Citation
Audubon Florida Records, 1900-1970, Box 5 Folder 10

Material Information

Title:
Audubon Florida Records, 1900-1970, Box 5 Folder 10 Jerr, William A. - Correspondence, Vingt-un Islands, Texas, 1956
Creator:
Audubon Florida
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Florida
Publisher:
University of South Florida
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 folder
Physical Location:
Box 5 Folder 10

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Subjects / Keywords:
Audubon societies -- Diaries ( lcsh )
Ecology -- Florida ( lcsh )
History -- Gulf Coast (Fla.) -- 20th century ( lcsh )

Notes

Abstract:
The daily journals of Audubon wardens and statewide reports on certain sites and projects cover activities from 1900 to 1970, with most of the materials concentrated between the 1930s and 1950s.

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
032958557 ( ALEPH )
890709008 ( OCLC )
A47-00143 ( USF DOI )
a47.143 ( USF Handle )

USFLDC Membership

Aggregations:
Audubon Florida Records, 1900-1970

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Mixed Material

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B O.tT 'I'O '1 H ( N 1 UDUBO N .SOCI.i:TY T h e Nesti n g Season of 1956, V i n g t -un I s l a n d s and othe r I s l ands i n Galv e s ton Bay Texas v illi a m Jerr, a r 'en

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T 1 1 a t nes ting colonie s o f Spo onbills Her on s <'gr ets, Ibis a n d r e l ated species are o f ancient ori g i n in the Galveston Bay rea is 1 a matte r of reco r d Bec ause o f t h e h i stor i c a l i n t e rest to t h e &Ud bon S o c i ety, I will ente_ her e the f ollo w i ng qu o t ation as a part of this r e cord. 11 Visit to Texas, Bei n g t h e J o u r n a l of a Tra v elle r t hrough t h ose parts m o s t interesti ng to merica n e ttlers Nith descr iption s o s cenery habits etc. etc. 11 Facsimile eproductio n New L ork: Goodrich & 124 Broadway 1834. The St e c k Compan Publis hers, ustin, Texas. 1952 Facsim ile Reproduction o f t he First Ed ition. Day P r inter 374 Pearl treet. C h a p t e r III, a e 1 6 6 Paraj raph 2 bout t h e end o f J.Varch 1831. 11Point Boliva r (continued) Messengers fro m nahuac to learn o u r fat e eturn T hither. night o n B i r d Isla n d ingul a r s h r ubs. B i r d s n ests, eggs a r a nd o m s hot. Point Bolivar.11 1 T h i n king we were in some mea sure bound to reli e v e the anxi e t y o f our frie n d s a t nahuac, I set o f f the next morning with the Cap t ain o f the Climax i n h s boat a s he was t o make a rran g ements for t h e sale o f t he w r e c k and cargo etc/ O n our way d01 m Galveston Bay a s n ight appro c 1ed, we found ourselves near a small island vhi c h I had n o tice d o n t 'e passage up on acco u n t o f the remarkabl e numbe r o f bird s which were constantly flyi n g over it. I r Heyne, w h o was well a c qua i n ted with e v e r y spot i n t h i s region, proposed to spen d the n i g h t on the little island. The moon was s hining brig h t when we a r o a ched it, and I o b s erved that it w a s ove r grown wi t h s h rubber y inte r m i n0led w i t h prickly pears, about s i x feet h i g h The croak i n g and othe r n otes o f birds convinced me that t he i s l and was no less a roosting p l a c e b y than a r esort b y day. l-1y older co mpanion w ith a l l the familiarity o f experienc e immed i a t ely b e g a n to p r e pare for supp e r assi s ted by his son, about n ineteen years o s s h r ehom I d i d not mention b e fore ; while I took the o l d man' s 6u n w h i c h was very lon g and walked a r o u nd to t he o pp o site s i d e of the isla n d T h e r e I was astonished to find a multitude o f fowl, generall y w h i t e roostin g a lmo s t like a b a n k o f sno f ter observing t hem f o r a time, a s closely a s the mo.on lig h t w o uld allo I dishca r e d m y heavily loa ded old g u n into the m idst of them t hink i n g I m ight t hus e asily s e cure an a b undant bre akfa s t f o r our littl e arty B u t the confusion :1ith w hich I t hus surrounded m y s e l f perfectly dismayed m e Hundreds, indeed I t h i n k I m i g h t say t housa ds of b irds ins t antl y f lew up, with suc h a f l uttering a n d s creami n g a n d yel ling that n o sce n e o f noise and hubb ub I e v e r witn essed could be a t all c ompared t o it. I was n o w in the very m i dst o f s uch a crow d of fovls a s I had bef ore onl y seen from a d i s t a n ce ; and t h ey, ust have their organs o f hearing very diffe rentl hung or reg u l a t e d f rom m i n e or t hey never c ould put u p with t he compan y of each othe r fter I had r ecovered f rom the first stunning c a u sed by t h e i r unspeakabl e din and confusion, I b e gan to leav e the s pot, and was g l a d t o find mys e l f soon in the company I h a d lef t

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2 and to hear thei r voice s a t some little d i s t a n c e a s they g radu a l l y c e ased thei r v arious n o tes, a n d began t o settle agai n upo n t h e i r roosts "Our supp e r was already on the h i g h w a y of preparatio n u n der t h e c a r e of M r Heyne, w h o w a s making the bes t use o f the m a teri als at his comma n d a n d s o o n p resented me with one o f t h o s e fine cup s of coffe e w h i c h I alm o s t invariably met w ith in Texas Draw i n g u p and t urning ove r our b o a t s p r e a d i n g o u r b l a n kets u p o n t h e ground and w r a p p i n g o urselve s i n our cloaks we t hen l a y do w n ; a n d the b i r d s and ours elve s I b e l ieve, wer e silenced b y a sou n d sleep in a s s h o r t a time a s I hav e tak e n to tell o f i t A s u s u a l i n t hose times, I s carcely w a ked a t all u ntil early morni ng and t he n rose refr e shed a nd i n fine spi r its. Not do ubting t h a t t h e o l d gu n had done s o m e fine exec ution o n the p r e c e e d i n g evening I d e t ermined to pay a visit t o t h spot; bu t I fou n d o b j ects o f won der before I arrived a t it. "I n o w perce ived, o n l o o k i n g m ore closely a r o u n d m e t h a t the l i t tle island, whi c h had a loose, stony, s a ndy soi l was a l m o s t c o vere d with b ushes about s i x feet in heig h t w h i c h g rew s o t h i c k a s to be o f t e n i mpen e t rable b y man t houg h abounding with bird s o f d iffer ent k i nd s whic h tra v e rsed the ground b e ne ath w i t h g r e a t f reedo m T h e m o s t ani scene surroun d e d m e : f o r where ver I wen t and o n what e ver s i d e I l ooked e v e r y bush and a lm o s t e v e r y t w i g s eemed to be occu p i e d by f e a thered tenants o f som e size and descr i ption o r other On rea c h ing t h e s pot w here I h a d fired i nto the bushes t h e e v e n i n g before, I w a s n o t surpri sed t o find t h a t my s hot had t a ken effect; but I w a s asto nishe d t o s e e about twen t y wat e r fow l lying de a d o n t h e ground T hese were genera l l y b i rds of c onsiderable s i ze though som e of t he m p osessed only s uperior lon gitude : for among t hose I p i cked u p were b odie s n o t bigger t hen a d u c k s mounted on l e g s measurin g a f oo t a nd a half below the k ne e A l m ost all o f t h e m h a d p luma g e a b u ndant a nd w hite o r b order i n g o n p i n k a n d fue cks lon g enoug h to kee p u p a c onnexion with the eart h I s h o wed m y prizes t o my exper ienc e d companion, who immedia t ely co ndemned the whole lot as g oo d for absolutely nothing ; a n d they w e r e of c ourse rejected. rrw e proce e de d a littl e f u r ther amo ng the b u s hes, w hen we f o und the b i r d s mult i p l i e d b e y o n d anyth i n g I h a d e v e r imagined. T h e i r n e sts wer e placed s o near a s a lmost to tou c h eac h other the g round uas half covered w i t h e gg s of d iffe rent co lors a n d sizes w h i c h had fallen out; a n d t h e c h a t t erin g e verywhere w a s a lm o s t deafening There was s omet hing pe culiar in the growth of the b u s hes, w h i c h were g ener ally of an uniform hei gh t a n d a t onc e s o f l a t a t t h e top a n d s o strong that aft e r getting u p I c o uld wal k u p o n them for seve r a l r o d s s i x feet f rom the g r ound T here were m ultitude s of more nests t o b e seen b u i l t s i de b y s ide, w h i l e o n the inte rior and l ower bo u gh s eve r y spot s eemed occ u p ied whi c h was c c apable o f s ustaining the hab i t atio n o f a l a rge b i r d or a s mall one N otwi t hstanding the co n f u s i on o f s ound s of arra n g e ment s a nd o f occupat i on: among thes e bus y creatures, no co llision s e e m e d to take plac e i n busi ness and n o jealousie s were b e trayed b y ne i b h bors M y co m rade e x p l ained the rea s o n for s o many e gg s being f o u n d on the s a n d by t elli n g m e that t h e s e ason o f h a t c h i n g had been for so m e t i m e past T h i s was c on f irmed by the abunda n c e o f youn g f o w l e v ery where to b e seen on t h e ground and i n many n ests a s well a s by the worthle s sness of the f irst eggs whi c h w e gat hered a n d broke. Th e variety of a ppearanc e amo n g the b i r d s was i n creased by t h e number o f young ones, s o m e of whi c h were very unlike the parents, a n d o t h ers seemed t o b e o f d oubl e t heir six e In s o m e i n s t a n ces a c h i c k o r t w o w ould b e seen, t o yo u ng o r t o o lazy to care for t he mselve s yet filling alone bri m -full a ne s t a s l a r g e as a c r o w s before they h a d e v e r left h ome.

