Friday, January 20, 2012

Send in the Sandhills

I haven't lived in Centerpointe long enough to know whether the unusual concentration of large birds in this area is "normal", or is partially a result of the drought forcing many species including avian predators into suburban areas to search for food, as some recent news articles have suggested.  

What I DO know is that the number and diversity of birds is remarkable.  Part of this is certainly due to the relatively large amount of undeveloped green space in our area:
Nearby open fields marked with arrows.  It may not look like much on a map, but relative to other Clear Lake areas, it's a lot of open land in a relative sense.
Drive south on West Walker on any morning and you are absolutely guaranteed to see at least two towering raptors (birds of prey) perched on light posts between here and Victory Lakes.  This morning, there were three. 

About two days ago, I saw something I've never seen before: I'm about 75% sure I saw a bald eagle flying over Clear Creek at IH-45.  It was simply too large to be any other bird of prey.

And this morning again, another new sighting: a Sandhill Crane in one of the fields on the east side of West Walker just north of Victory Lakes Intermediate School.  Sandhills winter in Texas and are not uncommon, but this is the first time I've ever seen one in a suburban neighborhood.
From, which is no longer blacked out today because of the SOPA/PIPA controversy.
Sandhills are simultaneously well-camoflaged by their muddy greyish color, but hard to miss because of their four-foot-tall stance.
 Anyway, the moral of this short story is that the Cooper's Hawk I recently spotted on my own backyard fence was no fluke.  Look around as you're driving the area, and you might be amazed at what you see in the way of wildlife. 

1 comment:

  1. Sandhills are all over Galveston and Brazoria County. Before Sedona was built hundreds would land in the field that is now full of homes. If you look hard enough there is a lot of wildlife in League City because not that long ago League City belonged to them.


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