Archive for October, 2008

TPW Magazine November Preview

Friday, October 24th, 2008

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife

Falconry and the return of the Trinity River…in the November issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine. Managing editor, Louie Bond.

Russell Graves wrote a great story on falconry for us this month. And, falconry has such historic roots. It dates back to seventh century BC, in Mesopotamia, believe it or not, all the way through European nobility. And even the Japanese Samurai culture used falcons. So it has great historic traditions, not to mention it’s just such a beautiful site. One particular quote from a falconer really stood out for me about the bond between the bird and the hunter, and that is: ‘Every time you cut your bird loose, they can choose not to come back to you.’

Another story that we have is about the Trinity River Basin, and how a group of landowners came together to try to save this beautiful area. And, I grew up in Dallas, and I remember the Trinity River twenty-five, thirty years ago, was seen as little more than a sewer. Fortunately, the picture is better there now. And now that these landowners have gotten together with private groups and the state, they’re really doing a lot of work.

Five million people depend on the Trinity River for clean water, so there’s nothing that could be more important. But they’re having tremendous success—lots of good things to come. And it just proves once again that we can work together to protect and preserve our natural resources.

We have more information about these topics at

That’s our show… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Bird Feeders

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife

Setting out backyard feeders is a great way to get birds to gather in places where you can easily enjoy them.

Feeders should be a supplement to a garden. That’s what you should concentrate on, is creating a garden that is going to provide some of the materials, and then use your feeders to put the birds where you can easily see them.

Mark Klym, an avid birder, coordinates the Wildscaping Program for Parks and Wildlife. The kinds of feeders and food you put out will determine the kinds of birds you attract for up close viewing.

Black oil sunflower seed is your best. I certainly do not recommend using the mixes that have a lot of red millet or milo in them because they tend to attract a lot of house sparrows. Use different types of feeders. Not all of our birds can easily feed on a column that is hanging with a very short perch. Put out a platform feeder and you’ll get some of your traditionally ground-feeding birds that will go to the platform. Put out some peanut feeders for some of our bigger jays. You might want to look at putting out a sock feeder, which is just a sock that has thistle seed in it, for the finches. And they’ll actually pull it out of the cloth sock.

There you have it: creating a stunning and educational experience in your own backyard can be as easy as hanging a sock with the proper seed. Just be sure to keep those binoculars handy.

There is no place better in the world for attracting birds than right here in Texas.

Learn more about Texas birds and ways to bring them to your home by visiting our website:

That’s our show… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Myths About Feeding Birds

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife

[SFX: winter wind]
With winter on the way, you may be tempted to set out bird feeders for your feathered visitors.

There are people that maintain that feeders are unnatural, that they crowd the birds into a smaller area. Birds are like us, if there’s food available, they’re going to come to it.

Wildscape program coordinator, Mark Klym, says the crowding situation is fleeting, and should not be a factor when deciding whether to provide birds with supplemental feeding. Since we’re myth-busting, Klym adds that a dirty feeder—while unpleasant—will not cause disease birds that eat from them.

If they’re not kept clean, they can enhance disease situations, but they can’t—by themselves—cause disease.

Another unfounded feeder fear is that easy access to food will encourage migratory species to stay put.

Birds migrate for a much more powerful trigger than just whether there’s just food available. And if you look at it, in a lot of areas, when the birds start to move, there’s some of the biggest supplies of [natural] food that there have been all year.

Finally, there is no evidence that a bird feeder will cause species not usually found in your area to book a visit.

Your feeder is not going to bring a bird that wouldn’t otherwise have been in the area. It’s going to be a situation where that bird happened to be in the area already, saw your feeder, and came to it.

So, this winter, if you want to put out a feeder to supplement the diet of visiting birds, do so without guilt.

That’s our show… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Texas Outdoor Story–Nan Crouch

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Passport to Texas Outdoor Stories from Texas Parks and Wildlife

Nan Crouch and her sister Jan Wigginton of Brady, are avid outdoorswomen and hunt together whenever they can. Nan shared a “dirty” story with us about the rainy day she bagged a big buck on family property in Rochelle.

So, in order to get it out, we had to go back to the cabin and call my husband to come clean it for me. On the way back, we were excited and not paying attention, and we ran through this low place in the road and we got stuck [in the mud] up to the axels on the three-wheeler.

So, we got off and we walked to the cabin and we got Jan’s red Toyota pickup, she hooked me up and pulled out, [SFX vehicle stuck in mud] but what we didn’t think about was the mud slinging all over me. All you could see was the whites of my eyes, and I looked like someone with dreadlocks, but it was mud.

So, we laughed all the way back to the barn. We got to the barn and had to bathe in the water trough because I didn’t want my husband to know that we made such deep ruts in the road—not thinking when he got down there to go get the deer that he would see the ruts.

But, anyway, he came down and went over and got the buck, got him cleaned, got him back to town. It was quite an experience and it was fun. (giggles) You know, we never have a camera when we do stuff like this, because we’re always doing something kind of dumb.

Nan listens to our show on KNEL in Brady. She also won the grand prize in our Texas Outdoor Story promotion this summer. Learn more at

That’s our show… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

TPW TV Fall Preview

Monday, October 20th, 2008

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife

Texas Parks and Wildlife Television begins a new season this month. Production Supervisor, Don Cash.

One of the really nice things about our show, it it’s not a news show—you don’t have to get everything in, in a minute or a minute and fifteen seconds. We have the time on the show to really get into a topic. We have anywhere from eight, nine, ten minutes, so you really get a good feel for the topic and the people that we’re featuring. So that’s something that’s really unique to this show.

We got a lot of really interesting stuff coming up this year. We’ve got a story on Houston Toads, we go cat fishing. I spent five days at Garner State Park over the Fourth of July weekend, doing a feature on the busiest weekend at the busiest park, and just had a great time and met some really, really wonderful people.

We’ve got an entire show in the middle of the season dedicated to the reefing of the Texas Clipper. A lot of people are familiar with that. And, we’re going to go back and do some dives on the clipper, a year after it was sunk, and see how it’s changed in a year, and also look at the economic impact the reefing of the Texas Clipper has on the South Padre area.

We’ve got a new series, Take Me Fishing, and it’s geared a lot, really, to kids, and to parents to help kids get started.

So, it’s a new season, we’ve got a lot of new stuff coming up, and I hope people will watch the show.

Thanks Don. Find a list of stations that air the series, at

That’s our show …For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.