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No. 193 BATON ROUGE, LADecember 2000

LOS NEWS
Newsletter of the Louisiana Ornithological Society


Table of Contents

Dr. George Archibald to Speak
LOS Winter Meeting (+)
Linking Birds & People
How a Birding Trip "Sealed My Fate"
Louisiana Southwest Birding Festival
The Botanical Birder
LOS Fall Meeting Report
Myiarchus ID
Myiarchus Figures
Swallow Tornado
LOS Officers (+)
LOS Sales (+)
New Members
Membership Form (+)
(+) Denotes links to pages on LOS website. Use your browser's back button to return to this page.
 
LOS NEWS: Page [1] [2] [3]
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Dr. George Archibald to Speak at the Winter LOS Meeting
Dr. George Archibald was one of the two co-founders and is currently a Trustee of the International Crane Foundation (ICF), headquartered in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Dr. Archibald is considered one of the world's leading authorities on cranes.
 
In 1972, Dr. Archibald went to Japan to study wintering Red-crowned Cranes on the island of Hokkaido. This flock, which winters at feeding stations, was thought to breed in Siberia. Dr. Archibald, however, discovered that the entire flock was nesting in a marsh on the north end of Hokkaido. Mush of the area was targeted for development, so he led a public awareness campaign to save the wetlands. The effort culminated in an audience with the royal family, and a significant portion of th marsh was preserved.
 
Along with Ronald Sauey, a colleague from Cornell University, Dr. Archibald established the International Crane Foundation in 1973, as the world center for the study and preservation of cranes. Earlier that year he had traveled to Australia to confirm the presence of the rare Eastern Sarus Crane – a subspecies that had recently arrived in Australia and was later thought to be extinct in its former range of southeast Asia. Dr. Archibald captured six of the cranes in Australia and took them to ICF for captive breeding. One of the first goals for the ICF was to establish a ‘species bank' of captive cranes. Under Dr. Archibald's supervision, ICF now has the world's largest and most complete collection of cranes, and has been credited with the first captive breeding of two endangered species. The Eastern Sarus Crane bred successfully at ICF, and a reintroduction program is now underway in Thailand.
 
In the seventies and eighties, Dr. Archibald and the ICF were instrumental in local and international efforts that helped preserve habitat and raise public awareness for the benefit of the survival of White-napped and Red-crowned Cranes in Korea, the rarer Siberian Crane and cranes in China, amongst other projects. One of his most treasured goals is to use cranes as vehicles for cooperation between politically polarized nations. His efforts culminated in 1983, when an International Crane Workshop was convened in India. It was attended by delegates from 22 countries.
 
Dr. Archibald is also famous as the man who danced with a crane. He successfully bred "Tex", a human- imprinted Whooping Crane, by imitating the courtship dancing and behavior of a male crane. The offspring of this breeding, "Gee Whiz" has seven offspring, himself. Dr. Archibald is also well known in conservation circles for his efforts with cranes and has accumulated numerous awards and recognitions for his work from international conservation organizations and from royalty.
 
Dr. Archibald now lives in Baraboo, Wisconsin, where he remains as Director of ICF and where he enjoys gardening and is active in his church.
Table of Contents

LINKING BIRDS & PEOPLE CAMPAIGN
Gulf Coast Bird Observatory
A John O'Neill Print Available for Donors
Since it was founded in 1992, the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory has focused on partnerships to accomplish conservation. They work closely with individuals, organizations and corporations that share their conservation goals. This has enabled them to assist in the protection of over 5 million acres of coastal habitat, monitor annual migrations of raptors and songbirds, examine the over-wintering ecology of grassland birds and participate in ornithological initiatives that are shaping the future of bird populations in the Americas.
 
Now the GCBO reports that they are expanding into new territory that will allow them to reach out to more people in new ways. Because of generous new partners, the GCBO now has a permanent home in Lake Jackson, Texas. Though now a ‘diamond in the rough', their new sanctuary has much potential. The primary goal is to design a site that will be both a favorite birding destination and a learning center.
 
To help them get started, renowned Louisiana artist John P. O'Neill has generously donated a commissioned painting of the Yellow-billed Cuckoo, the GCBO's mascot. Signed and numbered limited edition prints of O'Neill's Cuckoo are available for contributions of $85 or more to the Linking Birds and People Campaign. Funds will Support: Campus plan design for interpretive center and offices, migratory bird research center, outdoor learning laboratory, interpretive trail system, architectural plans for structures, development of demonstration gardens focused on hummingbird and butterfly gardening, an educational/outreach planner to design programs, events and tours, and expansion of citizen involvement in avian research!
 
How to reach them: Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, 103 West Hwy. 332, Lake Jackson, TX 77566; Phone: 979-480-0999; Fax: 979-480-0777; website: www.gcbo.org; e-mail: dolfers@gcbo.org
Table of Contents

How a Birding Trip "Sealed My Fate"
by Gay Gomez
No doubt every birder can look back upon a host of memorable trips into the field, recalling one or a handful of extra special times that stand above the rest. Whether it be for that incredible rarity, the sheer number of birds, or the intensity of a sunset (or biting insects!), the account of a memorable birding trip is a tale worthy of sharing. Last year I had the opportunity to do just that with readers of the "Birding Trails" column of the Southwest Daily News, a small paper published in Sulphur, Louisiana. But which story would I choose? It took me no time at all to decide I would tell of a birding trip that made quite an impression on me: my first visit to Cameron Parish. Here is that account, modified slightly fro the article that ran in a January 1999 issue of the Southwest Daily News and in the Cameron Parish Pilot of 4 February 1999.
 
