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Volume XXII, No. 4 First Place, 2000 & 2002!
National Audubon Society
September 2004 newsletter contest for
large chapters

Thursday, September 9, 2004, San Antonio Environmental Network Issues Forum

America's Greatest Wildlife Migration

6:30 p.m. — Social Time; 6:45 p.m. — Program
Free and open to the public—Parking adjacent to the Center
Grossman International Conference Center of the University of the Incarnate Word
Northeast corner of Hwy 281 and Hildebrand
John Economidy, a San Antonio attorney who has laypeople, and those just
an interest in birds of prey, will discuss one of curious, all gather to observe
America’s greatest wildlife migrations — the raptor and tally the numbers of raptors
migration through the Coastal Bend of Texas. Each migrating through an area.
fall, tens of thousands of birds of prey, including Hawkwatching began in the
hawks, kites, ospreys, peregrine falcons, bald eagles, Eastern U.S. at Cape May, New
caracaras, and more, funnel through this area of south Jersey, and Hawk Mountain, Swainson’s Hawk USFWS)
Texas on their southerly migration. John will Pennsylvania, and spread to
specifically talk about the Hawkwatch at Hazel other locations throughout the U.S., Canada, Vera
Bazemore County Park, just outside of Corpus Cruz, Mexico, and Panama. Our Texas hawkwatch is
Christi, which is, amazingly, the largest fall migration significant in that observers often see more migrating
of birds of prey in the United States. This region birds on one day in south Texas than in an entire
serves as a geographical chokepoint for most of the season at other U.S. locations!
North American birds of prey migrating to Central John will share slides of his many years as head
and South America. observer of the Hawkwatch at Hazel Bazemore and
What is hawkwatching? Hawkwatching is part give an overview of Texas raptors, including some
science and part fun. Scientists, students, interested I.D. tips for identifying these birds on the wing.
Sunday,September 19, 2004 — Hazel Bazemore County Park

Hawkwatch Field Trip

Join as we head down to Hazel Bazemore County and turn right on FM 624/Up River Road. * Go past CalAllen
Park near Corpus Christi to experience the fall raptor High School and its stadium. * At the first red light past the
stadium, turn right onto “County Road 69.” This takes you to the
migration. We will meet at the Ruble Center, 419 E. park. Turn left into ranger station. This traffic light is new from
Magnolia Ave., for carpooling. Call Patty Leslie past years. There is no longer a wooden sign saying Hazel
Pasztor at 824-1235 for information and directions. Bazemore County Park.
If you would like to go on your own the night before The park has water and restroom facilities. There
or another weekend, directions are as follows: are folks there to help you with I.D.
*Cross the Nueces River on IH-37. * Take US 77 to Bring: Chair, Sunscreen, Hat, Binoculars,
Robstown/Kingsville/LRGV. * Immediately take the exit Patience. Hawkwatching is like fishing. They will
marked FM 624/Up River Road. * After exiting, go to red light come: you just have to wait.

