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!
Upcoming Online Presentations from Bexar Audubon
BAS July Monthly Meeting
Burrowing Owl Ecology and Creating Artificial Habitat
in El Paso, Texas
Presenter: Lois Balin, Urban Wildlife Biologist, TPWD
Wednesday, July 28
6:30 PM via Zoom
Learn about Burrowing Owl ecology, monitoring, and creating artificial habitat for the owls in El Paso, TX. Lois Balin's presentation will include the research that has been done at Rio Bosque Wetlands Park and the lessons learned from creating Burrowing Owl habitat in city and national parks. Approved for AAMN AT hours.
Lois Balin is the West Texas Urban Wildlife Biologist for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, based in El Paso now for 21 years. Lois received her B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Science at the University of Arizona and her M.S. in Range and Wildlife Science at Texas A&M, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute. Her professional work includes providing technical guidance on sensitive urban development and management for the City and County of El Paso; promoting biodiversity; providing educational programs and resources on wildlife, ecology, native plant landscaping, habitat and conservation-related issues; and conducting wildlife research on Burrowing Owls. She served eight years on the City of El Paso’s Open Space Advisory Board, with two of those years serving as the Chair.
Sign Up to Help with Downtown Bird Surveys
Lights Out, Texas—San Antonio
Downtown bird surveys are scheduled to take place during peak fall migration dates from Sept. 7 through October 30. We need volunteers to sign up for Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays during this period, when we will meet in a downtown parking garage at 5:45 AM and each team of two will cover one of three designated areas looking for bird casualties between 6:00 and 8:00 AM. We have two team leaders scheduled for each week, and they will need four volunteers each of the three days. You don't need to know bird IDs to volunteer, just the ability to use the iNaturalist app on your smartphone. Online and in-person training sessions will be offered at the end of August.
Click here to sign up for the surveys.
Click here for information about training. We are offering one online training session August 26 and one in person August 28, so you can choose which one you'd like to attend if you haven't been through the training protocol previously.
BAS Special Presentation
A Kingdom of Birds:
Birding in Saudi Arabia
Presenter: Greg Askew
Wednesday, August 4
6:30 PM via Zoom
Situated where three biogeographical realms meet and transected by three major flyways, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia boasts a rich avian diversity that belies its popular image as a vast, empty desert. With over 500 species recorded to date, almost two dozen of which are endemic or near-endemic to the Arabian Peninsula, the once-famously closed kingdom is now the best destination to experience such iconic Arabian birds as Philby’s Partridge, Arabian Woodpecker, Asir Magpie, Yemen Thrush, and Yemen Linnet. Yet, no matter where you find yourself in Saudi, great birding abounds. Join Gregory Askew as he throws open the doors on a kingdom of birds.
About Greg: Originally from the northeast, Gregory Askew has been living and working in the Middle East since 2010. While now essentially rootless expats, he and his family do have a foothold back home in Fort Worth, Texas.
He has been interested in birds and birdwatching for nearly 30 years, more avidly so since 2005. Besides birding, Greg also loves learning foreign languages and has been teaching himself Arabic since he arrived in the Middle East.
Greg currently works as an English Instructor at Aramco’s Industrial Training Center in Al Ahsa, where he lives with his wife, Michelle, a visual artist.
Click HERE to Join the Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 856 1440 9164
Click here to find your local number to dial in.
BAS August Monthly Meeting
Sensory Pollution in the Anthropocene: Effects of Light and Noise Pollution on Birds in the “Age of Humans”
Presenter: Jennifer N. Phillips, PhD, Assistant Professor,
Texas A&M San Antonio
Wednesday, August 25
6:30 PM via Zoom
Birds evolved in a world without artificial light and with only the sounds of nature. Today, they are challenged by the lighting and sounds produced by an array of human activity, including right here in San Antonio. Whether birds can adapt to these human-created changes sufficiently to survive in the long run is an open question. Approved for AAMN AT hours.
Dr. Jennifer Phillips will discuss her research on how urban noise affects communication in a model species, the White-crowned Sparrow. She will also discuss how we can move from single species studies to better understand the effects of light and noise pollution on avian populations and communities, using her study system of nesting birds in northern New Mexico.
Dr. Phillips is a broadly trained wildlife biologist with expertise in ornithology, animal behavior, community ecology, and conservation. She grew up in a rural farming town outside of Fresno, California, and has always been fascinated with how nature persists despite increasing human encroachment; now she has turned this fascination into a career. Her research focuses on how anthropogenic activity—activity that originates from human activity, such as landscape change, artificial light at night, and noise pollution—alters animal interactions within and between species. Specifically, she is interested in whether and how animals adapt to anthropogenic change and whether behavioral adaptations lead to population and community differences in ecosystems.
For more information about the effects of excess light and noise on backyard birds, we've found an article from Birding Wire you can read here.
SAVE THE DATES!
Saturday, October 9, 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Bexar Audubon Family Outing at Herff Farm (Cibolo Center for Conservation) in Boerne (Kendall County), Texas. Come early to shop the Farmer’s Market and enjoy bird walks for adults and kids, guided walks of the property, and time to connect and re-connect with bird lovers from all over the Bexar Audubon nine-county region. Pack your own picnic; drinks furnished by Bexar Audubon Society. Raffle tickets for prizes. More details in the September-October BAS newsletter.
