Celebrate Urban Birds

By: Michael D. Jewell, Travis Audubon Volunteer

Celebrate Urban Birds began in 2007 as a year-round project developed and launched by The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Its primary purpose is to reach diverse urban audiences who do not already participate in science or scientific investigation. I’m unsure of when Travis Audubon first participated, but this year was Janel’s eighth and my seventh time.

I look forward to the Austin Nature & Science Center’s event every year. It was my introduction into Travis Audubon Society, having just moved from Houston. This is where I first met Travis Audubon member and field trip leader Jane Tillman, a 7 year-old birder named Sebastian Casarez, Cait McCann, Shirley LaVergne, and many other people from Austin’s great birding community.

This year Mary Kay Sexton, Mary Hoch, Janel Nye, Beth Arnold and Joseph Bousquet ran the booth, leading kids and adults through a few bird games and a few bird walks around the Austin Science & Nature Center.

A couple of participants in the Young Birders Club showed up with parents. It’s always fun to talk with them and let them share their knowledge and enthusiasm. A rather tall 4 year-old named Everett stopped by our booth with his sister and mother and wowed me by identifying nearly every bird pictured on the triptych panels. I had an opportunity to speak with his mother later, who said that Everett really knows his backyard birds and is anxious to learn more. I’m sure there are many more Everetts out there.

Janel and I are heading out for a West Texas, New Mexico and SE Arizona camping/B&B trip. Get out there and bird, and support Travis Audubon Society.

Welcome aboard Nicole Netherton, the new Travis Audubon Executive Director!

I love this time of year, in more ways than one; there is excitement in the air.

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