The 2021-22 Fulton Learning Center (FLC) birding teams were recently announced by school sponsor Martha McLeod.
Students are preparing to learn about the migratory and resident species of birds of the Coastal Bend area. They will practice every Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. to learn to identify bird species by their field marks, behavior, and the sounds they make. Their first practice session was Wednesday, Sept. 8, where students learned the basic anatomy of birds and how to use a field guide. Within the field guides, students analyzed the range maps to determine if species would be found here in Texas in a specific season.
The FLC birding program has been one of the top youth birding programs in the state of Texas for several years with first place finishes in the Great Texas Birding Classic each year, sponsored by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD). The success of the program is due in part from the support from the Aransas County Independent School District staff, administrators, parents, community members, school board members, and support from various birding organizations.
The program has had tremendous collaboration and support from several community members and organizations such as the Aransas Bird & Nature Club, Texas Ornithological Society, Fennessey Ranch, and Captain Tommy Moore’s Rockport Birding and Kayak Adventures, Wings Rescue Center, Hawk Watch volunteers, and TPWD.
Birding team members are Benji Hale, Brianna Hill, Liam Hunt, Mamie Alston, Lane Garrett, Ella Buckley, Pasquale Dominguez, Bryant Manning, Hollis Weems, Braden Almond, Blaine Chapman, Everett Gambill, Kennedy Vonhartmann-Engel, Mackey Westlake, and Paris Guthrie. Alternates are Samuel Lynch, Kennedi Johnson, and Haidyn Garcia.
The first field trip of the year is Friday, Sept. 24 to the Hawk Watch at Hazel Bazemore Park in Calallen.