For the Birds – Bird Surveys & Bird Banding

During my training to become a Texas Master Naturalist, one of my goals was to volunteer with many organizations in different capacities to see what I most enjoyed. I spent some of my first 40 volunteer service hours toward certification doing habitat restoration and rehabilitation work to remove non-native invasive species of plants from area public lands. These activities are immensely gratifying and educational—they are one of the best ways to learn how to identify common trees, shrubs, flowers, and other plants.

Audubon Birds Pro (iOS) bird song screen for Golden-cheeked warbler

Audubon Birds Pro (iOS)

Early in my training, I also discovered ample opportunities to take part in research-gathering projects. Some survey projects require more training before volunteering. One such project is the golden-cheeked warbler survey at Guadalupe River State Park in Spring Branch, Texas. The 1.5 hour training session familiarizes prospective volunteers with the history of the survey, its rules and processes, and introduces the golden-cheeked warbler via photographs and birdsong. [Read more…]

Giant walkingstick (Megaphasma denticrus)

As its name implies, the giant walkingstick (Megaphasma denticrus) is the largest of all North American walkingsticks. [Read more…]