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3 M r Heyne began to' c o l l ect some of t h e e ggs, sayi n g he could d i stin g u ish t he g oo d ones, and had soo n g a thered seve r a l hatful l s whic h we t ook t o the b o a t I1I0s t of thes e wer e g oo d size, b u t those we saw varied f rom the size o f a robi n s e g g to tha t of a du c k s Etc. F rom t h i s t ime on o f c ourse the s i t u ation in Galvesto n Bay until the tim e i n 1890, when the nesting c olonies were compl e tely d estroyed, and ther e wer e no more s poonbill s in Galv eston Bay There is no need to tra c e t he h i story of t h e work do ne by t h e National u d ubon Soci ety t o restore t hese nesting colo n i e s I have merely included this excerpt and a ccompanying info rmation for t h e bene fit o f s ome c uriou s soul who might, s omeday s tumbl e a c r o s s t his report in t h e b ottom of some dusty fil e c a binet wher ein m u s t lie many another fascinati ng observ a tion The boo k fro m w h i c h t his exc e r p t was q uoted may be obta ined without d ifficult y fro m t h e Chamb ers Count y L i b rary, i n nah u a c Texas. UP TO D TE The colo n i e s w're restored and t h e situatio n was exc e llent until the spri n g o f 1 955, when the V ingt -un Islands Sanctuary was wilfully viola ted by irre s ponsible p arties shortly b e fore t he arriv a l o f the W a r d e n i n pril of t h a t year The s u bjec t b f t hese violation s has been d i s cussed t horou gh l y i n personal l etters to J o h n H Baker, and it coul d serve n o useful p u r p o s e to do cume n t them in t h i s rep o r t C o u p led w ith these violations o f sanctuary whic h d i sturbed the nestin g co lony s ufficiently t o cause them to withdraw from the isl a n d s was the unfortunat e choice o f a rden made f o r that y e a r Undoubtedly t h e person was i n t e r este d a nd enthusiastic, but h e definitely l a cked the experienc e and skill nec essa r y t o p r o pe rly e valua t e the situation and t o take suc h remedi a l measures as m i ght h a v e been d i c t a ted for the re-establishment of t h e colony T his o b serv ation is included i n t his report only t o u nderlin e the necessity f o r qualified Warde n s in t his parti cular a rea. The major c omplica t i n g f a ctor i n t h e preserv atio n of the Galveston Bay San ctua r i e s w i l l and has always b een, t h e p resen c e o f a large a nd sometimes c a reless p o pulation W a r den assi gned to this area r ill f i n d as h i s major c hore, the establish ment of cord ial and sympathetic relationsh ips w i t h the people of t he vicinit y and w i t h suc h avenue s of p ublic informa tion s m i ght be expl oited to e d u c ate the enti r e a rea i n the purpose s of protec t i n g these particular colo n i e s When t his 1arden arrived on p ril 16 h e found that t he birds had not yet started to nest on the Ving t -un Islands. V a r d e n Louis Rawalt of Corpus Chri sti had been sen t there in Tvlarch as a protec tive measur/ toward insuring t he safety of the c o l o ny befor e t he a r riva l of t h e regular \ a r den. I t w ill be necessary that some suc h arrangement be continued i n future years.

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W a rden a-wdlt briefe d t his Warden o n the situat i o n to the t ime o f his arrival. Spoo n b ills had been observed flying o v e r the i s l a nd but none had as yet lan de d o n or near there. smal l c olony of 3 0 airs o f merican a nd 3 0 pairs o f W a r d s Gredt Blue Herons had established t h e mselv e s in trees a t Franklin' s a uistdnce of 4 out a mile from the islands and on the mainland. 'mon g the remed i a l eps taken by awalt was tha t of tra)pi n g a nd huating predators on the sland. T o this end h e ren o ved t hree or four c o on and p ossibly one fox. For the first few days of my occupation t here the behavior of the b i r u s continued erratic. T hefly over t n e i s land but sho wed n o inclina t i o n to land. On pri l 18 about 50 spoonbi l l s f inally landed offs h ore o f t h e main isla n d bu t d i d not o the island i t self. O n the 1 9 t h o f April e l e ven s poonbills were observed o n the bea c h of t h e isla n d itsel f O v e r the next few days the numbe r o f s poonbills, e grets and herons observed on the be a c h e s mounte d but n o sig n o f n esti n g a ctivity was obse r v e d Th ere was no indicati o n that any of t hese bird s occu p ied the i s l a nd s a t n i gh t On pril 28 t h t he first were s i g h t e d a ctually landing in the center of the island. The b irds did not seem t o be nesti n g h owever. i t t h i s same t i m e there las a heav y rain whic h allev i a ted somewh a t the drough t co n d i tions i n the a r e a Some marshes were flooded and considerabl e numbers of birds were o b s erved feeding in t hem. From t h i s point o n the p o pu l ation o f l a r g e wad i n g b irds in the a rea i n creased ana nesting began. There i s a defi n ite p ossi bility that the conditions resultant from the d r o u gh t and t he cold spri n g wea t he r had d ayed the nestin a c tivities until t i m e T h e a ction of preda t ors the isla nd was p r obably not a contributory factor in any appr e ciable ent During all t his t ime t h e Tern and Skimmer colony on the spoil b n k s t o the e s t o f Smi t h P o int sho wed a ctivity and had s t a r ted nesting wever t h e colony d i d not reac h i t s full streng t h u ntil around the m i dd l e of May. By this time ther e could be estima t e d 200 0 B l a c k Sk immer s 5 0 0 Gulls, and a tota l assort ment of 1 0 00 Terns nestine on this bank. By the time t h e V i ng t u n C olony assembl e d in forc e and r eady for a _yt'i o n t h i s a rden w a s abl e t o repo r t the follo w i n numbers of nesting 100 pai r s p oonb ills ; 2 0 p a i r s Gloss: I b i s ; 1 0 pa i r s Ward s Heron s ; 200 pairs Trico lored Herons; 2 0 0 pa i r s S n owy g r e t s ; 50 pairs merica n g r e t s ; 40 pairs White I b i s ; 1 0 p a irs Bla c k Crown N ight Herons; s e v e r a l p a i r s ofrK i n g ails and uncounte d pai r s ot:Blac k a n d Le ast T erns ( whic h two spec i e s neste d on the sand s p i t n n i n g t o the eas t of t h e islan d ) <, ? Th e nesti n g colony f o r med o n the last isla n d i n the V i ng t u n Chain, the o n e to the West of Tri nity B a y j;,Ja nds in t h e n were util i z d exceot f o r feed i n ur o s e s S i n c e t h e l e v e l f t h e ay was h i g h m o s t of t e sea s o n t h e r was very litt l e f e e d i n g i n the v icinity u n til u gust when the l e v e l d r oppe