Wednesday, November 17, 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Audubon Fall Feast and Special Program at the San Antonio Zoo BEASTRO. Join Bexar Audubon, Mitchell Lake Audubon Center, and San Antonio Audubon members and guests for a pre-program Fiesta Drink, a Fajita Feast, and an Artful Program by Christina Baal, whose painting of the Belted Kingfisher graced the Great Texas Birding Classic T-shirt in 2021. Christina will bring artwork for sale and will present her aspiration of painting 10,000 birds in her lifetime. You won’t want to miss this event! More details in the BAS September-October newsletter.
In Case You Missed It: Videos are now available of
Bexar Audubon online presentations
All About Flycatchers
TPWD's Craig Hensley gave us an informative and entertaining program to help with flycatcher ID and learn about their calls and behavior. Watch the video of his presentation here.
The Serengeti: Mega-Migration and Super Diversity
Experience a virtual visit to this fascinating piece of the African continent with Peter Roberts, an experienced guide who spoke to us from his home in Scotland. Watch the video of the presentation here. If you want to contact Peter, send him an email at: email@example.com. Peter also recommended a book: The Behavior Guide to African Mammals: Including Hoofed Mammals, Carnivores, Primates, 20th Anniversary Edition (First Edition).
Doc & Martha: Documentary
Join Doc & Martha as they take us on a journey to Matagorda Island, Texas’ last truly wild barrier island. Produced by Greg Pasztor. Watch the 26-minute documentary with follow-up Q&A here.
San Antonio Parks & Rec Natural Areas: An Opportunity to Connect People with Nature
Nature Preserve Officer Wendy Leonard discussed new and exciting park updates, including a new park opening on the north side. She also talked about the different Natural Areas and the best places to go to see local flora and fauna. Watch the video here.
Balcony Birding in the Time of Coronavirus
Martin Reid, originally from Great Britain, has lived in Texas close to 30 years. Martin is a photographer, naturalist, and bird guide. In his presentation, he discusses the great variety of birds he has observed from his San Antonio apartment balcony while spending more time at home during the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to watch the video, which can only be seen online.
Wildscaping: Creating Habitat in Our Cities
In this presentation, TPWD's Urban Wildlife Biologist Judit Green tells us how to create a garden that encourages a variety of wildlife to visit—especially birds, butterflies, and pollinators! Watch the presentation here.
TPWD Presentation: iNaturalist and the City Nature Challenge
Craig Hensley, TWPD Texas Nature Trackers Biologist, gave us a presentation about setting up and using iNaturalist to upload observations of birds, plants, insects, reptiles, and mammals. You'll need to know how to use iNat to participate in the City Nature Challenge April 30 - May 3. Watch the presentation here.
Birds of Prey: Some Biology, Some Ecology, and Maybe a Few ID Tips
Presenter: Matt Reidy, Wildlife Biologist, TPWD
Matt Reidy gave us a wonderful overview of birds of prey, including owls, hawks, falcons, and vultures. Watch the video here.
Purple Martins78209 Project: Bringing this Beneficial Insect Eater to Our Neighborhood
Allison Hayne discussed Purple Martins and gave us information about installing and maintaining Purple Martin houses.
Click here to see the presentation.
CATIOS: Outdoor Cat Patios
In this very engaging presentation, Cynthia Chomos, founder of Catio Spaces, discussed different catio designs and how to construct one of these special havens for your own feline. Catio Spaces is offering a donation to BAS for catio plans purchased by BAS members, so please visit Catio Spaces and use promo code BirdsRus at checkout. Watch the 60-minute video here. You can also access a flyer about the top 10 reasons to have a catio and a flyer about DIY catio plans.
To Burn or Not to Burn?
That's Still the Question
Maureen Frank, PhD
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Learn what it means for scientists to get unexpected, unexciting results, why this prescribed burn study still has important implications for private landowners who manage bird habitat, and plans for future research.
If you missed this fantastic presentation on December 8, the video is available for you here, along with the book title and link to the Birding the Border event we discussed.
Building Bird-Friendly Cities and Conservation Leaders for the Future
Yvette Stewart of Audubon Texas gave an online presentation October 21 about the two statewide programs she leads: Bird City Texas and Audubon Conservation Leaders Program for Young Women. Watch the recording here.
Saving Birds One Building at a Time
Learn how migratory birds and bats are affected by light pollution and glass collisions, how to create a collision monitoring program, what species have been rescued, and how YOU can protect birds and bats at your own home. Watch the recorded presentation here.
Introduction to Bats with Nyta Brown, Old Tunnel State Park
Learn about the different species of bats in Texas, their habits and habitats, and their importance to the environment. Click here to watch this very entertaining video presentation.
"Dragons and Damsels: Oh, My!"
Everything important to know about Texas dragonflies and damselflies is shown in Craig Hensley's presentation to Bexar Audubon Society on August 12. Click HERE to watch and use the password dBggynZ4.