Meetings & Events
Bexar Audubon Society of San Antonio offers you engaging
presentations, enlightening topics, useful workshops,
and enriching discussions during our monthly meetings.
Please join us!
BAS Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, February 22 | 6:30 to 8:00 PM |
In-person and Zoom
Lights Out: Safer Skies for Migrating Birds
by Dr. Tania Homayoun
Collision with buildings and glass is a significant cause of death to native birds in the United States. This presentation will introduce this challenging issue and why it matters to bird conservation, focusing on what we’ve learned through research and monitoring efforts. We’ll discuss the biological and design factors associated with bird-building collision and some techniques for mitigating collisions in built landscapes. Tania will present via Zoom but we will gather at Alamo Colleges District conference room (2222 N. Alamo Street) or you can watch from home. Please sign up here if you plan to attend the meeting in person so we know how many chairs are needed in configuring the conference room. BAS will provide sandwiches for the meeting and you are welcome to sign up to bring an appetizer, dessert, relish tray, etc. Approved for AAMN AT hours.
About Dr. Homayoun
Dr. Tania Homayoun is the statewide ornithologist with the Nongame and Rare Species Program at Texas Parks and Wildlife. Through this position, she works to implement conservation measures, conduct status assessments, direct statewide bird research efforts, and address threats to non-game birds identified as Species of Greatest Conservation Need. Tania spent several years with TPWD’s Texas Nature Trackers program, engaging naturalists of all interests and ability levels in collecting citizen and community science data on Texas’ unique plants and animals. Previously, Tania worked for Audubon Texas, with the Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center and later the Conservation Science Team as its Urban Conservation Program Manager where she worked to develop and deliver conservation plans, educational programs/trainings, and activities supporting biodiversity and sustainable communities. Tania holds a BS in Ecology/Evolution/Conservation Biology and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin and a PhD in Conservation Biology from the University of Minnesota, where she studied the impacts of urbanization on landbird communities. She is an avid birder and always has room for one more native plant in her patio garden.
SAVE THE DATE | NOVEMBER 8
Dr. Craig Farquhar of Texas State University will be our guest speaker at this joint meeting with San Antonio Audubon Society on Wednesday, November 8 in the evening at Alamo Colleges District, 2222 N. Alamo Street. Dr. Farquhar will discuss his new book, Raptors of Texas. Signed copies of the book will be awarded as raffle prices. A nominal fee will be charged to attend in person or via Zoom. More details to come.
From Texas A&M University Press about the book: "Diurnal raptors—birds of prey that hunt during the day—include easily recognizable birds like eagles, hawks, or falcons. They may be seen perched on highway signs, electrical poles, or soaring overheard in urban and rural spaces across North America. Here, avian ecology and raptor experts C. Craig Farquhar and Clint W. Boal present the first comprehensive volume on these birds of prey in Texas. Given the state’s size, location, and biodiversity, it is not surprising that Texas leads other states in the documented number of raptor species.
The introductory chapters of Raptors of Texas provide information on raptor ecology, evolution, behavior, morphology, and the unique conservation challenges raptors face in Texas and elsewhere. Detailed species descriptions of Texas’ regularly occurring diurnal raptors come next, illustrated with life-like graphite drawings and accompanied by unique, up-to-date range maps. Additionally, shorter entries for rare raptors sighted in the state are provided.
This reference is a must-have for serious birders, ornithologists, avian ecologists, and wildlife professionals who want to know more about these birds of prey and the important roles they play in our urban and rural environments alike."
BAS Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, March 22 | 6:30 to 8:00 PM |
In-person and Zoom
The Strange and Wondrous Adaptations Birds Rely On to Get By
by Dr. Roger Lederer
When we see birds flying from branch to branch happily chirping or snatching up bugs, it is easy to imagine they lead a simple life of freedom and flight, like the bluebird of happiness. What we don’t see is the arduous, life-threatening challenges they face at every moment, such as predators, competitors, weather, and human-made obstacles. There are myriad, and often almost miraculous, things that birds do every day to merely stay alive. Like the goldfinch which manages extreme winter weather changes by doubling the density of its plumage. Or urban birds navigating traffic by learning the posted speed limits. We now know something about how and why birds use their sensory abilities to see ultraviolet, find food without seeing it, fly thousands of miles without stopping, change their songs in noisy cities, navigate by smell, and much more. Based on the book Beaks, Bones, and Bird Songs which “Reveals the strange and wondrous adaptations birds rely on to get by.” —National Audubon Society
If you plan to attend the meeting in person, please sign up here.
About Dr. Lederer
Dr. Roger Lederer is Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences at California State University, Chico, whose expertise is ecology, science education, and ornithology. He has published over 30 scientific research papers and eleven books, including Ecology and Field Biology, Amazing Birds (in seven languages), Latin for Bird Lovers, Birds of New England, Beaks, Bones, and Bird Songs, and The Art of the Bird. Dr. Lederer taught at California State University, Chico for 30 years, served as a consultant, and presented hundreds of public presentations to a wide variety of audiences. He has been consulted by the BBC, National Geographic, National Public Radio, National Canadian Television, the Guinness Book of World Records, The New Yorker, ABC News, and many other organizations, publications, and individuals for authoritative information on birds via his popular website, Ornithology.com.
