Date: 7/17/20 4:35 pm
From: Keith Arnold <kbarnold2...>
Subject: [texbirds] Re: birding in 1882 by shotgun
I need to check BLOT, but I recall that nesting Longed-eared
Owls,historically, occurred in the El Paso and maybe the north central (?)
region.

Keith

On Fri, Jul 17, 2020 at 5:49 PM Brush Freeman <brushfreeman...>
wrote:

> They are likely late winter residents...I found two once in (March 24,
> 2003) in SW Austin (now River Place area) during surveys. there I did not
> see a date associated with the account. Quoting the TOS Handbook, "spring
> migrants have found from early March through mid-April, with a few
> remaining into early May" Nesting birds have remained in the state until
> early July."
>
> On Fri, Jul 17, 2020 at 5:22 PM sandfalcon1 <sandfalcon...> wrote:
>
>> I am curious what others think about the note about Long-eared Owls
>> encountered with the professor. Were these known to have nested in the
>> Hill Country or been permanent residents in the past? Or were these more
>> likely misidentified?
>>
>> Brandon Best
>> Arlington, TX
>>
>>
>> <https://www.avast.com/sig-email?utm_medium=email&utm_source=link&utm_campaign=sig-email&utm_content=webmail&utm_term=icon> Virus-free.
>> www.avast.com
>> <https://www.avast.com/sig-email?utm_medium=email&utm_source=link&utm_campaign=sig-email&utm_content=webmail&utm_term=link>
>> <#m_422173021701410206_m_5853777345700640921_m_4155297379688633555_DAB4FAD8-2DD7-40BB-A1B8-4E2AA1F9FDF2>
>>
>> On Fri, Jul 17, 2020 at 2:36 PM Joseph Kennedy <josephkennedy36...>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Search for field notes. The first page came up with Wetmore's 1911
>>> kansas notebook and mearns of quail fame has many. Other variations
>>> notebooks, field notes etc also work
>>>
>>> I found them as I check the newest additions periodically and some of
>>> them popped up
>>>
>>> Field notes texas has a lot about the glass mountains.
>>>
>>> The smithsonian has a major project to make this basic data readily
>>> available.
>>>
>>>
>>> On Fri, Jul 17, 2020 at 10:35 AM Brush Freeman <brushfreeman...>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> One can also use S.O.R.A. (Searchable Online Research Archive) for
>>>> journals and papers going back to the 19th century. I'm not aware of
>>>> accessible private note transcripts within the collection however.. I was
>>>> in there several days ago looking for a paper on the Prehistoric Birds of
>>>> Texas.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On Fri, Jul 17, 2020 at 9:35 AM Joseph Kennedy <
>>>> <josephkennedy36...> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> The Biodiversity Heritage Library has quite a few field notebooks of
>>>>> early Texas birding, wildlife and exploring.
>>>>>
>>>>> https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
>>>>>
>>>>> The ones I checked are hard to read as there is lots of shorthand and
>>>>> you have to wander through to get a starting point of the location etc. You
>>>>> can search birds texas and get a great listing of data including the early
>>>>> years of the auk and other journals which go back into the 1880's. You can
>>>>> also select down to years to only get early stuff. Its interesting to see
>>>>> the results of study that reference Oberholser starting to do work etc.
>>>>>
>>>>> On Thu, Jul 16, 2020 at 10:46 AM <bertf...> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> I’m always searching for old records of Texas birds and comparing
>>>>>> birding then and now. I came across this interesting story of birding by
>>>>>> shotgun in Kerr County toward the end of the 19th century.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Lacey, Howard. "Notes on the Texan Jay." The Condor V, no. 6
>>>>>> (November-December 1903): 151-3.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On buying a small ranch in Kerr county, Texas, in the summer of 1882,
>>>>>> and stocking it with a few cows and other domestic animals, I began to
>>>>>> spend my spare time in studying the habits of the wild creatures that I
>>>>>> met, and at first gave nearly all my attention to the birds of the
>>>>>> neighborhood. Not finding anyone else who took much interest in such
>>>>>> things, I bought Coues’ Key to North American Birds, and with this and a
>>>>>> shot gun I by degrees learned the names of most of the birds that I saw as
>>>>>> I rode about the range. I dislike having to use the gun, so I made a point
>>>>>> of making a rough skin (a very rough one indeed at first) of everything
>>>>>> that I shot and could not identify.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> In 1893 I was fortunate enough to make the acquaintance of the “
>>>>>> professor” who was then living in San Antonio, with whom I have since taken
>>>>>> many pleas- ant little excursions, and between us we got to be on familiar
>>>>>> terms with most of our bird neighbors. One of the birds that I could not
>>>>>> place was our common jay, now known as the Texan jay (Aphelocoma texana).
