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

Primitive Land Birds

Primitive Land BirdsBy Jim Stevenson
We still have a couple places on our Spring Songbird (4-day) weekend April 24-27. Small group (we also do shorebirds in full breeding regalia), and tour the UTC, returning home each night (or you can get a hotel). This is the height of the spring migration, by far the best time for shorebirds, baby spoonbills are out and most of our rare visitors are seen then.

FeatherFest and Waterthrush

Waterthrush IDBy Jim Stevenson
First, please allow me to congratulate all those who were responsible for a fantastic FeatherFest: The guides, administrators, helpers and wonderful participants! Julie Ann always deserves high praise as our chief, but so many others give so much: The board and its chair, Alice Ann and her hospitality Sunday afternoon, and maybe one of the

Texas Barn Owl-Live streaming video

This Barn Owl box is nestled in the rafters of a large open-air pavilion on a ranch in Texas. Surrounded by grasslands and scrubby forest, the box has been occupied off-and-on by Barn Owls for as long as the landowner can recall.

More information

FeatherFest Songbirds

FF SongbirdsBy Jim Stevenson
1- In the future, because many hundreds of you have purchased my book on the Bird-life of Galveston, I will be making reference to page numbers in my gallery for anyone wishing further information or study. It will be preceded by “BoG” but will be non-distracting.


WaterbirdsBy Jim Stevenson
First, I am still looking for someone to “man” the GOS booth at FeatherFest Saturday afternoon, 1-5. You’ll be my best friend! Second, this Saturday we are having a terrific field trip to Bolivar Flats, High Island (spoonbill rookery) and Anahuac NWR, $45. We are going to see sooooooooo many birds! Great photography, too! 8 am at the PO


KitesBy Jim Stevenson
Today’s gallery is a bit unusual, but I had a young man in the fifth grade write in and ask what a kite was (other than Ben Franklin’s assistant). They are rather falcon-shaped raptors which are mostly unrelated to each other. They feed largely on warm-blooded animals, mostly rats, although some stray considerably from that fare. They usually live

March Birds

By Jim Stevenson
IMPORTANT!!! Once again, we need someone to sit at our GOS table at FeatherFest. I will take evenings, Thursday, Sunday and all lunches. We need 4-hour blocks Friday and Saturday, mornings and afternoons, while I run field trips. Please help if you can!

If ANYONE hasn’t received books, calendars or

Animals of Venezuela

By Jim Stevenson
I flew in midday and had a lovely homecoming to Galveston. There were still ten Sandhill Cranes* along Stewart Road near Alice Anne’s farm, lots of tame Green-winged Teal in the Laffite’s ponds and drunk-looking BC Night-herons by the road. My yard was replete with robins and a waxwing, kinglet and Hermit Thrush, PLUS — a pair of

Venezuela birds

By Jim Stevenson
I am currently on the Gran Sabana in extreme SE Venezuela, and just showed Bruce a cock of the rock and a white bellbird. It don’t get no better than that! I am so looking forward to the GOS meetings, with the first being March 17
at the Golden Corral in Galveston (Seawall). It will be a summary of the early migrants to come, and will prepare

Dryland birds

By Jim Stevenson
Sorry for a subpar picture, but even a glimpse of the Blue Ground-dove is a real pleasure. They are lowland birds, scattered (as far as I can tell) mostly in NE and SW Costa Rica, being quite regular in Golfito. They are also not tame, perhaps conditioned by bird guides yelling and pointing at them (?), and I’ve never been able to get a

Coasta Rican Land Birds

By Jim Stevenson
First, if you are interested in renting my house anytime from mid-May (migrants) to August (early fall migrants), feel free to write. Second, this Facebook video is showing the hatching of the rare but huge Leatherback (Sea) Turtle, with the babies making their way coastward. CLICK FOR VIDEO. Third, is there interest in a 3-day trip to Grand Isle,

Purple Martins Take Flight

By Kelly Moad
After a long winter in South America, our beloved Purple Martins will return for their spring/summer visit to Texas. And some will even venture as far north as Canada. But if the rental property meets their desires, we can enjoy them right here at home. They have particular needs and wants…does your Purple Martin home meet the requirements? If you had tenants last year and they

January Waterbirds

By Jim Stevenson
These are the last of January’s gallery, and we’ll star Costa Rica Monday (or so).


Hope you guys are doing well.


