Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife
High Island took a beating from Hurricane Humberto in September 2007. The storm destroyed habitat important to migratory bird species.
We lost a lot of trees. And some of them were uprooted, and some of them were twisted off and broken. So, we’ve had a lot of changes in our habitat at High Island.
Winnie Burkett is sanctuaries manager for Houston Audubon. Despite the habitat upheaval, the birds that visit High Island are fine.
They don’t mind the fact some of the trees are gone. There are plenty of mulberries, even though some of the mulberry trees are laying on the ground. There are plenty of bugs in the leaves; there are plenty of caterpillars around. So, as long as they have the food and water, they’re fine.
Birders who won competitions in the Great Texas Birding Classic—the biggest birding event in Texas—wanted to ensure the birds remain fine by selecting High Island to receive prize monies to improve habitat.
In the last couple of years, we’ve gotten prize money from the Birding Classic for diversifying the under-story in the woods. And, what we’ve been doing is the volunteers cut out the invasive exotics, like privet mostly, and then we replant with native trees and shrubs that we’ve purchased with funds that we’ve gotten from the birding classic prizes.
Diversification is important if birds are going to have a wide variety of food throughout the year, and the work of volunteers and prize money from the Great Texas Birding Classic is making that possible on High Island.
That’s our show… we had help today from Tom Harvey…For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.