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Old Saturday 26th May 2012, 14:29   #1
NicoleB
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Book suggestions

Hi folks,
I will most likely head to Texas in a few months time.
Do you have any recommendations for bird and nature books for the Texas area for me?
Cheers,
Nicole
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Old Saturday 26th May 2012, 17:14   #2
Chris D
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i like the sibley 'bird' guide.
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Old Saturday 26th May 2012, 17:44   #3
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Nichole, what part of Texas will you be in and when? I ask because there are some excellent books for specific areas, like the panhandle or the coast or Lower Rio Grande Valley, whereas for some portions of Texas, like the north central region, a good field guide will suffice.
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Old Sunday 27th May 2012, 20:14   #4
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Nicole, there has been many discussions about bird books for the US, for example this one which centered on the north-east: http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=229149

In Texas, if you end up there, I am not sure if a Sibley-east or Sibley-west would be the best, but if this is your first time in the States, I would recommend against going with the combined large Sibley guide: you would be missing some text that would be helpful which is present in the regional guides, or can be found in for example the NatGeo guide.

The ABA guides are good location guides for the coast and the Rio Grande Valley, but they may not be relevant depending on where you would be living.

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Old Monday 28th May 2012, 01:58   #5
Saltwater Cowboy
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Yea, Texas covers the entire middle 1/3 of the country (nearly 800 miles from east to west), so the birding varies significantly from the desert mountains of the west to the piney woods of the east, rolling plains and prairies of the north and beaches and salt marshes of the gulf coast. There are good books for each area.
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Old Monday 28th May 2012, 18:12   #6
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read, 'Empire of the summer moon'. It's not about birds - but it'll make Texas make more sense.....
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Old Tuesday 29th May 2012, 09:07   #7
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Thanks everyone!

@Lulubelle - I will be near Uvalde (whichever region that will be in...) :-)

@Niels - thanks for the suggestions!

@Saltwater Cowboy - before my husband drove through some areas there, even he didn't realize how different the areas are there (and he's from Arizona).
I didn't know at all. To me it sounded like mostly vast, plain areas. LOL.... :-)

@Chris - putting it on my 'To Do' list !
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Old Tuesday 29th May 2012, 10:27   #8
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Uvalde is Texas Hill Country! A beautiful place to have to go!! Right now a spot called Chalk Bluff Park is hosting a Rufous-capped Warbler, actually has had 2, possibly even 3! It was photographed as late as May 24. Probably still there!

I will send you the email of a gentleman who lives down there and he can give you some great info.

Neal's Lodges is an awesome spot to bird and you can bird the property without staying there!

I personally don't know of a birding guide for that area, but I will post a list of great spots for you to check out. I will look to see if there is a good guide out and if I find one, will post hat too. Am sure if someone else reading this thread knows of one, they will post as well!

I envy you!!! 'Tis a beautiful part of Texas, which as someone else has already pointed out is a vast state with many different biozones! Texas offers a little bit of everything from coastal marshes to Chihuahuan desert to pine forests! Even the desert has a unique beauty of its own!
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Old Tuesday 29th May 2012, 10:48   #9
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Sadly I won't get there before my Immigration Visa has come through - possibly another 7 months.
But maybe they'll be there next year :-)

Cool, any help and Info is welcome!

Thanks for all the help! :-)
And yeah, I was really surprised to see that there's so much variety and that the area we stay in almost looks like 'home' here in Germany ;-)

Well, if you ever get down to that area, let me know (when I'm there in a few months...) :-)
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Old Tuesday 29th May 2012, 16:30   #10
Lisa W
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Nicole,
You might want to consider picking up the ABA/Lane Birdfinding Guide - " A Birder's Guide to the Rio Grande Valley". The book covers 3 of the 10 ecological regions of Texas - South Texas Plains, Edwards Plateau, and the Trans-Pecos. The Texas Hill country is part of the Edwards Plateau. Many of the locations lulabelle mentioned are covered in the book. It is more of a where to go and discussion book than a bird picture guide like Sibley's. If you go with Sibley's the Eastern version would cover much more of the state than the western does.
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Old Tuesday 29th May 2012, 16:59   #11
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[quote=NicoleB;2451816]Sadly I won't get there before my Immigration Visa has come through - possibly another 7 months.
But maybe they'll be there next year :-)


Could be a blessing.................

