To honor a person who recognized the hummingbird immigration early, the History Center for Aransas County (HCAC) features a corner display about Connie Hagar – first lady of Texas birders.

The self-taught naturalist moved to Rockport in 1935 after several previous trips to the coast. Her husband, Jack, purchased the Rockport Cottages on Church Street in South Rockport. While he managed the business, Connie recorded many bird species during her twice-a-day rounds to nine locations in the county. A map and notes from her journal are on display at the HCAC. Ornithologists noticed her findings when her articles appeared in a local newspaper. They challenged her sightings until they came to the coast and saw the birds for themselves.

Hagar’s renown earned her special recognition from the Audubon Society and she is honored at several local sites, including the Connie Hagar historical marker at Little Bay, and a designation on the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) Great Texas Birding Trail. Some people also seek out her burial site next to her husband in Rockport Cemetery.

The Connie Hagar Cottage Sanctuary is open 24/7. It was established at the site of the cottages (Church and First streets) in 1995. This corner is now protected by Aransas First, a land trust, and maintained by Aransas Pathways. Trails and signage make your visit to the site most enjoyable. The Sanctuary is a TPWD Wildscape with native plants, protection, and water for wildlife. It is also a Monarch Waystation with pollinator plants to attract and nourish butterflies.

For more information on the exhibit drop by the HCAC (801 E. Cedar St.) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays and Mondays, or 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, of visit www.hcfirends.net.

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