BIRDS, CONSERVATION, OUTINGS, AND MORE!
Welcome to Bexar Audubon Society in San Antonio, the area’s official chapter of the National Audubon Society. Bexar Audubon Society's mission is to promote the conservation of habitat for birds, other wildlife, and people; support National Audubon Society’s efforts; and encourage responsible local action through education, research, and advocacy. Read more.
Meetings & Events
Our online presentations offer excellent speakers covering a wide variety of topics related to birding, conservation, mammals, insects, and more. Our February 22 monthly meeting (in-person and via Zoom) will feature Dr. Tania Homayoun's presentation about the importance of the Lights Out program to keep migratory birds safe while flying at night. Learn more on our Meetings & Events page, where you'll also see a link to recordings of past presentations.
BAS Auction Was a Success!
BAS Online Auction
October 20—November 4
Thanks to all of you who bid on auction items to help us in raising funds to support our Community Grant program to assist local organizations with conservation projects that benefit birds and their habitat.
Because of your support, we exceeded our goal of raising $5000!
Looking for a New Scope or Binoculars?
The National Audubon Society has created a guide to buying a spotting scope and a guide to buying binoculars. The guides break down suggestions by price-range. You can also visit our local retail partner, Wild Birds Unlimited, for additional information.
New Birding Guides for Kids in Spanish and English!
Bexar Audubon has developed two new guides for young birders to help them learn about backyard birds. You can print the two-page guides in Spanish or English versions. Budding birders will enjoy using these colorful and easy to read references!
Speak up for Texas Wildlife!
You might have already heard the very EXCITING NEWS that the Recovering America's Wildlife Act has gone to the U.S. Senate for a vote.
We need YOU to help ensure that when the time comes for a vote, the Recovering America's Wildlife Act—the most significant wildlife conservation bill in a half century—crosses the finish line!
Reach out to your U.S. Senators on the contact pages of their website. Ask them to vote YES for the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. Click HERE for guidance.
Your Cat Needs a Catio!
Cats naturally want to be outside where they can breathe fresh air and experience the sights, sounds and stimulation of the natural world. A catio, an outdoor cat enclosure or “cat patio,” is the purrfect solution to solve the indoor/outdoor dilemma and keep your cat safe, healthy and happy. Designed to complement your home and suit your feline’s fancy, our catios provide peace of mind knowing your cat is always safe while protecting birds and wildlife. Plans range from $39.95-$69.95. Apply promo code BASLovesBirdCityTXSA50, plus 10% will come back to Bexar Audubon as a donation!
San Antonio Earns Bird City Texas Certification!
Thanks to a hard-working group of dedicated BAS members and partner organizations, San Antonio has earned Bird City Texas certification. Bird City Texas is a partnership program between Audubon Texas and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). Along with San Antonio, Galveston and Surfside Beach have also been certified as Bird City Texas communities. These three communities join the inaugural 2020 Bird City Texas communities and will be certified through December 2023. Read the press release here. For more information about what Bird City entails for us, click here.
San Antonio City Council Passes Resolution Recognizing World Migratory Bird Day
The San Antonio City Council voted unanimously in council session December 3, 2020, to support the Resolution that annually recognizes WORLD MIGRATORY BIRD DAY (WMBD) as being significant to the city and community at large. Read more.
A walk in nature connects us with the bigger picture of life that includes us and gives us a chance to discover the birds, wildlife, plants, geography and geology of our area. See what's on the schedule.
Climate Watch Survey Winter 2023
Bexar Audubon is coordinating Climate Watch areas for the twice-a-year surveys of Lesser Goldfinches in our area. Participants choose one day to count in an assigned area between January 15 and February 15. If you'd like to claim a survey square, please email Patsy Inglet at email@example.com. The recording of the December 13 online training session is now available here. You'll also find:
- Chat comments and questions
- Training Overview with Notes: the slides presented at the training session with presentation notes
- Climate Watch online resources
- Example of a Climate Watch Square with Points/GPS/Descriptions
- Climate Watch Manual (reference only)
Need a Guide to Lead Your
Bexar Audubon Society members are available to lead bird walks in local parks and natural areas for visitors and residents alike. Please give us at least two weeks of advance notice. Click here to submit a request for a guide.
Get Your Copy of
The Rise of the Texas Master Naturalist Movement
As part of the yearlong celebration of Alamo Area Master Naturalist's (AAMN) 25th Anniversary, you can get a copy of this commemorative book and support the new Junior Master Naturalist Program at the same time. Here are the details.
- Click on this link to make your donation of $20 or more.
- The book will be mailed directly to your address.
- THEN, please take the further step of posting the link on your own social media pages and emailing it to friends. Keep the campaign moving!
Texas Naturally! The Rise of the Texas Master Naturalist Movement chronicles the formation of AAMN, the world's first Master Naturalist chapter! Subsequent sections highlight projects from dozens of Texas chapters, revealing the impact the organization is having across the Lone Star State. This volume is vital not only as a historical preservation of a movement, but as an inspiration to people in Texas and beyond. When we consider the dire effects of climate change, including the sheer number of species that are threatened or near extinction, it would be easy to despair. Instead, the stories of Texas Master Naturalists—these engaged citizen scientists—lifts a message of hope. Each of us can do our part to turn the tide! Get your copy today and please help us spread the word.