Insectivorous Western birds

By Jim Stevenson
Hi Folks, I have been in Costa Rica a few days, checking on birding sites and such, and have already seen such great stuff! Mmmmmmmmm. Listen, if there is ANYONE I don’t already know about, who’s interested in either the Plains/Rockies trip (the ten days following Memorial Day), or the Australian Trip just after July 4, please say

Small Land Birds

By Jim Stevenson
This is the last UTC bird gallery before I begin some from our Western Trip I am currently conducting. It’s mostly winter songbirds, wrapping up the last of the pictures I took since mid-fall.

I’m sure many of you are aware that FSU, where I went


By Jim Stevenson
I hope all you guys had a great week and aren’t agonizing too much over returning to work soon. My two clients and I shot Bosque del Apache this morning (about 15 degrees!) and watched the skies explode with Snow Geese at dawn. This is Part One of a pair of galleries on swimming birds, perhaps geared more for beginners. I dunno. Heading into

Large Shorebirds

By Jim Stevenson
(1) Many thanks to the GOS Chairman Richard Mayfield for all his ornithological leadership, once again in evidence in his handling of the Galveston Christmas Bird Count. Thank you Richard! (2) Many apologies to Director Julie Ann Brown and the FeatherFest leadership as the GOS managed to place LAST YEAR’S FF ad in the

Waterfowl in December

By Jim Stevenson
First, my book “Birds of Galveston” is at the printers as of last Thursday and is being printed. I will begin mailings this weekend when I have them in hand. To order, IF YOU HAVEN’T, just send me you address via e-mail, as always. THEN, send me a check WHEN YOU RECEIVE IT. It’s $40. I am dealing with this book first, then electronic versions

Fall animals

By Jim Stevenson
First, Birds of Galveston has finally gone to press, and should be picked up late next week. I am already addressing the envelopes, so they will be mailed Monday week, in PLENTY of time for Christmas. Thank the Lord. I am confident the thicker, more field-friendly size will be preferable, and serve as an in-depth guide to Galveston and the Upper Texas

Breakfast with the Sandhill Cranes

The Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council (GINTC) is pleased to announce the expansion of their annual Breakfast with the Cranes event to two mornings, December 14-15, at the Moody Gardens Golf Course banquet facility. After breakfast and a presentation about sandhill crane behavior, attendees can embark on a special tour of the island’s West End to observe the three-to-four-foot tall birds, known for

Coastal Birding Trail Maps Updated

Texas wildlife viewers and birders can now find the best spots to re-connect with nature through the newly revised Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail maps. The three updated driving maps include new viewing sites, up-to-date site information and driving directions, community tourism contacts and GPS coordinates for each of the 332 sites. Texas launched the nation’s first ever birding and wildlife viewing trails with


By Jim Stevenson
Folks, much has happened with the Galveston book and you need to know about it: The decision was made to morph it from a tabletop book to more of a typical book, with twice as many color plates and pages as the first draft. This will allow people to use it in the field easier, although the same two-page plates will still be there. The price is the same, $40. It goes

Woodland Birds

By Jim Stevenson
First, many apologies, as I clicked on the wrong species in my Gallery Friday. Arrgghh! The “Wilson’s” Plover I inadvertently put in the Gallery was a Snowy. Sorry for my carelessness. Folks, I would like to say “farewell” to someone very instrumental in the rebirth of birding here in Galveston. Gordon Nunn has been with the “birding movement”

Difficult winter birds

By Jim Stevenson,
We will have the typical Sunday morning field trip, $25, on the Island from 8-noon, meeting at the Texas First Bank on FM 3005 in Pirate’s Beach. This cold weather has brought down cranes, ducks and lots more wintering birds! Lunch afterwards for whomever wishes. Feather Fest registration will open again in very early December. Sorry to have steered you

Land Birds

By Jim Stevenson
If there are any more people who might help Saturday morning with the Tallow Tree eradication, you will be my new best friend. We are meeting here at 8 am, with sturdy footwear, long pants, gloves and cutting tools if you have them and bug spray (if there are any skeeters).

A bit different

By Jim Stevenson
Today is a bit different from our regular birding reports. Below you will see some amazing pictures of nature that someone sent to me that I thought you would enjoy.  I did.  Also, here is a URL I sent out years ago but thought the new ones among you might enjoy it.

Raptors in October

By Jim Stevenson
Our article today is from a trip to the Hawkwatch Tower last week, managed skillfully by Gulf Coast Bird Observatory. Many thanks to them for all they do for Conservation and Public Environmental Education. You should join them if you haven’t yet.



By Jim Stevenson
First, I am kinda excited about birding this weekend, with a frontal system passing tonight. We will probably get our last real songbird migrant push of the year, as well as other migrants like falcons, waterfowl and whatever. Try to get out and do some birding if you can. (I told the NCAA to make the #5 FSU vs. #3 Clemson game at night so the

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