Note new day for our meetings - second Thursdays

Chapter of the National Audubon Society Dear Friends: exchange. Start digging through
Seems there’s life in the old your closets now.
P. O. Box 6084, San Antonio, TX 78209
210-822-4503 gal yet! Following our August Among the important issues
pulse-taking session, there’s San Antonio will deal with in the
GOALS been a lot of activity within coming year is the Aquifer
The Chapter’s primary goals are
to promote species and habitat Bexar Audubon Society, Protection Initiative, which will
conservation and environmental education especially by people who have appear on the May election ballot.
in the community. been long-time members and Start talking about this issue with
OFFICERS supporters. Some of them may your friends and neighbors and
Vice Pres.
Susan Hughes . ( . 532-2332
Harry Noyes ..... ( . 490-3124
have been less active with BAS make sure they come to vote FOR
Betty Minyard ... ( .............. 344-6128
......................... ........................................ available
over the past few years (most the API in May. It’s the surest way
have had other focuses in their we have to protect the Edwards
Dean Bibles ......................... ( ............ 698-9264 lives — personal and/or Aquifer from the impending threats
Tony Wood ......................... ( ....... 493-4684
Director ...................................................................... available volunteer), but their dedication from growth over the recharge
to BAS — its history and its zone.
Aud. Adven. Betty Minyard ... ( .............. 344-6128 goals — has brought them Mitchell Lake will be holding
Birdathon Marge Lumpe ... ( ... 545-1822
Conserv. Harry Noyes ..... ( . 490-3124 forward again. I can’t thank its official opening soon. Watch for
Education ...................................................................... available
Memb. ...................................................................... available them enough. more news and be sure to attend.
Publicity Harry Noyes ..... ( . 490-3124
SAEN Coord. ...................................................................... available As evident in this issue of What a jewel we have in Mitchell
Bexar Tracks Content editor ............................................... available
Editors Jill Sondeen ..... ( .. 830-980-3277 Bexar Tracks, we have Lake, and how fortunate we are
Mailing Blair Richter..( . 832-0522
programs, field trips, and other that it is well on its way to
activities for you to attend, becoming a full-fledged Audubon
Bexar Tracks is your newsletter.
We welcome your contributions. participate in, and enjoy. Come Center — right here in our home
and bring your friends. To keep town.
Printed with soy ink on this level of activity up and even And, of course, there’s the
recycled paper.
growing, we must have your general election in November.
Visit Bexar Audubon’s attendance and interest. There are important decisions to be
Web Site: Remember that December made that will surely affect our will bring us elections at our nation’s future and our hopes for
annual holiday party. You’ll see sustainability.
Visit San Antonio Environmental
some new names on the ballot Warm regards, and a hearty
Network’s Web Site:
this year! Plan to attend and get welcome to all of you who wish to
them off to a great start, while participate in our programs and
Suggestions and contributions are welcome. enjoying some holiday cheer and outings and to get more involved
Please contact Bill Hurley at
camaraderie and our world- with Bexar Audubon.
famous white elephant gift -Susan Hughes, President
To report a polluting vehicle:
1-800-453-SMOG John Economidy Bio
(1-800-453-7664) John M. Economidy is a San Antonio attorney who has an interest in
or birds of prey. In 1980, he helped get John Karger’s Last Chance
smokingvehicles.html Forever bird conservancy incorporated as a non-profit organization.
From 1987 to 1996, he was head observer of the hawk watch at Hazel
Earth laughs in Bazemore County Park and Texas regional editor for Hawk Migration
Studies, the publication of the Hawk Migration of North America. He
flowers. recently researched the status and distribution of raptors for Raptors
of Western North America and Raptors of Eastern North America, the
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~
Brian Wheeler Guides published by Princeton University Press.

