The June Birding 102 field trip will be in the College Station area on June 24. In the morning, we will explore some of the birding locations around College Station and then when it gets really hot, we’ll head inside for a visit to the Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections at Texas A&M. The birds we are likely to see are the ones that breed in the area, so we’ll get to watch behavior as well as practice our ID skills.
The Collection is an amazing place. It has many types of wildlife, but of course our time will be focused on the birds. We will get an introduction to the Collection, possibly get to see students preparing birds specimens, get to look closely at feather tracts to better understand how the arrangement facilitates the bird’s ability to fly and how it impacts what we see on a bird, get the chance to study variation among individuals, and get to peruse the vast collection of bird skins. It will be a unique learning opportunity!
A few words of caution: It will be June in Texas so it will be hot while we are out birding in the morning. The Collections building smells strongly of moth balls which are used extensively to prevent damage to the specimens. If you don’t handle heat very well or if you object to the moth ball smell or if looking at dead birds offends you, this field trip is NOT for you.
We will meet at 5:00 am in Austin and carpool to College Station. After birding, we’ll break for a picnic lunch and then visit the Collections. I anticipate heading home no later than 4:00 pm.
The field trip is only open to graduates of Travis Audubon’s Intro to Birds classes who are members of Travis Audubon. Tuition is $30. Feel free to join now if you’re not already a member! If you have questions, contact Shelia at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 512-294-0272.