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5 Sinc e this marked the end of t h e F ranklin' s W o o d s colony I m i gh t just as well s ummar i z e tha t h i story in t his p l ace in the r e cord. The birds w h i c h nested ther e had a hoosen a fairly h i gh penins u l a covered with t all p ines, which jutted out i nto an extensive marsh a rea. The nest s were in t he p ines, a s high a s t hirty to forty feet a bov e the groun d The trees were t h i n of trunk and had few b ranc h e s i n t h eir crowns T h e nests were poorly c on&tructed f o r s u c h co nditions and since t h e trees swayed wit h e v e r y breeze t here ioca s a n almost c r ain of e oun to t h e round. N o yo u n g could withstand tha t rop a nd they usually a ied instan tly. E v e r y time t his made a v i sit to this a rea he was g reeted w ith the dismal s i g h t of dead birds littering t h e ground. There wa s p o s hqatj og or o;tJJ.& i a c e o f t his colony. I ncident ally a-""'pair of very larg e D iamo nd bac k Cotton mouths l i ved i n an abandoned r madill o hole in t h e m iddle of t his grov e and und oub tedly d i d much to keep t he area clean of c a r c ases. Turkey Vultures could usually be seen in the g rove also. T h e a mazing t hing was the effectiyeness of t is sanitation dehartment mrtmn g where a bird had fallen I woul d chec k for is c a r cas on the foll o w i n g day and find it e o n e b o nes a nd all. T h e tota l number of young suc cessfull i n t his colony was not more then 6 merican Egrets a n d 6 Ward' s e r ons. From t h e time of t h e storms until nest" t u n roce e e w i o u d aily r e port sheets an occasiona approach too closely t o the shore. On t h e who l e howeyer the majoritr pe o p l e in the area proved cooperative and no disturbanc e of he nesting colony by h n n s occurr e S i nce t he nesting season o n t he V i n g t -un Islands had been delayed f o r the various reaso n s mentioned it was thought best t h a t a Warden be kept on patrol lon g after the t i m e when t h e Warden usually vithdraws f rom tha t area i n c e t his :larde n was not able t o s tay beyond the f irst of u g ust a t empora r y war day D C Plummer a loca l fish erman w a s h ired to maintain wee k -end patrolling P lummer d i s continued his patrols on the 12th o f u g ust, a t w h i c h tim e he informed t h e National udubon Soci ty that t h e bird s had all left the island s t h e young having matured suffic iently to take c are of t hemselves. fina l estimat e of the nu mber of b irds succ essfully raised on the V i n gt-un Islands is madevery difficult by severa l factors. In

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6 the f i r t plac e some yo u ng bird s were still i n the nest when I left the islands, so they only appear i n my fiGures as a pretty roug h gues s (Because the co lony had been broken up t he previous year by landi n g s bei n g mad e o n the islands I thoug h t it best n o t to land u n d e r a ny co nd itions. N o nestj ng c mrn t J/lla s ob:t.a i ned ldhile I was there. ) lso, b y t h e t ime t h e y ou n g b irds w ere leaving t he nests to r o a m the island a n d i t s s ho res, w here I could see t h e m to coun t t hem, fai r numbers of youn g o f theyear b irds f rom o ther island sanctuaries had joi n e d w i t h m y birds, thus confusi n g t h e iss u e somewhat tlli l l I t h i nk f;ttlowi.tlg est imat e to b@ 6l.CC1l"'Cat e 4crit. h i n N este d JOO pa'Srs SpQQ b: s ; nat c hed 200 nested 2 0 pairs l ossy d'Ois; h a t c h e d no n e : nested IO p a irs W a r d 'seron s ; hat c hed 25 young : n e s ted 200 p a irs T r i c o lore d Herons; hatched 300 y oung : nested 2 0 0 pai r s Sno1"1Y Egret s ; a t c hed 300 young Jested 5 0 p a i r s merica n Eg r e t s ; hat c h e d 7 5 y o u ng : nest e d 40 p a irs Vhite Ibis; hatched 1 5 young (balan c e taken by s t o r m ) : nested 1 0 pai r s Blac k C rown N i gh t Herons; h atched 2 4 youn : nested, severa l p a i r s K i ng Rails; o b s e r v e d 6 y oung : nested, uncounted numbe r s o f B l a c k and Least Te r n s ; h a t c h e d none. T h e k immer and T ern Colony did muc h bet ter i n ter m s of tota l per forrr.anc e The f ollo wi n0 f i g ures a r e adequ a t e to i ndicate t h e s u c cess o f t h i s colony I e s ted@ 1000 pairs B l a c k Skimmers; h a t ched 2 500 yo u n g : nested 500 pairs Gulls; h a t ched 200 0 youn : neste d 500 pairs assorted Te r n s ; hat ched 1200 youn g d Gul l s s eem e d t o be o f the total hatc hing No ob serv ations o f o r tality among the erns re a v ailabl a TFloUg1 I m i h t add that I o b s e r v e d prac tically n o young dead a l o n g t he beaches T he grea test c ause o f t h e deaths a m o ng youn Sk immers and G u lls seemed t o be caused by ( 1 ) lac k o f f o od due to deserti o n or o ther c auses and ( 2 ) a bad hab i t of swimmi n g out i nto the wat e r when frightened o r out o f curios i t y The result o f this s w immi ng was the drown i n0 o f many y o u n g T h a t they drowned was o b vious for t h e i r bo d i e s wer e disposed alon g t h e beac h a t the lev e l of t h e las t t ide, O T H R C O LONI S I n an attemp t to find out i f the ne s t ing colony from V i n g t -un had loca ted i tself in some other p l a c e arou nd the Bay area 'arden awal t made two fli ghts wit l M r W hitehead i n h i s pri v a t e p lane. N o co l o n i e s w ere disclosed dur i n g these flight s ROLLOV"' O n 26 pril 19 5 6 t h i s warden wen t t o the o llover Yac h t Bas i n jus t west o f Gilchrist on t he B oliv a r P e n i n s u l a Here I found a lar e colo n y of Spo o nb ills g r e t s Hero n s Terns and S kimmers nesting on 7 islands in t h e Bay Verbal report s had loc a ted this c o l o n y for me. report of t h i s ob serv a t i o n was made to M r J o h n Bake r a n d s t e p s wer e taken to safeguard the b irds o n thes e islands. T h e co l n e s t i n g o n the r ith but a few pairs of b i r d s The island s by the way are