September 2004 2 Bexar Tracks

Over 30 people attended the the EAA was doing to address times are 30 minutes. This means
San Antonio Environmental water quality issues. The EAA has that the time that people budget for
Network panel discussion on Road- appointed a citizen’s group to commuting is about 30 minutes
building over the Edwards Aquifer review water quality issues each way, and that they move
Recharge Zone, moderated by concerning the aquifer. The EAA rather than put up with longer
former San Antonio city board has already begun to address commute times. Bill thinks that
councilmember and current practices that could affect water focusing high dollar construction
Edwards Aquifer Authority board quality by prohibiting the projects in areas over the recharge
member, Bonnie Conner. construction of new fuel storage zone that are more than 30 minutes
Joanne Walsh, director of the tanks over the recharge zone, by away from jobs may not be a good
San Antonio-Bexar County implementing stringent standards idea – there is little probability that
Metropolitan Planning for well construction, and with a significant jobs will move over the
Organization (, program to identify and plug recharge zone.
gave an overview of the issues abandoned wells. The EAA has in During the Q & A session,
regarding local transportation. Her place an extensive water quality George Veni noted that best
committee is responsible for monitoring program throughout the management practices (BMP)
developing a coordinated aquifer, consisting of 80 wells per required by water pollution
transportation plan that year. abatement plans weren’t
incorporates all aspects of Clay Smith, P. E., planning necessarily the best way to
transportation, including roads, engineer of the San Antonio office minimize contamination, but
bicycle trails, and public of the Texas Department of probably were the most affordable
transportation. Transportation (TxDOT), described ways to attempt to minimize
The first step is for local the 2030 Transportation Mobility contamination. In addition, if the
officials, business leaders, technical Plan. This plan is based on various BMP features (catchment
experts, and citizens to work population growth and economic and/or sediment basins) are not
together to identify and prioritize development. He noted that the 25 maintained (have the filters cleaned
transportation needs as well as find percent of the highway miles under or changed), they become useless
innovative solutions. Thus, the TxDOT in San Antonio carry 65 or worse, they may concentrate the
trend is away from modular percent of the traffic. Every project contaminants and then direct them
solutions that address one problem developed by TxDOT undergoes an into the recharge features.
at a time, to a comprehensive land environmental impact study and Another question was about the
use plan that includes develops a water pollution existence and impact of access
transportation planning to coincide abatement plan utilizing best roads. They first appeared in Texas
with growth areas. management practices to reduce or in the 1950s and have led to more
Another aspect of good contain pollutants. accidents and very disorganized
transportation planning was the fact George Veni, P. G., of Veni and growth because of local
that access and mobility are not just Associates, a hydrogeologist who development. George Veni noted
about congestion relief, they’re specializes in karst geology, that San Marcos bought 600 acres
about economic development: on- emphasized that karst aquifers have over the recharge zone and will
time delivery, economic NO filtering of their recharge, thus extend Wonder Road as a parkway
competition, delivery of emergency as drinking sources they are the with no exit ramps, so that there
services, and access to jobs, most vulnerable to pollution. will be a buffer over the vulnerable
schools, medical care, shopping, Bill Barker, a transportation area. Limiting access over the
and recreation. planning consultant, described a recharge zone could be a way to
Geary Schindel, P. G., Chief recent study, including cities of minimize growth while addressing
Technical Officer of the Edwards populations from 1 to 12 million, congestion problems.
Aquifer Authority, described what that show that average commute -Jill Sondeen
September 2004 3 Bexar Tracks

How do birds get their names? Water

Birds get their common names
in a variety of ways. Often birds are
bobwhite is named for its familiar
“bobwhite” whistle; and the Quality and
named for one of the pioneer killdeer is named for its “killdee”
ornithologists. Names may be
derived from Latin, Greek or local
call. Nightjars’ nocturnal calls
became their names. For example,
terms, a name may be borrowed
from Old World species, a name
the chuckwill’s-widow says its
name, although at a distance one Growth
may suggest the bird’s call. only hears “will’s widow,” while The U.S. Environmental
John Cassin, a famous bird the poorwill and whip-poor-will Protection Agency has released a
biologist from the early 1800s, has clearly pronounce their names. new report that aims to help
five birds named for him, one being It is said that “owl” is onoma- communities protect water
our common Cassin’s kingbird. topoeic, that is it is derived from resources and achieve smart
Falcon is derived from the Latin the bird’s call, although there is growth. The report documents 75
“falcis” meaning “sickle” for the also an Anglo Saxon word “ule” innovative approaches — including
curved beak and talons. Plover meaning an owl and a Latin word redeveloping abandoned properties,
supposedly comes from the Latin “ulula,” meaning a screech owl. encouraging rooftop gardens,
word “pluvia” for rain, because the Our willet’s name is imitative of creating shared parking, and
birds were thought to migrate in the the bird’s call; likewise the promoting tree planting — that
rainy season or they live in rainy whimbrel calls “whim” and the state and local governments and
places. “rel” is a diminutive suffix. water quality professionals can use
Europeans who explored North Some birds’ names are derived to achieve their smart growth and
America named some of our birds from an Indian name for the bird. water quality goals.
for birds that were familiar in their Anhinga, for example, means To receive a free copy of
homeland. The American robin was “water turkey” in a South Protecting Water Resources with
named for the beloved “robin American language and perfectly Smart Growth, send an email to:
redbreast” of England. Both have a describes this bird found in or call 1-800-
reddish breast, but they are very swamps and lakes. The sora, a rail, 490-9198 and request EPA
different and not closely related. living in similar habitat, is also publication 231-R-04-002. The
Dove was a British term for wild from an Indian word. report and more information about
pigeon, and the word likely came At times a simple description is smart growth are also available at:
from an Anglo Saxon word best. The gray catbird is gray and
meaning “to dive.” Warbler mews like a cat. The mockingbird
originally meant to sing with trills mocks other bird calls, the
and was used to describe Old World ovenbird makes a domed oven-
warblers, many of which are not shaped nest, woodpeckers peck on
good singers and are not related to wood, flycatchers catch flies and
our colorful wood warblers. Our other insects, and the
orioles were named for the hummingbirds’ wings hum with
European golden oriole even their rapid flight.
though they are in a different -Carol E. Edwards
family. ceebird@overland
Many birds are named for the
calls they make. The northern

