Jim Stevenson is the Director of the Galveston Ornithological You may receive his recent bird pictures name suppressed in PDF form for free by writing him here

Conservation Success Story: Brown Pelican

pelican_0Provided by American Bird Conservancy
A wonderful bird is the pelican; his bill can hold more than his belly can,” goes the limerick by Dixon Lanier Merritt. And it’s true: A pelican’s pouch can hold up to three times more than its stomach. Driven almost to extinction twice—first by hunting and later by pesticides including DDT—the Brown Pelican is today a shining example of the success

Watch These Hummingbirds Take Their First Flight

hummer_0Cornell Lab eNews
It’s miraculous when any bird takes its first flight, but it’s rare to witness the exact moment. In this video, watch two hummingbirds leave the nest for the first time on New Year’s Day. After the first one departs, its sibling hangs out to enjoy another meal delivery and to practice hovering before it lifts off into the wide world. Thanks to our partner,

Watch the hummingbird feeder webcam

hummercam_0High in the mountains of West Texas, the hummingbird migration is in full swing and you’ve got a front row seat. Watch all of the action on the new hummingbird feeder cam at the nonprofit West Texas Avian Research center. Over a dozen species have been seen at this site nestled in the Davis Mountains, attracted to the surrounding habitat and to the 24 Perky Pet Grand Master hummingbird feeders

North America’s Largest Swallow, The Purple Martin

martin0The Purple Martin, North America’s largest swallow, is a swift and skilled flyer: The birds eat, drink, and even bathe on the wing. The species is part of a group of birds known as aerial insectivores—birds that feed on airborne insects—which includes swifts, swallows, the Chuck-will’s-widow, and the Olive-sided Flycatcher, to name a few. These birds have all shown steep population declines in the past few

Great Texas Birding Classic: Sign Up Now!

birding_0How many of Texas’ 639 documented bird species have you seen? Join Texas’ biggest birding roundup – the Great Texas Birding Classic and search for a few more. From the Panhandle to the Golden Triangle, anybody can play because the world’s biggest, longest and wildest bird watching tournament is statewide! Gather your friends and family to form a team and put your binoculars and your

Breakfast with the Cranes

craneThe Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council is pleased to announce their annual Breakfast with the Cranes weekend, December 13 and 14, at the Moody Gardens Golf Course banquet facility. In its sixth year, Breakfast with the Cranes has become one of Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council’s most popular events. Each year, outdoor enthusiasts await the arrival of these large, majestic

Venezuelan birds and October birding

YN Currasow sBy Jim Stevenson,
I wanted to spend some time preparing yall for the big changes that will come soon in the Houston/Galveston area, and really, around the Country. October is a month things with birds change drastically, not unlike May. In the beginning of the Month, we still have a fair number of summer residents and circum-Gulf migrants around, and not a lot of

Great Salt Lake Birds

bird8By Jim Stevenson
Some of you have requested pictures of birds found in locations of trips we are planning. Our South Texas (Valley) Trip in late January (one week before the Super Bowl) leaves early Thursday morning and returns Sunday night. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN THIS TRIP, PLEASE LET ME KNOW SOON. Thank you all who participated in the


b14By Jim Stevenson,
1. There will be no field trip this coming Saturday, as I will be volunteering to help with species assessment on some new sanctuary land on Galveston.
2. Please be mailing me your checks for calendars, books, etc., received. I am also mailing out more today, and the cost will be just under the return address at the top left.

Medium Sized Aussie Land Birds

birds9by Jim Stevenson
Here is the information for our annual GOS sale, which keeps us afloat. I have never said this in 19 years, but we have some serious financial emergencies this year, like needing a new van, and your generosity has never been more needed and appreciated. Please take the two minutes required to look over this entire document.  Calendars have over

Primitive Australian Waterbirds

birdsBy Jim Stevenson
Enjoy this gallery attached.  I did return yesterday afternoon to young Yellow-crowned Night-herons in the yard, along with a “pair” of Olive-sided Flycatchers in my tallest tree. Today they were joined by Yellow Warblers and Orchard Orioles, and I also spooked a Great Horned Owl that Kris Cannon told me summered here. Nice to be home!

Australian Raptors

Aust Raptors_Page_01_Image_0001By Jim Stevenson
Hi Folks, for you raptor lovers like Jeff M up in Atlanta, this is the article for you. Many of these are fairly common, but this year I also got Little Eagle, Black Falcon, Black-breasted Buzzard and a couple of other good ones. Don’t forget to mark your calendar for a morning (8:30-noon) around Labor Day to visit my home for fall migrants, and maybe go down

Western birds

westernBirdBy Jim Stevenson
I have changed the Arizona Trip from a bird photography trip to a birding trip and added a day. It’s six days and $1000. The details are attached. This is the last bird gallery for the Great Plains, with some really neat shorebirds. I am on the South Island of New Zealand and will go out in the morning into the Antarctic Ocean to shoot