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7 more t hen s poil banks along vhe Int r a coasta l Waterway local isherman "Frenc h ien Bourge, t oo k an interest in t1G colony an p o s ted t h e isla n d s with his own make -shift s i g n s T h e u ubon oci e t y provid e d h i m v i t h si n s an a r m band, and 'the ctUthority to co nti ue !with his g oo d work for the b a lanc e of t he 1 9 56 nestin season. T his .arden checked the colony a t leas t on c e a week and t h e nesting pro c e e ded without disturbanc e On 2 July an early morning c ount o f t h e nesting b i r d s of the Rollove r I s land .:3 n ctuary was comp l e ted. The fol l o w i n count was o b t ained : Nes d 200 a irs adult p oonbills r a ng. (Th e following figure s for al o t e r s p e a r e ror adult and young c ombined) 700 Tric olored 7,00. S no y g r e t s ; 400 merican 0rets ; 4 Ward' s Herons ; 100 Blac k k i m r ers'an d uncounte d numbers o f Terns and Laughing Gulls. T his c o l on disb a nd e d completing its nesting season. afte r u c cessfully h e poonb ills, 'gr ets a n d Herons in their greatest conc c m tration on the firs t isla nd nearest t o ollover P o int. The second and t hird i s l a nd s counting ast contc.ine d som e number s of them also. The fourth and fifth island s contained sore Tri -colored Heron s Snowy Eg r ets and skimmers, terns a n d gulls T he s i x t h and sevent h islands were occ u p ied entirely by k imrners, T erns and Gulls, but were in use b t h e o ther birds in small numbers for feeding The firs t t hree islahds a r e the only ones with an appr 3ciable 6r owt h of v e g e t atio n The islands on t h e Nort h s i d e of the channel d i d not appe a r to be u s e d b y t he bird s for nesting artially t his i s becaus e it was recently s poiled f o t h eir ) Urposes by the d u m ping o f s oil on their surf a c e of the bird s h o w e ver did fied along t e s hores of t hese i s l a n d s and gathered much o f their nestin m a teri als there. The m ain \feeding rounds for t his c olony s eems to be in t h e marshe s on both ) s ides of a s t Ba and a t the marshes around L a ke urp r ise. T H U On J u l y 9 t h i s \' EJrden crosse d Galveston B d y to C edar Point, a sCTall pen insul a bet ween Ced a Bay ou a n d Ba to\n. Here a s e s tablished t h e loca location of t e Th t ne Ho ston 0 t door ...Natur:.a Club. T hese a g ain are a seri e s of small s poi s o u 1 h i c h sorne-V8fretation h a s sprout e d The follow i n g estima tes of nesting birds o bserved there 1ill give an indica tion of t e v alue of t his colony. arlnl t Spaanhi ll s w j 1-. b 3 0 0 you:ug; 12 p a irs Gl ossy I b i s ; I2 A d u lts and 1 8 y oung B l a c k Crom N ight Herons; fairly l a rge numbers of nowy and merica n gret s and V-a r d1s and Tri -colore d H e rons. o accura t e count coul d be o b t ained due to a failure of t e e feed l ine on the as tank, and the l a c k of t ime for a c omplet e survey. t h i s same tim e we visited i m s F i s hing C mp o n Cedar P o i n t w hich is the nearest establishme n t of a n sort. Her e we learned t h a t

PAGE 9

a rea of and prob ably and the e Word of t h i s s t ready to break T his l a t e notice was not due to a reluc tanc e on the art of the Club to h a v e the ational uaubon Socie t y p atrollin t h e isla n d s in their s teaa. They definitely expressed gratitude to me that w e were i n t ereste d the obligation of t his c olony 11 t h a t isla n d s under 3 a n c obtainin g exas b l e gis_ a ive action. DEER I 1 NDS 8 S i nce some o f my rec o r d s have become seper a ted f rom the rest, are now u n a c c o u ntably resting in stor age in M iami, t h e repo r t on t he Deer Isla n d s will have to be issued a s a sup?lemen t a t a l ater dat e I am very sorry f o r t his i n convenienc e THE RMY ENGINEE S O n t w o occa sion s I contacte d met a nd discussed the nestin situation mn Galveston Bay with d ifferent members of t h i s organization. ffi can o n l y say that t h e i r cooperation and the s p irit with w hich they o offered t h e i assi s tanc e in protectin g thes e i s lands not only unexpected, but m ore g r t ifying b e c ause of t h i s t h e map accompa n ying t his r e p ort all c onducted with care s o t h a t t h e Y e t.a:tj_on t h e E n gineers, t hen is actually nee ed to replac e d e a d veg e t a in shoul d .be attempt ed In t h e course of natural old mother nature will undo ub t e dly provide t h i s on her ovm and for the immediate future we had b ette r not plan for a n y planting s on t h ese spOJ:j: bank s

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9 of the islands will be conducted duri n hmse t mes whe he b o; in esting In order that we may conti nue i n t h i s excellent coopera tive s piri t w ith t he Corp s o f A rmy Eng ineers, i t will be for ou r to r emai n in close contact dth them e v e r y year; meeti n with t em, revie 0 prog ram, and let ting them k now exactly the status o f t h e nestin0 coloni e s M r K i n g C h ief of Oper ations, Fort n t G alveston is t he m a n to CQntac i t it a so advisable that time whe n W a rdens are assi gned a l e t t t t o r K i n g advisin g him that our Jardens are proceedi ng tne area t hat t he i r s are beg i nn i n g to nes t and tha t he can expec t to be called u pon by our m e n the o l l over on those None will outh sid e of the channel where o f these island s i t for them to avoid dump i n in the on the i s lands H owev e r I am a s possible. One adjui.1c t t o t his plan w hich m i gh t prove beneficial to u s i n the l o n g run i s tha t of b1ildin up s h l].J to__t ese n e t n d s This w a v e the d oub l e effect of maki n t h e i.--\, approac h to the island s dangerous a n d impassable b o ats, a n d w ill provid e the birds w ith shallow w ater fee d i n g g r o u nd s quit e near to home. L_, S ING I S L N D S I personally cons i der it imper ative tha t the atio n Socie t continue ith its polic ong t erm lea s e s on all of these island s It i s t 1 e only oncetvable "'"'a we a-re i'f'tig t" o be able to e tract t h e ful lest v alue from our protectiv e pro T m W i t h the amazing g rowth of t h i s a r e a I t h i nk w e c a n e pect continued danger from outsi d e inte r ests in thes e isla nd s I therefore r e co mmend a program to g ain p e r manent and outri ht owner i nds I P a we cannot ge e m i ne ral r ight s but t he deed can e wor ded in suc h a way as to restrict the a c t ivities of mine ral leasees so that they d o not e n dang e r the p ermanency of t h e coloni e s FOOD FOR THOUGHT It is apparent p rote c t our n e sting the b e T his r aises several B feed area s und e r

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\ The birds from ollover feed rainly around the isla nds in the Yacht Bas i n and i n t h e marshe s to the West of t h e islands on bo t h s ides of Eas t B a y This incl u es the m arshes alon g S m i t h P o int, on i t s Sout h a n d est hores. Part of t n i s area belong s to the M o o dy '""amil and i Us wi4;1 i t his c nt>ra ted 10. umb ers of feedi n g birds have s I err i n j u d g men t er o f p r ime valu e to us it not b e p ossi i m to :::t:ha:t ? cla i m i s in f a v a ininO' control of the marshes ... __ si e from p ossio i e aevelopment for mineral extraction the marshes have n o v a l u e to t e f a ily o r t h e a i n t e n a ce of t h e r a n c h I feel Yet here are open, s allo w w a t e rwa s w inding a mong the clumps of tal l conce iling uras s .nd s h r bs. Mere t h e birds f eel safest a n d find t h e food they need. D r to the seclusion of the a-P it 1 ven b e nec e ssar t o a trol t B uld and a c heck made occasiona y to deteJ.'. .. i n e whether .ny such prob len a s vater pollution has risen. pertinent is the fac t t a t this bay is prote c t e d from the weste .n end of Gal vest o n bay by a long a r m of land wl ich pretty well c u t s it off from the ain b a y This will effe ctively continue t o protect Trinity l ake fro t he encroa c h ment of wate r pollution f rom the Houston h i p Channel to t he Hest. L ke _.....,.. ex ressed their simp l e proposition e area ;!Om ventually, if to t his property could be a c quired, it m i ght be to the a d vantage N ational udubon Society to create a s nctua r c are :c. i s ot. rr ere are nany rac rs w hich w o u m a k e t his an attractive idea Not only is t h e a rea one of t h e last stron holds of wil&life i n Galveston Bay, c on t aining representative m e mbers of t h e flora and f auna of the area it i s also an extremely attractive a rea. T ien t here is t h e histori cal factor. T l ayou i s t h e site of t h e si(' ning o f the Dee l r ti.Q, I n denc e w hich G r a n Glor. ous epH:hd,Texa s fro m by t 1exicans. Turtle Bayou then is the real a n d a s such s h o uld be prese r ved in its