September 2004 4 Bexar Tracks


Seed for major award planted

by Horticulture Department
the ceremony. beginning as the “San Antonio
“As a horticulturist, River Beautification Project” in the
I felt the site deserved late 1930s, the area was intended to
to be recognized for the blend the commercial and
unique beauty of the entertainment portions of
plants and trees downtown San Antonio with the
growing there,” area’s natural beauty. Over the
Lineberger said. “I’m years, the River Walk has grown
glad the horticulture into a 2.5-mile-long stretch within
society felt the same the heart of downtown San
way.” The ASHS is an Antonio, but its original purpose
Each year, millions of people international association has remained unchanged.
visit the San Antonio River Walk, of horticulturists, founded in 1903. The flora around the San
enjoying its restaurants, bars, hotels It commemorates horticultural sites Antonio River Walk is unusually
and shops. With so much going on, of “historical, scientific, diverse, he added. “Trees like palm,
visitors can miss the trees in a environmental and aesthetic value” lemon, banana, papaya and
forest of entertaining distractions. by designating them as avocado grow well in this zone.
The horticulture faculty at horticultural landmarks. The River They are planted among the more
Texas A&M University has taken Walk is the eighth site to earn this typical trees of the region, such as
steps to help change that. Working distinction. oak, pecan and bald cypress.”
with the San Antonio Parks and The plaque designating the site According to Lineberger, the
Recreation Department, the a horticultural landmark is on River Walk provides a growing
horticulture faculty submitted a permanent display at Peak’s Park, environment which supports hardy
nomination to the American located off River Walk’s native trees and plants, as well as a
Society for Horticultural Science in Commerce Street entrance near the number of different and less-hardy
Washington, D.C., to designate the Greater San Antonio Chamber of plants. “And because it’s below
River Walk a horticultural Commerce. street level, it creates a
landmark. The horticulture society “The San Antonio River Walk microclimate that can be five to
agreed. is a unique horticultural seven degrees cooler than normal
A plaque commemorating the environment,” said Lynn Rawe, in the summer and warmer in the
site as “a magnificent urban Texas Cooperative Extension agent winter. That makes it more
ecosystem where man and nature for horticulture. pleasant.”
embrace a great engineering work “There you can see a collection Now the site has been
that supports the rich diversity of of plants and trees you won’t find designated a horticultural
South Texas plants” was unveiled in any other urban setting,” she landmark, the horticulture faculty
on July 21 at a ceremony on the said. “And lot of the flora has been at Texas A&M hopes more visitors
River Walk. there for centuries, so it has a will take time to smell the roses —
Dr. Dan Lineberger, a Texas strong historical significance too.” or honeysuckle and night-blooming
A&M horticulture professor who The San Antonio River Walk jasmine—along the River Walk.
had the idea of nominating the was initially designed by landscape -Paul Schattenberg
River Walk for the award, attended architect Robert Hugman. From its
September 2004 5 Bexar Tracks
Local and Regional News

