Speaker Series: Attracting Birds in the Texas Hill Country: Improve habitat, see more birds

Doors open at 6:30 PM, Talk starts at 7:00 PM

This is a new way to enjoy birding and it’s all about helping the birds. Using local Hill Country photographs, Rufus Stephens and Jan Wrede will present a few critical Hill Country habitat types, what the birds need to live there, and best management practices.

Bring your questions. Come ask an expert about bird habitat stewardship onyour property, specific needs for a bird of particular interest, or a public property project that can benefit birds. They are interested in encouraging citizen science for improving bird habitat.

Their new book “Attracting Birds in the Texas Hill Country” is a huge resource packed with information. They wrote the book to inspire and enable widespread and effective bird conservation. After years of presenting seminars on land stewardship and classes on attracting birds to your backyard, they decided to write a practical guide for both small and large properties. Each chapter contains an in-depth discussion of common problems and solutions. It showcases 107 bird species in their habitats with color photographs and a short description of each bird’s habitat needs and how to enhance that habitat.

“Attracting Birds in the Texas Hill Country” is the first of its kind, so there is no well-established template like for identification books. They’ll provide a handout on how the book is organized to help you find the answers to your bird stewardship questions.

Carter Smith, executive director, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says, “If you are looking for a ‘how-to’ book on managing and enhancing habitats for the Hill Country’s rich array of bird life, this is as good as it gets. This is a must read for homeowners and land owners, big and small, who are interested in conservation of our resident and migratory birds.”

Reader Scott Swearingen calls it, “a comprehensive, classic resource for generations to come.”

Rufus Stephens recently retired from a 23 year career with Texas Parks & Wildlife as a wildlife biologist. He was a founder of the Texas Master Naturalist program and now is a wildlife consultant focusing on helping landowners manage habitats for birds.

Jan Wrede is former director of education and citizen science at the Cibolo Nature Center and author of Trees, Shrubs, and Vines of the Texas Hill Country. They both live in Boerne, Texas.