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11. I I b e l i e v e t his historica l sig n i ficanc e w o uld make i t reasonably s imple to enli s t t h e sup port of ind ivid u a l s groups and s t ate agencie s for the purpose o f creating a S a n c tuary in this a r e a \fua t c ould be more fittin g then a memoria l to t h e founders of t h e S t a t e in the for m o f a n a r e a dedica ted to t h e p reservation of the natura l resou r ces of that s t a t e for all future eneration s ? \ell, i t s a n idea anyway s It is a n idea whi c h I t h i nk one couilid easily sell t o Texans. In a n y e v ent, I t hink i t feas i ble to extend our p r o t e c tion to t hose rts of Trinity L ake w h e r e t he b i r d s from our colon ies are fee d i ng ndeed, I consi d e r it i m portant that some suc h a c t ion b e taken W i t h i n a f e w more y e ars t h e b i r d s rill not be able to w ander along t h e s hore s o f the Bay a t will, a nd if w e a r e to have nestin colon ies we w i l l have to hav e som e p l a c e where they m a y find a n abundanc e of food in an area of co m plete prote ction. FUTU Sev e r a l of the major problem s suc h a s tee setting aside of protecte d feeding area s hav e already been discussed. There remains one last problem whi c h already exists in t he Galveston Bay rea but whic h I t h i n k w i l l s teadily grow in prop ortion with the passi n ye ars. T his i s t h e p r o blem of water pollution. occasions, t here w a s suc h a TITI'lnr e s o ons o v a u able e nd of the Bay T'1 ,X:-.,&:!a prim ry is Houston Sh i p Channel. From Houston and a l mos t to a tow n t here range s mile U ? O n mile of Oil efi neries, Chemical l a n t s Pa per M i l l s a n d other i ndu stries, a n d their number grow s a l most daily t the point where the shi p c h nnel enters G a l v eston Bay t here is a fant astic forest o f Oil derricks m ixed in with loading docks and oil storage installations. The effect of t his heav y concentration need not b e detaile d her e It is apparent wna t can happen, a n d wha t is h a p penin w hen all of t hese indust r i e s are allowed t o o pe r a t e along a major waterwa y w j...thout t,he enfo;i;:ceme 4.i,.st i n g o v erning pollutio o f the w a t ers, :he e xistenc e of leg isla t i o n t o It is co n c e i vable, indeed probabl e t h a t i f t he present situation persist s t h e entire a rea of Galv eston Bay r i l l b e come so polluted a s to dep rive our nesting colon ies o f thei r sources o f foo d sup ply. lre ady the 'ast Ba i s ruined. T h e waters arou n d Bay town., channel -@te.r:iorating I co n c e ive of this a s bei n g the major problem w h i c h today t h reatens continued existence o f our c o loni e s in Galveston Bay Bec a se of t his I am pe rsonally com p iling information o n t h i s prob lem, a n d hav e interested the T exas Ornithological Society a nd possib l the Houston Out do o r Iature Club in t h i s p roblem. I t i s m y hope t hat they c a n Join with all othe r interested group s onc e armed 1:1i t h sufficien t data, to carr y out a prog ram which mi ght c o r r e c t t h i s situa t ion.

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OF ld like t o further r e cor@end "'--' ..... p lanning for the \mr l i c h I eel t be g iven of the Texas ociet y can d o Texas a red. JY___ I t h i nk it extr e mely important t:Bt consic._eration b e given to iJr.the idea o f appo inting a Texas epresent ative to se ve on a year-round basis i n Te as. T h e object o f would be to a c h i e v e the sort of organization we now h a v e in C alifo r nia. ( t the time I ori,,inally drafted t his pro posal I vms no t informed of the C alifornia set u p i n c e chec k ing up on i t h owever I t hink the same set u p would work fine in Texas. Perha? S it w ould be even nore effective then it i s in C aliforn i a C aliforn ia1s take note.) in It ,i. oat ue ce.s_ t a t thi s man be a T exan a n d perhap s unless fully qual i f ied pe rson can be fiiere, not desire a b l e I b n t Y hP l ched t h e 0 While n e i s undoubtedl y a h i ghly qual1 ied respects and is sinc e r e and industrious, I do ot qualification3 necess a r y to best accomplish our purpose s T h e situation is changing L.here very rapi d l y \; e can e x p e c t many problems to arise over the period of the ne:'t few years. Our colonie s I z have expanded t o s u c h a size that t hey cert a i ly c annot b e handled in t he casu a l fa""hion 1hic h s eems to lave b een in effect o v e r the pas t years. I n order to protect the g a ins we hav e made nd our propert y and our to the ove r all e conom y of the tate, we need a man ther e within the state that p the man could immedia tely deal is '""ia.t.--es and o J Club a l s o b e n eeded to apprehend new are bound to do f ter t h e Jepresentative suffici e n tly stren t h e ned our position in the s t a t e and after the d e v elopment of some center or sanctua r y a rea, we c o1.;.l ost liktl e-inst a t e a l/ildlife Tou r rog ram ther e and e v e ly a summer camp It i s my firm c onviction that t here is a grea t future for the s i ies T a s and t'Fie [Qiit_bwes t 1til t h e peo p l e I met and spoke with t here requested ari extension of our a ctivities in t h e est. I a m cert a i n it will be a n extremely s imple proposition to enlist the a i d an sup port a nd inte rest of these wonderful people to accomplish the aims o f the National udubon Socie t y in their a reas.

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P O S T C I P T It i s oped b y t his ; a rden th t in none of h i s a c tivities, whic h includes the subm ission of t his rep ort, d i d he in any way a l ienate tN any p e rsons, includin t h e Iat iona l udubon Society, n o r tha t he in any 1, ay viola ted the trust p l a ced i n h ir: b t h o s e peopl e a nd the So c i ety. The purpose of thi s rep o r t is p imarily to review m y activit ies while on .. arden Dut in G 1 veston Ba and to re ort o n the successes a n d the f ailures v h i c h I met rith. I h ope that b y my rec o m m e n d tions, a l l o f w hich I consi ; e r justif i e d I may have co n t ributed, and may continue to contribute some part in r e t a i ning the a ctual b eaut y and v alue o f the rea, not only to the Conservationis t but f o r t he man y one e rful peopl e who live p l a y a n d work in that a rea. I wan t to than k J.JJ:r. John H Baker and the Nationa l u dubon Socie t y for the trus t p l a ced i n m e w e n t hey a ppointed me to that a rea, and for t h e excellent c o oper ation tha t I r e ceived from all s o u r ces uring my e ntire sta y the r e CC: Bob l len

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SUPPLEMEN 1ARY TO' 0 'I TO THE N A TIO NAL A U DUBON OCIETY, he Nesting Season of 1 9 56, -un Islands and other Islands in Galveston Bay. Page 8 11Deer Islands> The following count of nesting birds was taken on 14 July 1956. North Deer sland was the heaviest populated, with 200 pairs of adult spomnbills tending approximately 5 0 0 young spoonbills. Also nesting on North Deer Island were JO pairs Ward's Herons and 200 pairs American Egrets. On the spoil banks across from North Deer there were 250 apairs of Glossy Ibis nesting No count of the young was possible of this species. South Deer Island is still thinly populated, due largely to insufficient vegetatlon. O n this island were seen 25 pairs of Adult Spoonbills with 50 young of the year. There were 3 pairs of Ward's Herons, about 10 p airs American Egrets, and uncounted numbe r s of skimmers, terns, gulls and W i llet nesting there also.

