the bird life of texas
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In the last thirty years, the Upper Texas Coast has become a “must go” destination for birders around the globe. This book will serve as an essential companion to the customary field guide and pair of binoculars for all visitors to Houston, High Island, Galveston, Freeport, or any of the area’s other exciting birding spots. It also places the birdlife of the region, a seven-county area with a larger bird list than forty-three states, into historical and ecological contexts. Authors Eubanks, Behrstock, and Weeks—all recognized authorities on the migrant and resident birds of this region—present a thorough introduction to the area’s history, physiography, and avifauna. Then, in generous discussions of bird families and species, they synthesize years of records, tracking the comings and goings of more than 480 birds and incorporating their own lifetimes of experience to create an “ornithological mosaic” of lasting significance.
The story behind the birds everyone wants to see Halfway between Dallas and Mexico City, along the last few hundred miles of the Rio Grande, lies a subtropical outpost where people come from all over the world to see birds. Located between the temperate north and the tropic south, with desert to the west and ocean to the east, the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas provides habitat for a variety of birds seen nowhere else in the United States. If you want to see a Hooked-billed Kite, Muscovy Duck, or Altamira Oriole, this is the place. Drawing on years of personal observation and study, Timothy Brush has written a classic work of natural history about the little-known breeding bird communities of the Valley and the diversity of nesting strategies and behaviors that can be seen. Brush estimates that there are more than 150 current breeding species in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. In Nesting Birds of a Tropical Frontier, he describes the habits, distribution, changes in occurrence, and general outlook of these as well as former breeders, concentrating on Valley specialties and other birds of particular interest in the Valley. The species are all dependent upon appropriate habitat, from riparian forest to mesquite savannah, and Brush describes the history of these habitats and the special features that keep the birds coming. He also discusses conservation and the need for both large-scale land acquisitions by public and private groups and small-scale restoration through urban parks and individual landscaping. Art by Gerald Sneed and color photographs by several of Texas’ top nature photographers show off some of the Valley’s famous birds. Historical maps of vegetation and geology help us gain a better perspective on the changes that have taken place along the Rio Grande and on the breeding bird communities of the U.S.–Mexico frontier.
The TOS Handbook of Texas Birds provides authoritative annotations on the abundance, status, and distribution of all species encountered in Texas; lists rare, introduced, and hypothetical species in the appendices; and offers a comprehensive reference section.
The Birds of Northeast Texas is an annotated guide, for both novice and experienced birders, to the 390 species of birds that have been reliably recorded in northeast Texas. It is designed to augment field identification with commentary on status, distribution, and occurrence in this orinthologically rich region, which includes twenty-two counties in the state. Brief introductory chapters introduce the area’s geography and habitats and give readers an idea of where the best birdwatching spots are. The species accounts explain each species’ status, distribution, and period of occurrence in the region. They often also include a short narrative about habitat preference, unusual records, or some other interesting or unique aspect of a particular species. The species accounts are followed by lists of poorly documented “hypothetical” species, extinct species, and introduced species. A vibrant color section highlights the region’s “specialty” birds, as well as rare finds. It is often difficult to obtain information about the abundance of birds that regularly migrate through an area or about those that visit only rarely. Books like this one, about the local status and distribution of birds, are particularly important for both casual and serious birders who want to learn more about the species in their area. Northeast Texas is a popular destination for many people seeking various types of outdoor recreation, such as fishing, hunting, hiking, and camping. As the area becomes better known for its surprisingly rich number of species, serious birders from around the country will want to add the region’s specialties and migrants to their bird lists.
The Trans-Pecos, that huge region of Texas west of the Pecos River, is richer in recorded bird species than all but three of the United States. Hundreds of birders come here each year in search of species such as the Colima Warbler which are rarely if ever spotted in other parts of the country. Yet, until now, there was no comprehensive birding guide devoted to the entire region. Designed for intermediate to advanced birders, Birds of the Trans-Pecos provides an annotated checklist of all 482 species found in the region. The species accounts include seasonal distribution, documentation of nesting, most likely habitat, and the bird's status as a "Texas Review Species." The authors also describe the geography and bird habitats of the Trans-Pecos; federal and state parklands in the area (including Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains), with the species that occur in each; and the mountain-breeding birds and species of special interest.
This is the best of the Society's papers over the past three years—from lynchings to el pato boat building; from sunbonnets to hammered dulcimers; from jokes about droughts and lawyers to tales of folk, gospel and blues music; from gravemarkers to bottle trees, and more.
This ambitious volume covers the 36 species of gulls that occur in North and South America, with detailed information to help you identify these fascinating but challenging birds in their many and varied plumages. With 1,160 carefully chosen color photographs, this new reference guide, written by two of North America's top gull experts, is the definitive new work on gulls of the Americas. Peterson Reference Guides offer authoritative, comprehensive information, including detailed text, maps, and superior illustrations. Written by expert authors, the guides are an unparalleled resource for understanding specific groups of animals.
Presents color reproductions of forty-eight Texas birds selected as the personal favorites of illustrator John O'Neill and editor Suzanne Winckler, each accompanied by a personal, scientific, or literary observation by a well-known Texas birder or nature writer.
Whether it's the sudden, plunging dives of Brown Pelicans, the singing and aerial displays of Northern Mockingbirds, or the communal nesting of Purple Martins, innate and learned behaviors are some of the most fascinating things to observe in Texas birds. Even casual birdwatchers eventually ask, "why do they do that?" while serious birders and ornithologists seek to understand all the behaviors involved in feeding, flying, mating, and rearing young. But until now, it has been hard to find this information in one handy source. In this comprehensive, yet easy-to-use book, Kent Rylander distills data from many sources to provide an authoritative guide to the behavior of Texas birds. He begins by explaining the principles of animal behavior and illustrating how they can be applied to interpreting bird behaviors in the field. The majority of the book is devoted to accounts of more than 400 species of birds that are most likely to be encountered by Texas birdwatchers. Each account describes such behaviors as feeding, courtship, parenting, and other behaviors that are significant for that species. References to interesting and important articles from scientific journals are incorporated in the species accounts where appropriate, and line drawings illustrate some of the behaviors described.