Bird City Texas
An energetic committee of conservation-minded individuals from Bexar Audubon Society is spearheading the effort to certify San Antonio as a Bird City Texas to join Dallas, Houston, Bastrop, and Port Aransas.
A steering committee led by co-chairs Britt Coleman (BAS Board Secretary) and Sherie Gee (BAS Outings co-chair) and representing a variety of concerned groups, such as the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center, Native Plant Society, San Antonio Parks & Recreation, and many others, will:
- Compile research and data for existing projects meeting the criteria set by Texas Parks & Wildlife and Audubon Texas
- Spread the word about San Antonio’s opportunity to become a certified Bird City
- Commit to making San Antonio more bird-friendly
- Coordinate the application process to make the December 4 filing deadline
Bexar Audubon Members are invited to pitch in and help.
WATCH THIS SPACE FOR NEWS OF PROGRESS AND OPPORTUNITIES TO GET INVOLVED.
Learn Why It's a Bad Idea to Feed Ducks Bread
You see people feeding bread to ducks at area ponds, lakes and rivers all the time. But a diet heavy in breads and other empty carbohydrates can lead to severe health consequences and numerous additional problems for ducks and other water fowl. Read more about why it's a bad idea to feed ducks bread.
Read this Call to Action for Keeping Birds Safe from Light Pollution and Window Strikes
Arthur Melville Pearson, CEO of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History, has a written a sobering essay called "The Fall of the Sparrow," which really brings home the most unfortunate ways that light pollution and window strikes bring down birds--possibly ONE BILLION die a year. Click here to read this powerful article.
YOU can ACT to make San Antonio More Bird Friendly!
Do Citizen Science: Enter your bird sightings in eBird. Post photos of birds, plants, animals, butterflies and other insects to iNaturalist. Use the Merlin bird ID app to help identify the birds you see. Participate in the local Audubon Christmas Bird Count and Climate Change counts.
Make Windows Safer: A variety of products are available to place on or next to windows to prevent birds from hitting them. American Bird Conservancy offers several items on their website. Learn how to make a Zen Wind Curtain or purchase one from Acopian BirdSavers. Watch a couple of brief videos about how turning lights out at night can help migratory birds. Video 1 and Video 2.
Keep Cats Indoors: Protect Cats – Birds – Humans: Your kitty doesn't have to stay indoors ALL the time. Buy a catio (cat + patio = catio) plan from Catio Spaces to build a safe, enclosed outdoor area to keep cats and birds safe. Buy pre-made catios at Petco or Catio World. The American Bird Conservancy provides safe solutions for pets on their website.
Avoid Pesticides: Native plants are your best defense against pests. Texas AgriLife has an informative brochure, "Low Impact Pest Control for Everyone," featuring natural remedies for insect and pest control.
Drink Shade-grown Coffee: Ruta Maya is but one shade-grown coffee producer with product available locally. Audubon offers Smithsonian Bird-friendly certified coffee. Birdwatching Bliss provides detailed information about bird friendly coffee. Check out the Cornell Lab's video and articles about bird-friendly coffee.
Reduce Plastic Use: Audubon offers the informative article, "Eight Easy Ways to Reduce Your Plastic Waste." If you live in San Antonio, review acceptable plastics for recycling on this City of San Antonio webpage. We have a Thoughtful Consumer column on the Bexar Audubon website with ideas for non-plastic products to use around the house.
Invest in Solar Energy: Chosen by CPS Energy, Big Sun Community Solar is a new, hassle free way to buy solar energy. Big Sun builds, manages, maintains and insures your offsite solar system while you lower your monthly electric bill and claim the tax savings!
Save Water: San Antonio Water System (SAWS) offers a variety of water-saving programs on their website.
Conserve Resources: Learn how reducing, reusing, and recycling can help you, your community, and the environment by saving money, energy, and natural resources.
Cut Back on Chemicals: White vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and baking soda are all great ingredients you can use to make your own household cleansers.
Create Compost: Start a compost pile to provide natural, organic material to help your plants grow.
Turn Your Lawn into a Xeriscape: In urban areas of Texas, about 25 percent of the water supply is used for landscape and garden watering. Creating a xeriscape with native plants is a good way to provide food for birds and butterflies while cutting back on your water usage.