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lOM-1 55 NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY J l fLf fl ( 0 a_....----1130 FIFTH A VE. NEW YORK 28, N. Y. MEMO To Mr. John H Baker F Mr. W Jerr Re: Addenda to the Report of the National Audubon Society by A Jerr, Page 11, following Paragraph 2 : I have information at this time from friends in Texas that there is another major feeding area which should be put under the protection, control or surveillance of the NAS. My correspondent says that this is the best summer and winter feeding area in the entire Houston-Galveston area. This feeding area, covering about 200 acres of low brackish marsh, is in the area between the Gulf Freeway and the Highway, and the railroad that intersects both highways. -This marsh is fed by a bayou and has a large concentration of spoon-bill s herons, egrets, cormorants, wood and other ibis, and during the winter;in transition seasons, white pelicans. Mr. Be n Peek of Hitchcoc k is the owner or agent of this property and he has been contact d concerning the asking price, area involved, etc. W A.J. See p a ges 9 1 0 -11 o f Narden's Report t o .National Audubon Society for nesting season of 1 9 56 28 S e ptember I have been a waiting further information from my co respondent concerning Mr. Hitchcoc k S ince this h a s not been forthcomi n g I will submit this m e m o r andum and supplementary data for i n c l u sion as :i;ar t of my report. W.A. J.

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RI::P0 RT : P ond on Palme r Lake, Trinity River Valley, near exas ,Eryap R ana.,, .:i. s area o f considerable n a tural endowment. Althou6h we did not penet r ate t o all parts o f the swamp, m y i mpr ession is that it cover s an area appr..-.GX:lJi! .at..e..ly t h ree mil13S long and half a mile wide. Th e error here would be i n ion of size. l 'he swa m is s urrounded by fairly h igh, rolling pine country w i t h l 8ose, sandy soil There is n o farming in the i. m .mediate area. rhe swa m ] .drains ;into.J?.a_J..,m er: ake, w hich winds for several m iles befor e it in turn emp!., l e s in,to the iver, some fifty miles n o r t.:. of. the of that river. "JI. l h e depth of in the pond i s feet. 'l'here are many holes of greater de0th. It i s because o f these that local hunters avoid the area t o som e extent. A major ortion Qf t;he swa m p i s heavily forested witb ( taxod ium tu el,,Q. ( myess a acquatica), and utto.n blJ.Sh (cephalanthus occidentalis). cypress and t upelo g row in fairly open stands. 'l 'he button bush exis t s primarily in dense thickets, growin g to a height of fiv e to feet These thickets extend for conside able distances about t h e p e rimeter of open water a r eas. hese b,.1lttG npu.sh b eing o f almost equal hei ght, platform o r s t age of some extent, upon which the d ama of nest ing is clearl y presented. est S:r;i.awy a,ng American Egrets, Louisiana Herons, Ibis. Wood Ibis nest in the taller cypress t owa r d the of the .sw:qmp. How m any o f these open water area s t here are I d o no t know Some of t hese are close to the edges of the s w a m p a n d others are more toward the interior. S o m e are small, others large. Se veral wou l d provide ideal s pots for boardwalks w h i c h.could exten d into a r e a s from w hich nestin g bird s and o t her wildlife c o l ... ld be obse r ved withou t interferen c e with t heir a ctivitie s No count of nests or nesting birds w a s possi ble. I t hink from m y observ ations, tl\-_t there. ust a t -t;.n e leas.}. v:. ests in the smal l area w e G O V .erea. From casua l observavion s made b y other i n d ivid u a l s I d lduce that t here 1as a inimum o f l Q O W o d I p i s oung r e c r e d there uri n_g t e 1956 season There is amp e evidenc e that this i s t oo c autious an e s t i m ate. The area .. can e a .sily sup port a Jar .colony of nest i n ."'..then I have i ntimaten were p resent t his year. The d ifficult y i n etting a n estimate was two-fold. By t h e t ime t h e site was loca te.d the nesting season was about ove r The first observatio n s were made by c asual observers a t t h e insta i c e of t his W a rden. By t h e t ime I reached the area a week or s o later, t h e u n prece nte drought.. ad so lowered t 1 e leve l o the_ Tt.init y River as to t h e t o drain off. T h i s abruptly

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2 Bran Pond co n't. B r a,,,n :Pond y oung and old birds all de s erting ) S i gns of the f ollo w i ng were noted, indicating t h e p r e senc e o f a dive rse a n d int e resting fauna in t h e area ; d e e r racoons possum, fox, allig ators ( n early extin ,.. i n g a r fish turtles a rmadillo, skun k r abbit s a n d so forth lso obs erved nest ing in the wooded area s wer e Ind i g o Bunti n g s \ Pa i n ted Bunti n s Blac k & W hite, K entuck y and Prot h o no tary v a rbler s \Blue G rosbeaks, Thrush e s and many o t her specie s I n a t y pica l habita t of t h i s ort i n t h i s p a r t of T e xas o ne co u l d expect to f i nd a m i n i mum o f 4 0 specie s of b irds u p o n o b s ervation I have been His hold i n s cw,c._.au-lill"j!' ... l i n )i h a lp-.e j.n v, to c a r r y tha,.t i f t. p n o n the consi era b l e he w ere sold word i s s u pposed Davis, a n d it w a s s u ested Dav i s would c o ncur. Smal Ir and M r s 1 J Th e s e t h r e e o r our a prs ndar eas e rimariTy I Q,. q er t o post a d rqt.ect :the l a n d from h u n ters hes e peo p l e a l 1 seem t o value t e unique properties o f the pond a nd d o their u t most to prot ect i t fro m v iola tion Hunting is not allo wed there. The o t rt seasonal l umber workers side V@ter b onus i t 'on o f i m o verish Texas. with us i n preser v ing of the r o ad, on Lake an area of sone beaut y y 1Tr. ichardson H s the area u n d e r avis H e is rat er s t rict about the use o f the rea t o t h ose u t ilizing h i s facilitie s as muc h as p ossible c o o erative a n d i n t e rested i n divid u a l Sanctuar develped in this a r e a w ould 1 a v e year r ound appeal rom e summer there is E!. 0 p o pulation o f w i tert n g and the spring and fall m igration i n the are a adds an e x tra of ornitholog i c a l pleasure is with i n t T his p u t s it m i l e s e north u l tion D llas ....... The Outdoor

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Bryan Pond co n t 3 -Nature Club. It i s a l s o C o c t t t Nati o nal Fores t the sanctuary island s in Galv e s ton B a y and the B i 'lf h i c:ke t a i n e a of tre1endous int e rest to many people. I beli e v e it is i n the b est i nterests of the d u bon ocie t y give c areful ... of c p in l?Q.-n ... be p ossible. I ot oniy vnll t his li.e:tp' t o ariend the p r e carious .. ood I b i s Sit uation, but it c o uld easily ? e a co p e e udup oi; a n ... oJJ.:0 .. ,c_p o:u.,r ___ i n the S tate. It i s e asy to sell Texas t o Texans The y a r e inten sely i n their state. T his makes it remarka b l y s imple to arouse their inte rest in any of i t s peculia r properties. The whol e p roblem of i n d u s trializ ation and bur g eonin population exists i n this area a s i n few o t h e r parts o f t h e country The ere tion of t liis S a nctu ry would be of i n r ense a i d i n estblis hing t h e bal a n c e bet w een nature and m a n a s a s t atic in the area Dnc l : cc: M r Baker Bob llen

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... .. ....