Black bear Mitchell Lake Audubon

Guzzles Rainier
But not Busch Center Landscape -
BAKER LAKE, Wash. (AP) -
When state Fish and Wildlife Volunteers Needed
agents recently found a black bear
passed out on the lawn of Baker The landscape next to the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center is
Lake Resort, there were some clues beginning to take shape. The plantings include those native to South
scattered nearby — dozens of Texas and Mexico attractive to songbirds, hummingbirds and butterflies.
empty cans of Rainier Beer. If any of you are interested in joining us to plant, pull weeds and/or
The bear apparently got into spread mulch, we will be meeting out there Saturday mornings in
campers’ coolers and used his September (Sept. 4, 11 and 18) to prepare the area for the opening on the
claws and teeth to puncture the 24th. We also need some people to water the landscape until it is
cans. And not just any cans. “He established (weekdays or weekends). If you would like to help in any
drank the Rainier and wouldn’t way, call Patty Leslie Pasztor at 824-1235.
drink the Busch beer,” said Lisa
Broxson, bookkeeper at the
by Peggy Spring
campground and cabins resort east
July 10th Recap:
of Mount Baker.
Fish and Wildlife enforcement
Sgt. Bill Heinck said the bear did
try one can of Busch, but ignored
How the Possum Lost
the rest. The beast then consumed
about 36 cans of Rainier.
A wildlife agent tried to chase
His Furry Tail
In this second Saturday program, Emma Ortega, a Lipan Apache
the bear from the campground but storyteller, shared wonderful stories of animals and Native American
the animal just climbed a tree to tradition around the evening campfire. Forty-five people were present to
sleep it off for another four hours. hear her presentation — even a pair of whistling ducks circled the
Agents finally herded the bear clearing several times during the program, their whistles adding
away, but it returned the next credibility to the ambience of the evening.
morning. This sought-after speaker is always very popular with the audience;
Agents then used a large, we had several people attending who returned specifically to enjoy
humane trap to capture it for Emma’s stories after hearing her in our second Saturday series last year!
relocation, baiting the trap with the
usual: doughnuts, honey and, in
this case, two open cans of Rainier.
That did the trick. “This is a
Webpage for Hawkwatch
new one on me,” Heinck said. The web site for the hawkwatch is or
“I’ve known them to get into cans, and click “Texas Hawk Watches.”
but nothing like this. And it This web site has extensive photographs of different raptor species
definitely had a preference.” plus data from past years’ watches. There is an excellent section on how
to count kettles with hundreds/thousands of raptors.
While there, to get a map to the park, click “History of the Watch/Info
on the Park.” Click “map.”
September 2004 6 Bexar Tracks
Upcoming Events
San Antonio Water System and Audubon Texas
cordially invite you to attend

Mitchell Lake Audubon Center

Press Day Friday, September 24, 2004
7:30am – 10:00am
Mitchell Lake Audubon Center
10750 Pleasanton Road
Tours of the refuge will run community leaders. Light
every fifteen minutes from refreshments will be served.
7:30a.m. to 8:15a.m. The For those who can’t attend Friday, September 17; call Iliana
ceremony begins at 9:00am. on Friday, an informal Open House Peña at the Mitchell Lake Audubon
Speakers will include John Flicker, will be held on Saturday, September Center, 210-628-1639. More
President, National Audubon 25, 8am – 12noon. information is also available at this
Society, SAWS Trustee Douglas R. If you will be attending the number.
Leonhard, and representatives and Friday event, please RSVP by


