Sunday, December 2, 2007

Audubon Society's 108th Christmas Bird Count

Are you aware that we are part of this national event? Yep, right here in The Woodlands Area. As part of the East Texas piney woods, we have been a point of measurement for bird populations for 25 years, organized by the Piney Woods Wildlife Society! Of special interest in this area is the red-cockaded woodpecker, a 7-inch endangered species which raises its family in very mature pine trees which are usually infected with a disease that softens the bark, allowing the bird to make a home in the living tree by digging it out over a long period of time. "While other woodpeckers bore out cavities in dead trees where the wood is rotten and soft, the Red-cockaded Woodpecker is the only one which excavates cavities exclusively in living pine trees." It's habitat has decreased over the years to only 1% of what it used to be. There are about 4500 nesting families in existence. As the forests are "cleaned" of aging trees and the forests are harvested for its wood, these birds are rapidly declining in population. We are on the southern boundary of its habitat. I recommend the readings listed below to learn more about this very interesting bird and the local effort to monitor the changes in the bird population here on the southern edge of our forest.

Chronicle article Dec 2007

Red-cockaded woodpecker

About Com
Audobon Society - Spring Creek count

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Great forests of East Texas

This is our setting, the very core of what we see around us. Over many ages, the forests about us were populated with Indians, wolves, bear, eagles and many other small and large animals. As the urbanization sprawl of Houston continues, we see the deer pushed back further to the north and east. We have seen the disappearance of the wolf. The bear is far removed from our presence. Yet much of the great forest remains. I plan to run and hike in Davy Crockett National Park next Spring. That represents our heritage, holding the fundamentals of our biological framework that makes up The Woodlands.