It is common knowledge to all of us that the marshes, ridges, and beaches of Cameron and Vermillion Parishes are a mecca for birds – and for those who delight in observing them. Whether we thrive on the challenge of spotting and identifying these creatures, carefully observing their behavior, drawing or photographing them, pursuing them as a form of exercise, or simply enjoying how they connect us with nature, birding these two parishes i the far southwest corner of our state is the stuff of dreams. My initial trip, while providing indelible memories, has played still another role: it sparked the genesis of my recently published book, A Wetland Biography: Seasons on Louisiana's Chenier Plain.
 
Like many people from outside this area, I first saw the two Chenier Plain parishes through a pair of binoculars, and my initial visit could not have been more memorable. Driving westward from New Orleans in late April, 1988, bound for the LOS Spring Meeting, I hit blinding rain by mid-afternoon. Hours later – after misadventures that included driving my car into a ditch – I arrived in Cameron after dark, wondering if the rain would ever stop. By the next morning, however, the gray skies had indeed brightened, revealing splashes of yellow, red, orange, blue and brilliant pink dancing among the green leaves.
 
With the aid of field trip leader Bruce Crider, my binoculars resolved the colorful shapes into yellow warblers, summer tanagers, Baltimore orioles, indigo buntings, and rose-breasted grosbeaks. Blue grosbeaks dotted that tall grass in overgrown fields, and on the beach, a brilliant red and black scarlet tanager flew in off the Gulf at eye level, narrowly missing our car.
 
The fact that my first day of birding in Cameron Parish had coincided with a spectacular "fallout" of migratory songbirds exhausted from battling the same storm I had fought was enough to leave a lasting impression. The experience also made me want to learn more bout this fascinating region of marshes and oak-covered ridges or "cheniers." Who lived here? What did they do? What other creatures, besides migratory birds, did they coexist with? How did people use the land, now and in the past? What brought them to this region, and what do they value most about it today?
 
My chance to learn the answers came two years later as I worked toward my Ph.D. in Geography at the University of Texas at Austin. I was both astounded and delighted to learn that I could explore these questions as part of my dissertation research, the outcome of which would be a comprehensive, in-depth portrait of Louisiana's Chenier Plain.
 
I have long believed that the story of any place is the story both of its land and its people, as well as the interaction of the two. A Wetland Biography accordingly began to take shape as I interviewed a number of individuals, learned of times past and present, and participated in the events and routines of everyday life. The result is a story of a "working wetland," told not only from my perspective, but from the viewpoints of the many people who live, work, or share an interest in the region. The story reveals that the Chenier Plain is a place where wildlife use and appreciation often combine, producing a form of stewardship that continually evolves as it seeks to balance biological, economic, and cultural concerns in species and habitat protection.
 
As this stewardship evolves, the changing seasons provide a backdrop to these efforts, a constant that links past, present, and future. Not only do the seasons of spring, summer, fall, and winter cycle from year to year, but along with them come the seasons of wildlife use. Alligators, waterfowl, furbearers, fish, and shellfish all have their seasons of greatest visibility and human use, and each of us is perhaps drawn to one or another of these to "anchor" our experience of time in southwest Louisiana.
 
For me and for many people, birds provide this anchor, along with a sense of connection with our home region and a feeling of "oneness" with the world of nature. From the spectacles of spring migration, to the songs of birds in the summer breeding season, to fall's waterfowl procession, and the ever-present chips of yellow-rumped warblers in winter, the awareness of the life that exists outside the doors of our homes, schools , and offices is rewarding indeed. As we travel along our "birding trails," we can truly celebrate our experience of living, not only in Louisiana, but in the wider world.
 
LOS member Gay Gomez teaches Geography at McNeese State University. Her book, A Wetland Biography: Seasons on Louisiana's Chenier Plain is available at local bookstores or may be ordered from Amazon.com or from the University of Texas Press at 1-800-252-3206.

FIRST ANNUAL SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA BIRDING FESTIVAL
"MIGRATION SENSATION"
LAKE ARTHUR, LOUISIANA
APRIL 12 – 14, 2001
Registration and a welcome reception will kick off this first birding festival for Southwest Louisiana on Thursday, April 12 in the City Hall in downtown Lake Arthur. Mark your calendars!
 
On Friday and Saturday, the Festival will feature field trips to Cameron Parish birding hot spots and also lake and river cruises. There will be seminars on Creating Backyard Bird Habitat by Jack Must and on Hummingbirds by Nancy Newfield on Friday afternoon. Saturday's seminars will feature Bill Vermillion on Birds of the Area and another Backyard Habitat presentation by Jimmy Ernrest. This festival is sponsored by the Lake Arthur Cahmber of Commerce and the Friends of the Lacassine NWR. For more information contact Wordy Duhon at wordyco/@centuryinter.net.
Table of ContentsLOS NEWS, Page 2
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LOS News Editor: Carol Foil, 1180 Stanford Ave, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
(h & fax) 225.387.0368; (w) 225.346.3119;
lcfoil@attglobal.net

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posted 26December2000