More Neat Aussie Birds

Medium-sized SongbirdsBy Jim Stevenson
These are songbirds larger than sparrows and warblers, from the depths of Australia’s Eastern Seaboard. All is well here, and my people have seen around 200 new species. I also took them to a place the other night and we saw platypus swimming below us in the creek. No snakes except a 10-foot python I caught. The calendars are finished and they are

The Story of Evia Island

BirdsOnEviaIslandEvia Island, originally formed as a result of the deepening and widening of the Houston Ship Channel, was designed to attract a variety of nesting colonial waterbird species. The six-acre island was constructed in 2000. Although bird use of the island had a rocky start, 6,196 pairs of colonial waterbirds nested on the island in 2012. Evia Island is currently a successful colonial waterbird nesting island managed

Austalian Waterbirds

Aust Waterbirds By Jim Stevenson
Australia has quite a few waterbirds, both marine as well as freshwater. Most are different species from anything in North America, even though waterbirds have larger ranges than land birds, on average. There are several complexes that have one species in North America and another in Australia, or even six or eight species.

Primitive Songbirds

Primitive Songbirds By Jim Stevenson
I’d like to remember my departed cousin Anne from Roanoke, Alabama, whom cancer took way before her time. She loved the songbirds! Songbirds are a huge group of birds – more than half the ten thousand avian species, though only one order of 27. These more primitive ones aren’t as colorful as the more advanced families but many have beautiful

Introduced Land Birds on New Zealand

Introduced NZ BirdsBy Jim Stevenson
I’d like the recognize someone who has really contributed to local ornithology, David Hanson. Dave burst on the scene relatively recently but found and photographed a Double-toothed Kite at High Island, accepted as the first record for the Continent! Dave also photographs other excellent records, such as an apparent Rusty Blackbird very recently

Mammals of the Plains

Mammals of the PlainsBy Jim Stevenson
I am in my last night in New Zealand, but what a trip it was! You will see the gallery but between an albatross-laden boat trip and a drive up the west NZ beach with strong west winds blowing pelagic birds onto the beach, it was a birding tour to remember. I would have given anything to have some of you with me! Just as soon as I am finished with


SparrowsBy Jim Stevenson
This is a gallery on sparrows we saw across the Great Plains. This will be in honor of Alice Ann, who loves and studies sparrows like few I know. She also helps others more than almost nobody I know, and I have known her goodness. On the humorous side, I have been meaning to track down a couple in the South Island I am very fond of, but


Waterfowl PDFBy Jim Stevenson
To all you fathers out there, here’s a wish from the GOS for the great day you deserve. We celebrate it with a gallery on ducks, to show off the beauty of male waterfowl. I’m considering a continuation of this habit in other ways in future gallery. I am flying to New Zealand and will be back in touch whenever possible.

Identify 500 Birds With New iPhone App

birdsnapResearchers at Columbia Engineering, led by Computer Science Professor Peter Belhumeur, have taken bird-watching to a new level. Using computer vision and machine learning techniques they have developed Birdsnap, a new iPhone app that is an electronic field guide featuring 500 of the most common North American bird species. The free app, which enables users to identify bird species through

Beautiful Songbirds

Advanced SongbirdsBy Jim Stevenson
1. I have been working very hard on a Gallery that will really show off the Great Plains and it stupendous colorful songbirds. Here are the warblers through longspurs. Mmmmmmm. 2. If there is anyone else who is interested in a five-day trip to the Arizona Mountains in mid-August (not that hot), let me know. Hummers galore! 3. The Great Plains

Primative Songbirds

Songbirds primBy Jim Stevenson
We had a great day today in Montana, with Baird’s Sparrows, Sprague’s Pipits, Gray Partridge, McCown’s and Chestnut sided Longspurs and nesting Ferruginous Hawks! Tomorrow we start with an exciting drive for Mountain Plovers!

If you haven’t notified me of your interest in a five-day tour

Assorted Songbirds

Assorted SongbirdsBy Jim Stevenson
I’m in South Dakota, about to take a morning off and visit the four presidents at Mt. Rushmore who are stoned out of their minds. Then, it’s back to visiting NWRs and National Parks for next year’s Great Plains trip. Attached is the remainder of this spring’s songbirds, without the color of the ones last week. Hope you enjoy them. Later this week you’ll

May is a great shorebird month

Larger SandpipersBy Jim Stevenson
Attached please find a continuation of the peep theme we’ve been on this week, as May is a great shorebird month. I worked especially hard on this one and I think it’ll be quite valuable to beginner and advanced. We could still use more people for

Tough Pairs

Primitive Land BirdsBy Jim Stevenson
We have a scheduled field trip for a half day Wednesday but with the passing of this front Tuesday, it might be a great day. Therefore, if you wanna attend the regularly-scheduled 8-noon, it’s $25, as usual. However, some of you might wanna stay the whole day, given the possibility of a major event, so a full day will be $40. You don’t even need to

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