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lOM 9 -56 NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY 1130 FIFTH A VE., NEW YORK 28, N. Y MEMO To M r Baker From Bobe rt L Burnap Re: DAMAGE TO WIT "!ER STONE SANC'I'UARY W e received a n inquiry about the damage to the Witmer Stone Sanctuary a n d the C ape ay area in general by the residue from a m agnesite processing plant ther e I have talked with F rank McLaughlin about it. You probably already know what the story is. The N ew Jersey Audubon was successful in its efforts to get the com pany to install a precipitator in its stacks. However, either these are not effective or they are not used all the tim e The damage continues, caused chiefly by an alteration of the pH of the soil w hich increases the alkilinity a bove the toleration pGint of the shrubber y native to the area. At present M r McLaughlin is trying to get the new Air Pollution Control Board within the Health Department in New Jersey to act, and t hey will soon launch a probe into the m atter. Unfortunately, the people of the a rea are quite willi n g to overlook the damage to their surroundings, and, t r y as he may F rank is unable to arouse them to make a protest or to sign petitions. Perhaps they feel that they would be jeopardizing their jobs. Do we know anyone connected with the m a gnesite company1 If so, do you feel that it would be worth while to make a personal representation in a f riendly way, hoping that t hey will be able to find a satisfactory solution to this problem which is so badly damaging the area which they depend for labor and raw materials, and perhaps asking if we could be of any help o r advice? Perhaps with pressur e or the threat of pressur e on the part of the state, and the p rotests being voiced by the New Jersey Audubon, it would be useful to make an approac h through the top echelons of the company, if we have any contacts ther e

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NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY VINGT-UN ISLANDS, SMITH POINT, TEXAS Wil l iam A. Jerr April 23, 1956 WARDEN'S WEEKLY REPORT Very foggy when Warden went out .at 6:30. Visibility zero. Returned ashore. Wind came up at 8, weather warm, fog blown away. 10 spoonbills observed on NE end of island, with 10 more on blsh off shore, and 10 in trees S center of island. Water about 1 ft. higher than usual. Reefs all under water. No boats out. Wind blew strong to moderate in gusts. Remained cloudy with scattered showers. At 8:30 ten more spoonbills fl.ew to shore from SW, birds on NE shore fl.ew up and all congregated on S central shore. No :further activity. Birds all left island at four o'clock. Noticed signs of a large song-bird migration in area. A check that evening disclosed the folloldng species very prevelanl; around Smith Point. Large numbers of Indigo Buntings, male and female; Prothonotary, Myrtle, Kentucky, Palm, Pine, Cerulean, Yellow-throated and Chestnuj-sided Warblers; Painted buntings; Baltimore and Orchard Orioles; Eastern Goldfinch{ Night Hawks; Ospreys; and hordes of Barn, tree and Rough-winged Swallows. On waY, to to'Wll for supplies found in newly-flooded rice fields large numbers of Yellow-legs, greater and lesser; Black-neck Stilts, and an occasional Black Bellied Plover. April 21f., 1956 Heavy rain in morning, cool. Rain let up at 9:30. Went outto islands. Thirteen spoonbills in air heading NE. As boat was anchored 13 more flew up, went SW, five swung around and returned to center of island. Eighteen spoonbills then rose and flew to the NE, circled, 13 returning to shore of islands and the other five flew off NE. Heavy wind coming up. Noticed presence of many grackies, red w.tngs and barn swallows on islands. Wind moderating a t one o'clock, seas still heavy, s kys threatening, temperature about 70.Five spoon bills on bush to S of island, one on shore. Water high so approached closely. One White Ibis overhead going SE. One half hour later the birds all new NE. Waited one half hour longer. No sign of activity A pproached island. When 50' off shore 5 BC Night Herons, 1 Ward's Heron and l American Egret flew up. Withdrew boat. No :further activity during balance of day. Checked Warbler migration. Found additional species in area: B&W, Yellow, Blue-Wi nged, Black throated Green, Blackpoll, Magnolia, Worm Eating, Tennessee Warblers, N Water Thrush and Summer Tanager. Plan to file my notes on this migration with furthe r reports. A pril 25, 1956 Light wind, clear until 7, then cloudy, temperature 60. On way to islands saw spoonbills in air heading SE. Four glossy Ibis heading NE. Eight spoonbills on bush o f f shore, main island. 2 Am. Egrets flying toward island, landed in center Tern colony to East very noisy an d active. N o fUrther spoonbill activity during day. Snowy Egrets a nd 1 white Ibis observe d flying NE.

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19 25 A pril, 1956 Continued. Thi s i s generally typical of d ays a r ound the isla nd s Very few birds in area a t all. Occasional flights o f five or ten Black Skimmers 'Will go by, occasional gulls and terns. A thin scattering of American and Snowy Egrets usually seen feeding along waterway and shore o f mainland, vlith an occasional Ward' s Heron. Went out to Nigger Islands again to check Skimmer colony there. Ab.out five hundre s imm.ers present and accounted for. Also Royal, Cas pian, Forster's, Common and Gull-billed Terns-;ut not in any quantity. Motor a c ting strangely, so returned ashore. Examination showed one blade of pro p snappe d off. New Pro p will be n eeded Mrs. Francis Hames of 1230 Von Phister St. Key West, Fla. and Mr. and M r s Lawrence of C orpus C hristi and Coral G ables, Fla., arrived about 6 tha t evening. Have been birding in Rio Grande Valley and up the coast on way b a c k to Fla. April 26 1 956 M e t Mrs Hame s a nd Mrs. Lawre nce at 6 for Warbler c ount. A dded following t o t h e list; Nashville Bl a c k T hroated Gree n Knd hooded Warblers; a l so Philadelphia Vi reo, Bob White Quail, Dic ksissel, a nd Yellow-billed and Black-bil l e d Cuckoos seen for first time. Went to Red Fish fishing camp for b r eakfast with guests. I n a marsh c l o s e b y t here we discovered 18 s poonbills feeding 1-lit h a quantity o f SnowY Egrets 'Who a ppeared to be mating T o o k guests ou t in boa t with me o n m orning rounds. Mr. Desmoreaux, who runs t h e V an-ta-un Grocery for Rancher Dawson, lent me his m o tor for the day. Found 1 6 spoonbills on SW shore mf island. Observed first Black tern s i n area Flock of 1 2 White Pelicans in air, heading Sou t h and one Man o War seen f i shing for hims e l f for a c hange. Returne d ashore at no on G uests left, and I headed for Gilchrist where pe r sisten t report s hav e stated that a large quantity or birds was nesting. Verified th s and sent s ep erate report t o Mr. Bake r by special delivery. Went into Galveston mer e I spent t he night. Contacted Warden Rehm Apri 27, 1956 Spoke to War d e n Rehm again that morning He promised to provide me with a count of nesting birds on his islands. Bou ht new pro for boat after a great d eal of searching around. Cost seven.dolla s and ten cents. Returned to Anahuac for mail and supplies and then to Smith Point. Repaired motor and went to islands. o sign of activity other then usual thin scattering of Egrets and Herons. April 28, 1956 Weathe r cloudy, water dropping because of stiff NE wind. Five spoonbil s and one s observed flying in f rom SE first noted coming FROM that direction. Spoonbills settled in center of isl and Four spoonbills seen o n NW shore, a favorite spot when the wi nd i s i n this quarter. Two spoonbills flew up f rom cente r o f island and joined those on shore. At 8 : 3 0 2 4 spo onbills and 8 Ward' s Herons :D'le w out of c enter of island and landed on shore. A bo a t was observed approaching birds t o o clo sely and a n attem t as made to wave them off. The y did not heed Warden's warning, so ho i sted anch o r