>>>>>>
>>>>>> In December, 1894, when deer hunting on the head of the Nueces river,
>>>>>> I shot and skinned one of these birds and sent it to the professor. He sent
>>>>>> it on, I believe, to the late Captain Bendire, and it is now the type of
>>>>>> the species. In March, 1896, I heard that the jays were nesting on the
>>>>>> ranch of a friend about sixteen miles north of my place, so I rode over
>>>>>> there and on March 29th and 30th found several nests and took four or five
>>>>>> sets of eggs. These were carefully packed in an old cigar box and stowed
>>>>>> away in one of the saddle pockets, but unfortunately as I was taking a rest
>>>>>> and a lunch on my way home, the horse shook himself and of course the
>>>>>> saddle also, with the result that most of the eggs were broken.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> In 1898 the professor arranged to visit this same ranch with me, and
>>>>>> on April 4th we started in an old buckboard and had a fairly successful
>>>>>> trip, getting some good specimens of the birds and several clutches of
>>>>>> eggs. The ranch is situated at the head of one of the main branches of the
>>>>>> Guadalupe and takes in some of the divide between that river and the Llano.
>>>>>> As in other parts of the county the limestone rocks are in evidence
>>>>>> everywhere. Numerous little valleys run down toward the rivers, becoming
>>>>>> deeper and steeper as they approach the larger creek, and often forming
>>>>>> narrow canyons with high bluffs on both sides. Large trees are not
>>>>>> numerous, but the whole face of the country is covered with clumps of shin
>>>>>> oak and scrubby live oak. In these clumps we found the jays’ nests,
>>>>>> generally placed near the outside of a thicket, at from four to six feet
>>>>>> from the ground, and often conspicuous from quite a distance, as the shrubs
>>>>>> were only beginning to put out their leaves at that time. As a rule the
>>>>>> birds were setting and one nest contained young nearly ready to leave it.
>>>>>> The nests were composed of an outer basket of twigs not very firmly put
>>>>>> together, and lined rather neatly with grass, hair, and small root fibers.
>>>>>> They were rather more bulky than mockingbirds’ nests and the inner nest was
>>>>>> saucer shaped rather than cup shaped. Most of them were placed in the shin
>>>>>> oaks, but some few were in live oaks, and I have since found several in
>>>>>> cedar bushes. The birds are not so noisy as the common blue jay and are
>>>>>> particularly silent when near their nests. They have a habit of hopping
>>>>>> upwards through a thicket from twig to twig until they arrive at the top of
>>>>>> it, when they fly off with four or five harsh squeaks to the next clump of
>>>>>> brush, into which they dive headlong. It was a very warm day with the
>>>>>> thermometer in the shade of the gallery at the ranch standing well up in
>>>>>> the nineties, and tramping about through the thickets and picking our way
>>>>>> over the rocks was by no means light work, but the walk was so interesting
>>>>>> that we did not have time to think of getting tired. Of course we found
>>>>>> much to interest us besides the jays. An untidy platform of sticks in a
>>>>>> small Spanish oak tree, proved on investigation to be a road-runner’s nest,
>>>>>> containing six eggs, which from their unusually clear appearance, were
>>>>>> probably all of them fresh. One frequently finds eggs in different stages
>>>>>> of incubation in a roadrunner’s nest and sometimes eggs and young birds or
>>>>>> young birds of different sizes. Several times we disturbed deer. They were
>>>>>> in their fresh summer suits of red, having already discarded their gray
>>>>>> winter overcoats. As is so often the case when one is not hunting them,
>>>>>> they would stop to take a second look at us, offering pretty broadside
>>>>>> shots at fifty or sixty paces. In one extra dense thicket at the head of a
>>>>>> rough little hollow we found a pair of long-eared owls (Asio wilsonianus)
>>>>>> the first we had ever seen in the county; and on a rocky ridge just beyond
>>>>>> were a couple of burrowing owls. They flew a few yards and then settled on
>>>>>> some rocks, nodding their heads at us in their usual ludicrous fashion.