What to Do if You Find
an Injured Bird
Should you find a bird (or other wildlife) that has been injured, please call:
Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation
(San Antonio, TX)
Roger & Phyllis Sherman Animal Care Complex
1354 Basse Rd., San Antonio, TX 78212
Phone: (830) 336-2725
If you find an injured raptor, please contact:
Last Chance Forever Bird of Prey Conservancy
Make Migration-friendly Window Decorations
From Audubon.org: Migration presents bird lovers with amazing opportunities to spot birds as they pass through, but one cannot forget the many dangers birds face on their journeys. One of the most perilous threats is a window collision. Birds can't perceive glass windows: They see through the clear surface to the other side, or see a mirrored reflection of nearby sky or trees. Either way, the can fly right into the hard glass at full speed. If they're lucky and close to the ground, the strike will stun them and they can recover on the ground before flying off. Often, though, they are more likely to be killed by it.
With this DIY activity, you can be both a champion for birds and decorate your home in a fun and creative way. After making decals using puff paint or a glue mixture, attach them to the outside of your windows. Read the rest of the article and instructions here.
Lights Out, Texas Video
Check out this 1-minute video about the importance of turning out lights in Texas during migration.
Stephanie Arch, a Lights Out Texas—San Antonio volunteer, sent us this photo of her mom holding a Chipping Sparrow as it recovered from flying into a window. Luckily, the sparrow was able to go on its way after a few minutes of rest. Please do your part in keeping birds safe by preventing window strikes. Check out these ideas to stop collisions between birds and glass.
Bird Guide Author Richard Crossley Event at Wild Birds Unlimited
Richard Crossley, author of the Crossley ID Guides for birds, gave a talk at Wild Birds Unlimited (WBU) on Huebner Road in November that was well-attended and served as a fundraiser for Bexar Audubon Society (BAS). Many thanks to Kyle Odom of WBU for organizing the event and raising almost $300 in donations for BAS!
Avian Flu: Should You Take Down Your Feeders?
Low Risk Of Avian Flu To Songbirds
From AllAboutBirds.org: There is currently very low risk of an outbreak among wild songbirds, and no official recommendation to take down feeders unless you also keep domestic poultry, according to the National Wildlife Disease Program. We do always recommend that you clean bird feeders and birdbaths regularly as a way to keep many kinds of diseases at bay.
We also always recommend that you follow any recommendations put out by your state government, such as the recent request to take down feeders in Illinois.
Major Housing Development Planned Near Helotes Could Impact Water Quality
Lennar Homes, one of the largest homebuilders in the U.S., is planning a dense subdivision of 3,000 homes on 1,160 acres in a watershed upstream of the Edwards Aquifer, the main drinking water source for 2 million people in the San Antonio area.
The Guajolote Ranch property is located in northwest Bexar County, roughly 5 miles north of Helotes, less than 2 miles north of Grey Forest, just over 5 miles northwest of San Antonio. It falls in the Edwards Aquifer Contributing Zone, the land that catches rainwater and channels it downstream towards the sensitive land that recharges San Antonio’s drinking water. Read more at Change.org.
Hear Birds Again!
Do You Have Trouble Hearing High-Pitched Bird Songs? Then you might be interested in supporting a project by world-renowned sound recordist Lang Elliott. His goal is to produce an open-source mobile phone app to help bird enthusiasts who suffer from high frequency hearing loss like himself and who desire to once again enjoy the uplifting songs of wild birds. Your support will help give birth to a mobile phone app that uses advanced algorithms to lower the pitch of bird songs in real time, making them audible during walks in nature, in conjunction with the development of a “binaural headset” with mics mounted at each ear that will simulate natural hearing and allow the calls to be located in space.
You can hear Lang Elliott explain the project in his own words on his website: Hear Birds Again. Check it out and donate to support the project if you are inclined.
NAS and BAS Statements on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
National Audubon Society:
The birds Audubon pledges to protect differ in color, size, behavior, geographical preference, and countless other ways. By honoring and celebrating the equally remarkable diversity of the human species, Audubon will bring new creativity, effectiveness, and leadership to our work throughout the hemisphere. With a plurality of voices, we will inspire more people and conserve more habitats.
Bexar Audubon Society:
Bexar Audubon Society is committed to helping make bird watching safe, welcoming, and accessible for all. We welcome and encourage appreciation of our natural world while promoting its preservation and protection. We believe that birding is for everybody, and that the birds we love and the habitats they rely on benefit most when more people are engaged in protecting them. We believe that anyone who enjoys looking at birds is a "birdwatcher." We do not discriminate because of skill level, length of time identifying as a birdwatcher, age, gender, skin color, size, sexual orientation, disability, religion, socioeconomic status, or national or ethnic origin.
It's Like Shazam for Birds!
BirdNET from Cornell Lab is a free smartphone app for Android and IOS that allows you to record and edit bird sounds, then analyzes the recording and suggests species identification. Check it out here!
Bird Field Guide in Spanish
Did you know the National Audubon Society's Guide to North American Birds is available online in Spanish (La Guía de Aves de América del Norte)? Each entry includes a color illustration, Spanish name, scientific name, and a link to species' calls and songs.
Great Gift Idea for Kids!
A House for Wren is the newly released children’s book for the “young and young at heart” written by Texan Julie Beever and illustrated by Diana Delosh. A unique introduction to birdwatching for young birding enthusiasts, this story contains factual information about the nesting habits of real-life birds and introduces young readers to the lifelong love of birding. Julie was guest speaker for our online meeting April 28.
For a limited time, autographed, personalized copies of A House for Wren are available through Julie Beever for $14.95 each + tax & shipping. Click here for ordering information.
Join & Support
Bexar Audubon Society of San Antonio relies on donations to fund the activities that support our mission. Please click here to find out more about how your donation helps birds and their conservation.
Education & Entertainment for Birders
Our friends at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology have made numerous resources available to keep us informed and entertained as we stay at home. Many of us are missing our regular birding field trips, but we are learning that backyard birding has its merits!