Texas looks a little different in April - compared with August. Also - many neo-tropical migrants pass through (on their way north) then.

Some times things are a tad less funner when it's 105 degrees and everything is on fire.
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Old Tuesday 29th May 2012, 18:20   #12
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Nicole,

There is a gentleman from Uvalde by the name of Bob Rasa who takes people birding out of Neale's Lodges on weekends during spring migration. He posts on the Texbirds web-site so you can get his email from there. He took my wife and me out this past April and helped us find the Golden-cheeked warbler and Black-capped vireo along with other neat birds. By the way the Texbirds web-site is a good source of information of birds seen in different parts of Texas.
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Old Tuesday 29th May 2012, 22:46   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehrodz View Post
Nicole,

There is a gentleman from Uvalde by the name of Bob Rasa who takes people birding out of Neale's Lodges on weekends during spring migration. He posts on the Texbirds web-site so you can get his email from there. He took my wife and me out this past April and helped us find the Golden-cheeked warbler and Black-capped vireo along with other neat birds. By the way the Texbirds web-site is a good source of information of birds seen in different parts of Texas.
Bob's email was one of the 2 I was going to give her! I was also going to give her Rhandy Helton's email - he is out of Junction which isn't too far from Uvalde. Both are the regional experts and they can give priceless info on the area. There are some great parks in the area - Lost Maples State Natural Area, Chalk Bluff Park, Garner State Park, South Llano State Park just to mention a few. Kerr WMA is an excellent spot to get the Black-capped Vireo. The entrance road to Chalk Bluff Park alone can net you an amazing amount of birds at the right time of year!

It sounds like you may be here around Jan or so. Bob & Rhandy can let you know what to expect.

Rhandy Helton email: [email protected]

Bob Rasa email: [email protected]

I agree that Texbirds can provide valuable info, as can NARBA, just click on the Texas RBA.

NARBA: http://narba.org/default.aspx/MenuIt...Group/Home.htm

Texbirds: http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/TEXS.html

Lisa W - Believe it or not, I lucked into a 1960's version of Lane's ABA guide to the LRGV and although itis much out of date, it has amazing info in it that is still quite relevant!!! It was quite a pleasure to read through and next time I go down there, I am going to try go to some of the spots suggested in that volume! I had forgotten that one (current book that is!!!) - it indeed may be a good site guide for that area.

Nichole, how long will you be in that area! It would be an amazing area to be in during the spring, if you get to stay that long!!!
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Old Wednesday 30th May 2012, 04:12   #14
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Again, thanks everyone!

@Lisa - I guess I will go with more than one book anyway. We will, hopefully, stay there long term, so it will be worth it :-)

@Chris - I've lived two years in Kuwait. Two summers there with temps up to 55C and some humidity and dust for good measure.
I don't really need it, but I know I'll live (if I have to :-P)

@ehrodz - Way cool, thanks! Will contact him once I get closer to getting there!

@lulubelle - wow, you guys are amazing, thanks again!
I hope I will get to stay a few years :-)
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Old Wednesday 30th May 2012, 17:00   #15
Lisa W
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Nicole,
If you stay for a few years, we'll make you an honorary Texan (I was born and raised in the Dallas, Texas area).
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Old Wednesday 30th May 2012, 17:05   #16
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Or as Lyle Lovett would say, 'That's right! Your not from Texas......but Texas wants you anyway!".............

killer song.

I'm from New Jersey. The same, only different.
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Old Friday 8th June 2012, 04:53   #17
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Hi folks,
things have changed again (why does that not surprise me?)
:-(

If anyone knows a job for a very decent hard working man with mechanical background on a Ranch, let me know,...
:-)
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