>>>>>> These owls do not breed in this county, but we see them every year in the
>>>>>> spring and autumn. There are no prairie dog towns on this side of the Llano
>>>>>> river, but plenty of them just across it and I have been told that the owls
>>>>>> breed over there. Many small flocks of migrating birds were seen, some of
>>>>>> them just arriving for the summer and others getting ready to leave us.
>>>>>> Conspicuous among the latter were the crown sparrows and lark buntings, the
>>>>>> male buntings already about half clothed in their striking summer plumage.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Large trees were rather scarce on the divide and were not very large
>>>>>> there except by comparison. They were principally isolated live oaks or
>>>>>> black-jacks and most of them contained nests of the red-tailed hawk,
>>>>>> usually old and deserted, but the new ones already contained either eggs or
>>>>>> young birds. Of course all the hollow trees we saw had to be closely
>>>>>> inspected and in one old stump we found a large pole cat peacefully taking
>>>>>> his siesta. We had a good look at him but were very careful not to disturb
>>>>>> his slumbers. He belonged to the white-backed, bare-nosed species and
>>>>>> appeared to be very fat, also, fortunately for us, very sleepy. In the
>>>>>> winter the Texan jays are generally in small parties of four or five
>>>>>> individuals, family parties probably. In the winter of 1896-1897 when large
>>>>>> numbers of the common eastern blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata) visited us,
>>>>>> and it was not uncommon to see flocks of from fifty to one hundred of them,
>>>>>> our native jays did not mix with them but wandered about in their usual
>>>>>> small flocks. These flocks, however, were far more numerous than they have
>>>>>> ever been since. Probably a heavy crop of shin oak acorns in this
>>>>>> neighborhood and a failure of the mast in other places, attracted the birds
>>>>>> of both species. I have not seen the eastern jay here but once before; in
>>>>>> 1887 they were very plentiful. They remained until the middle of April on
>>>>>> both occasions, but none of them stayed here to breed.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Bert Frenz
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Oaks & Prairies of Texas
>>>>>>
>>>>>> eBird reviewer, Central Prairie of Texas
>>>>>>
>>>>>> eBird reviewer, Belize
>>>>>>
>>>>>> NAB subregional editor, Central Oaks & Prairies of Texas
>>>>>>
>>>>>> <Bert2...>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> www.bafrenz.com
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> --
>>>>> Joseph C. Kennedy
>>>>> on Buffalo Bayou in West Houston
>>>>> <Josephkennedy36...>
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>>
>>>> Brush Freeman
>>>> <http://www.biospatialsevices.com>
>>>> Utley & Cedar Park, Texas
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> Joseph C. Kennedy
>>> on Buffalo Bayou in West Houston
>>> <Josephkennedy36...>
>>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who
>> can never repay you.
>> -John Bunyan
>>
>>
>> <https://www.avast.com/sig-email?utm_medium=email&utm_source=link&utm_campaign=sig-email&utm_content=webmail&utm_term=icon> Virus-free.
>> www.avast.com
>> <https://www.avast.com/sig-email?utm_medium=email&utm_source=link&utm_campaign=sig-email&utm_content=webmail&utm_term=link>
>> <#m_422173021701410206_m_5853777345700640921_m_4155297379688633555_DAB4FAD8-2DD7-40BB-A1B8-4E2AA1F9FDF2>
>>
>
>
> --
>
> Brush Freeman
> <http://www.biospatialsevices.com>
> Utley & Cedar Park, Texas
>
>
>
>

 
Join us on Facebook!