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April 2 8 1956 Continued and gave chase. Caught bo* and explained that this was sanctuary. Boat withdrew, but not before spoonbills all took flight and went down to Isiand to the NE where they settled in lee. No further disturbance and birds remained there until 3:30. Then all flew NE. None of these birds, or any seen yet in this area, appeared courting, mating or building nests. The pattern of behavior is pretty much t e same d a y to day. T hese birds only doing some desultory feeding, mainly just roosting for the day. same number of birds seen each day. As per seperate report and maps submitted to office this coUld by no means be said to constitute an important nesting or roosting area this year. Probably all these birds belong to the group at Gile rist.Returned ashore and worked on reports. April 29, 1956 Weather fair, overcast, temperature 75, humidity 90%, gentle to moderate winds blowing from NE and further depleting w ater level of bay. Navigation will be tricky by tommorrow. Observed five spoonbills on bush to S center of island. N o activity for hoUBS'. Many commercial and private fishing boats in area, but none within a half-mile of island. Went to N i ger Islands to check Skimmer and Tern colony. Only about 100 birds present. Birds shifted to NE bank in afternoon when had moderated, and left the area about 4-:30.

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NATrDNAL AUDUBON SOCIETY VINGT-UN ISLANDS, SMITH POINT, TEXAS. William A. Jerr 16 April 19 56 WARDEN'S WEEKLY REPORT Arrived in evening, met Louis Rawalt, Warden, reviewed situation here with him. No birds nesting as yet. He has cleaned island of coon and fox, as per his report. 17 April 1956 Went out to islands with Louis Rawalt. Weather windy a nd cold, but clear. Only 7 birds observed on N E end of main island, at 6:30. Returned to Smith Point, helped Rawalt pack and.then took over his quarters when he left. Back out to the islands at noon. Forty-two spoonbills observed flying from S.W. to N.E. This later turned out to be their general fly way. Several spoonbills landed on a bush in the water to the SE of island. Some a ppeared to light in middle of island, though Rawalt had reported that none had done so during the time he was Warden here. The majority of the flock flew off to the N E. Only a few American Egrets and three Ward's Herons observed near'islands. One EW Glossy Ibis flew over heading SW. At four PM there were five s oonbills on the bush, and CQngregated on exposed shell bank NE of island, and about 30 yards from cover. Twelve Ward's Herons and ten American Egrets there also. One Louisiana Heron observed flying East, and five 'WF Glossy Ibis seen flying West. Returned ashore before darkness. 18 April 1956 Weather cold, clear a nd wind about 30 mph. About 50 birds off shore of main island when I came through channel at 6:30. Seemed quite nervous and flew at sound of motor. Settled about 1/8 mi. off shore. Flew up again, and most of flock defini'&ely did settle in middle of island. There ca.n be no dou b t of this. Ten of the flock settled off-shore. N o boa t s in vicinity of isl2.nds. Viewing made difficult because of heavy seas, so returned ashore. Met and talked to Mr. Whitehead at his ranch. Returned to Islands at four. N o spoonbills in evidence anyw here. They might have all gone into the lagoon on the interior of the i sland for protection from the wind. Three Louisiana Herons, two Ward's Herons, and five American Egrets observed on lee of island. 19 April 1956 Weather cool, clear and winds moderate to week. First o pportunity for continued viewing of islands. When boat a pproached islands at 6 :30 there were eleven spoonbills on main island. Flew at sound of the motor when I was still 1/2 mi away. _flew NE. Cut the motor @

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NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY VI NGT-UN ISLANDS, SMITH POI T TEXAS. William A. Jerr, Warden 19 April 1956 con1t. WARDEN' S WEEKLY REPORT and threw out anchor. Birds returned to island, overhead then settled into middle of island. One EW Glossy Ibis observed flying NE. Did not land. Tern co o in middle of islands on oyster bar makin g considerable noise. At 7 :30 two spoonbills flew to island from S and settled down with no preliminaries. 10 minutes later i spoonbill from NW, settled in center 'With others, out of sight of course. 10 mins later 4 spoonbills approached from NE and settled as above. About 10 mins 2 spoonbills flew up from center of island and then settled down again. Two more flew in from NE. One settled in center, the other on SE shore and began to feed. Five mins later one spoonbill appeared from North, settled into center. One spoonbill flew up at this, circled, and settled down again. Five mins later one spoonbill arriving from NE, settled in center. One Hour later 30 birds left island, circled overhead. One white Ibis seen vdth them. All landed on SW side of island in lee, flew up again, headed NE, circled back and after some indecision during which the glock broke up into fragments, straggled back to center of island. No apparent reason for disturbance. No fUrther signs of activity for an hour. Returned ashore to warm up. Returned to Islands at one o'clock. Four ktxix spoonbills were on bush SE shore of island. Fo ty spoonbills were on edge of shell bank. No activity apparent. Fon r spoonbills on second island, and three spoonbills on shore of third. 1/2 hour later these later joined the main flock on shell strip. 1 1/2 hours whole flock rose with no apparent cause. Flew NE, circled, fragmented. Ten flew off NE, ten new SW, the rest settled down on main island. 1/2 hour later twenty spoonbills flew up from island. Four settled down again, five settled in water 1/4 mi away rest flew off to NE. From then until dark no birds ovserved either flying to or away from area. Occasionally one or two birds would fly up from island and would then quickly re-light again. No boats in vicinity. Returned ashore at dark. Drove to Houston 20 April 1956. Spent morning in Houston checking for articles on local birds in Houston newspaper offices. Had broken glasses fixed, and got some supplies. On way back to Smith Point checked for birds at Cedar Bayou and upper Trinity Bay. None in evidence and none seen by natives there. Saw o American Magpies near Humble Oil Camp on road to Smith Point, and six red headed woodpeckers fighting over a -hole in a dead pine. What a racket. Returned to fishing camp and was out to the islands by two o'clock. No bi:xli:x boats in evidence in area A pproximately ei_ ht spoonb-ills standing on shell bank to N E of main island. owed no activity. Weather warm, and cloudy. Returned

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NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY VINGT-UN ISLANDS, SMITH PQINT, TEXAS. William A Jerr, Warden 21 April 1956 WARD E N S WEEJ.
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z. FLIGHT LINES FOR SPOONBILLS AND AN OCCKSIONAL WHITE AND GLOSSY IBIS X is the most commonly traveled line, to and from the Vingt-un Islands. Follows area of optimum feeding potential, is most direct route to Gilchrist Islands, and probably is the safest, being largely through uninhabited area and untraveled waters. Y is only occasionally observed in use. Termination is unknown. This line is used, so far as has been observed, only in passage away from the Vingt-un Islands. It is most probable that this line veers to the East and ends at the Gilchrist c hain. Many spoonbills are constantly observed feeding on that shore of theBolivar Peninsula It is also possible, of course, that birds on this route veer to the West and go dmm. to the Deer and Bird Islands. Z is the second most used flight line. It is used mostly i n passage away from the Vingt-un Islands. The only spoon I have observed coming to the Vingt-un Islands on this route were identical to the flights which I had seen leave the Islands only a short time before, and were most probably the same birds. Termination of this route is again unkno'Wll. It might veer either east or west to join the birds w.ith the flocks at Gilchrist to the East, or the flocks at Deer and Bird Islands to the West. It be noticed on the map that areas of observed feeding pretty generally are located along the flight lines observed. rt is just possible that all birds f1ying to and from the Vingt-un Islands have their origin from the Gilchrist Islands, and by whatever route taken they leave, rejoin the flock on those islands. It is my opinion that this is so. WM. A JERR WARDEN Vingt-un Islands Anahuac, Texas.

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