by Peggy Spring
Welcome to my Web Birding trips to Mitchell Lake are
still occurring. Information appears
A lively spider hunt with Cary Guffey on the Mitchell Lake Wetlands
of Our Lady of the Lake University Society’s web site
Come and find out about the University of
true nature of two kinds of insects, Louisiana at Lafayette. RECURRING EVENTS
Daddy Longlegs and venomous Call 210.698.1057 for
spiders. Why are the former so San Antonio Audubon Society’s
reservations and information.
funny looking and are they Beginners’ Birdwalk is held at 8 a.m.
Walk-ins accepted on a limited
dangerous and how dangerous are basis. Suggested donation: $3.00 on the second Saturday of each
the latter and how will I know if each/$5.00 per family. Eisenhower month. Meet at the Judson Nature
I’m in trouble? To provide answers Park, Harris (Mass Pavilion), Trail in Alamo Heights. Visitors are
to these questions and hopefully 19399 NW Military Hwy. Take FM welcome.
find some, Cary Guffey, Ph.D., 1535/Military Hwy exit off Loop There are binoculars to lend.
Associate Professor of biology at 1604 on the city’s northwest side. Meet at the Nature Trails next to the
Our Lady of the Lake University in Go north for 2 miles. Park entrance Alamo Heights Swimming Pool on
San Antonio, will lead us on a is on the left, just before Camp Viesca St. From the 5900 block of
merry hunt. Guffey holds a Bullis. Gates open 6:30 pm. Web Broadway, turn west on Ogden to
bachelor’s degree from the site: Greeley St., turn left one block, then
University of Missouri at Rolla, a Sponsored by San Antonio Parks right again to the parking lot on the
master’s from SW Missouri State and Recreation Department and the left. More information at 210-342-
University, Springfield, and a Ph.D. Bexar Audubon Society. 2073.
in ecology and evolution from the
September 2004 7 Bexar Tracks
Mark your calendar Bexar Audubon Society, Inc. Non-profit
Feb. 25-26 — 2005 South Texas P. O. Box 6084 Organization
Farm and Range Forum San Antonio, TX 78209 U.S. Postage Paid
San Antonio
Upcoming Second Permit #590
Saturday Programs
· October 9 —10:00 am - 2:00 pm.
San Antonio Naturally
Our second annual celebration of
nature; numerous presenters. Watch
for details; family friendly.
· November 13 — 10:00 am - 12:00
pm. Fur and Feathers
Join members of the Texas Wildlife
Association for a fun program on
the Hill Country’s white-tailed deer
and turkey.
· December 11 — 10:00 am - 12:00
pm. Tuna, Nopales and More!
Local experts will share their
knowledge of native plants and their
uses by past and present people;
family friendly.

Saturday,October 2, 2004 — BEXAR AUDUBON OUTING Membership Form

National Audubon Society
BEAU CHEYE RANCH Bexar AudubonSociety

Membership rates are:

We hope you can join us on by Texas Pride at $5.99 per Student/Senior $15 Basic $35
Saturday, October 2, for a field person. If we don’t have at least Introductory 1-year $20 (2-year: $30)
trip to the Beau Cheye Ranch 25 ordering Bar-B-Que we will
near Nixon, Texas. Owned by Name _______________________
bring our own sack lunches. We
Audubon members, Rolan and will meet for carpooling at 7:30 _______________________________
Margo Brown, this property has am at a location to be
rolling terrain, a creek, determined (it takes City______State __ Zip_________
wildflowers, and over 250 oak approximately 1 hour to drive Phone: ( )________________
trees. They also have some cows from San Antonio). Call Patty Email:___________________________
and a burro. Plan on enjoying a Leslie Pasztor for reservations For a new membership, mail this coupon
morning of leisurely walking, & directions at (210) 824-1235. and your check—payable to “National
Audubon Society, Chapter W19” to:
birdwatching and general nature Rolan will call in the Bar-B- Bexar Audubon Society
observation. Tennis shoes, long Que orders on the afternoon of P. O. Box 6084
pants and sleeves are Monday, September 27, so let San Antonio, TX 78209
W19, 7XCH
recommended attire. We will us know soon! Opt out for other mailings
finish with a Bar-B-Que catered
By using this form, 100 percent of
Earth Share of Texas represents the Audubon Foundation of your first year’s dues will benefit the
Texas and the National Audubon Society in payroll deduction chapter.
plans for charitable giving. For information, call 1-800-GREENTX
or email <>.

September 2004 8 Bexar Tracks