Dr. Lederer served as Chair of Biological Sciences, Dean of the College of Natural Sciences, Director of the Bidwell Environmental Institute and established and served as the first Endowed Professor of Environmental Literacy. During his tenure at California State University, Dr. Lederer generated over one million dollars in grants in support of science education endeavors.
He is still active, leading bird walks, writing a weekly bird blog, and exploring the world. He has traveled to over 100 countries and has been a guest speaker and naturalist on many cruise ships, speaking on ecology, natural history, and ornithology. He was the keynote speaker for the Snow Goose Festival in Chico, CA and the Swan Festival in Marysville, CA.
If you own Dr. Lederer’s book, please bring it to the meeting, and he will be happy to sign it for you. We will meet in person at Alamo Colleges District, 2222 N. Alamo Street.
You can also watch from home via Zoom.
A Conservation Approach that Starts in Our Own Yards
- Plant native bushes, flowers, and trees!
- KEY: attract and feed butterflies, birds, and insects.
- See #1
- Yep, it’s so important it is both #1 and #2!
- We can plant multiple young trees in a group to encourage their roots to intermingle to strengthen the trees instead of spending a huge amount on a large, mature tree
- Leave the leaves!
- KEY: Leaves are the “black gold” for our yard: they hold water, support plant growth, and host insects.
- Give bees an AirBNB!
- KEY: Most bees live in the ground, and we can create bee hotels by drilling holes in small pieces of wood or using a roll of toilet paper and be sure to place in a dry area or cover.
- Learn the names of plants, birds, and insects in our yard.
- KEY: this starts the process of caring about and understanding them.
- Observe nature in action in our own yard first, parks second!
- KEY: Nature is here, at our house. In our yard. We can enjoy nature right at home every day.
- Tread lightly when visiting natural areas.
- KEY: Let’s go often, enjoy, don’t disturb, and don’t remove anything. Let’s take pictures and use iNaturalist to learn more about what we saw when we get home.
- Change the yard landscaping paradigm (aka belief system) TO “smaller lawns and more plants are the way to go.”
- KEY: We are already setting the example. We must be willing to talk to others about why we are doing what we are doing. Maybe we will inspire someone else in our neighborhood.
- Provide seeds / nutrition and water for birds, especially in winter.
- KEY: >650 species of birds migrate through our skies each year—that’s millions of birds. They need native plants in the summer/spring, but the birds that live here all year also need help to keep them in our neighborhoods until we have sufficient native plants and butterflies and insects to support them all year around.
- Did you do #1 yet? We are counting on you!
Never doubt the difference one person can make by taking action in our own yard. We will be helping nature and humans at the same time. The planet will be healthier for our efforts, not just 20 years from now, but next Spring. We will be able to observe differences in a single season.
Mitchell Lake Audubon Center Upcoming Events
Click on the word "Vimeo" in headline above
to access these recordings.
Hog Island Audubon Camp Experiences in Maine by Yvette Stewart and Corina Solis
Anticoagulant Rodenticides and Raptors by Eres Gomez
Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Texas by Romey Swanson
New insights into the genetics of the Golden-Cheeked Warbler by Dr. Giri Athrey
Wingbeat Atlas: Bird Photography by Ken Butler and Poems by Lucy Griffith
Little (studied) Kite on the Prairie: Investigating the Ecology of Mississippi Kites by Dr. Ben R. Skipper of Angelo State University
Cornell Lab of Ornithology: Birds of the World by Laura Kammermeier
Victoria Winter Hummingbirds by Dr. Brent Ortego
The Edwards Aquifer and San Marcos Springs by Gregg Eckhardt
Ethnobotany and the Appreciation of Native Plants by Maeve Bassett of San Antonio Botanical Garden
Golden-cheeked Warbler Important Bird Area Training Video presented by Jewell Cozort of SA Parks and Recreation Dept.
The Wonderful Wild of Texas: A Herping Big Year by Romey Swanson of Audubon Texas
"A Most Remarkable Creature" by author Jonathan Meiburg about caracaras
The Billion Birds Report and Texas by Richard Heilbrun, TPWD
Effects of Light and Noise on Birds by Dr. Jennifer Phillips of Texas A&M San Antonio
A Kingdom of Birds: Birding in Saudi Arabia by Greg Askew
All About Flycatchers by Craig Hensley, Texas Nature Trackers/TPWD
The Serengeti by Peter Roberts, Bird Guide
Doc & Martha: Matagorda Island Naturalists Documentary by Greg Pasztor
San Antonio Parks & Rec Natural Areas: An Opportunity to Connect People with Nature by Nature Preserve Officer Wendy Leonard
A House for Wren by Author Julie Beever
Balcony Birding in the Time of Coronavirus by Martin Reid
Wildscaping, Creating Habitat in Our Cities by Judit Green, TPWD
iNaturalist and the City Nature Challenge by Craig Hensley, Texas Nature Trackers/TPWD
Birds of Prey by Matt Reidy, TPWD
Purple Martins78209 Project by Allison Hayne
Catios: Outdoor Cat Patios by Cynthia Chomos
To Burn or Not to Burn? By Maureen Frank, Texas A&M AgriLife
Building Bird-friendly Cities and Conservation Leaders for the Future by Yvette Stewart, Audubon Texas
Saving Birds One Building at a Time by Lynne Parks, Lights Out Baltimore
Introduction to Bats by Nyta Brown, Old Tunnel State Park
Damsels & Dragons by Craig Hensley, Texas Nature Trackers/TPWD