texas has birds are as varied and colorful as its people. We'll show you where to see them in this surprisingly addictive hobby. More on birding in Texas at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/exptexas/view/
Wintering whooping cranes on the Texas coast, foraging and whooping.
Meet a couple from East Texas who have combined their interest in birds and love of travel, along with a mastery of photography, to capture the fleeting flight of the hummingbird. Discover more about Texas wildlife at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/
Chester Smith looked after the Audubon Society's Sundown Island bird sanctuary in Matagorda Bay for 25 years, helping bring back the brown pelican and attracting thousands of nesting birds. Chester passed away on June 26, 2011. This is his story. http://www.sundownisland.org/aboutus/index.htm
They waddle, quack and decorate our ponds and lakes. Here's an overview of Texas ducks. A gallery of waterfowl pictures and calls at http://www.ducksunlimited.org/
The Great Texas Birding Classic is held every April to coincide with the spectacular spring bird migration. Teams vie to see who can spot and record the most bird species in a given time period. Prize money goes toward habitat conservation. All ages and abilities are welcome to compete. Learn more at http://www.birdingclassic.org/
[cc] A Texas coastal biologist shares a passion for wildlife with a boy from an inner-city housing project. Journey with them for outstanding views of coastal bird rookeries.
[cc] The 5-foot-tall whooping crane is the tallest bird in North America and among the rarest. A small flock of whoopers winters on the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, one of the most reliable places in the country to see these unique birds. For more information, visit http://www.fws.gov/southwest/REFUGES/texas/aransas/whoopingcranes.html
[cc] North Deer Island, near Galveston, is the largest bird rookery island on the upper Texas coast. Erosion was destroying this highly productive habitat for up to 30,000 nesting pairs of birds. Texas Parks and Wildlife is part of a team that recently won the Coastal America Partnership Award for its efforts to preserve North Deer and the thousands of birds that nest there every year. For more information, see the Houston Audubon website http://tinyurl.com/yjcvfwe
Texas Parks and Wildlife 2011 Lone Star Land Steward Award winner for Blackland Prairie region: Warbler Woods Bird Sanctuary, Guadalupe County.
A close-up look at two cardinals, male and female, snacking at a bird blind at Falcon State Park, midway between Laredo and McAllen, Texas. For more information, visit http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/falcon/