Counting birds

Friends of Connie Hagar sponsored a team for the Big Sit. They spent the day identifying 60 species from inside a 50-foot circle at the Connie Hagar Cottage Sanctuary.

The Big Sit, which was held Saturday, Oct. 24, is an annual event sponsored by the Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD) to promote birding and to record bird species in locations across the state. It is celebrated as the Great Texas Birding Classic.

The Friends of Connie Hagar sponsored a team, headed by Susan Foster, to honor the late Connie Hagar - the first lady of Texas birders.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions the number of participants (nine) was very limited.

Birders gathered between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. at the Connie Hagar Cottage Sanctuary. They were required to sit within a 50-foot circle. From the circle, with binoculars, they could observe birds on the bay at Water St., in the prairie on the south and east part of the property, and in the brush and oaks on the west side.

A total of 60 species were observed, including sandhill cranes, migrating franklin gulls, and several species of hawks. Team members reported sightings to Foster who kept track of species observed on the ebird app. The sightings were then sent to the TPWD.

This reporting continues the collection of data about migrating birds as Connie Hagar did in the 1930-60s.

About Connie Hagar Cottage Sanctuary

The Connie Hagar Cottage Sanctuary (1491 S. Church St. - corner of South Church and First streets) is partner with Aransas Pathways. The 6.25 acres was purchased in 1995 to protect the environment and to honor Hagar. The gardens feature native plants that attract birds and butterflies. The plants are labeled so visitors can see how native plants adapt to this environment.

Workdays are held at 8:30 a.m. on the third Saturday of each month.

One may join Friends of Connie Hagar by sending $25 dues to P.O. Box 2465, Rockport TX 78381.

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