© Don Jeane

Friends of

Aransas and Matagorda Island

            National Wildlife Refuges

News

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  • Tuesday, March 07, 2017 11:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Members are invited to join us Saturday, March 25, for our Spring Member Event: a trip to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge Myrtle Foester Whitmire Unit. Refuge staff will give us a behind the scenes tour of the unit.


     Closed to the public, the Whitmire Unit is an important resting area for migratory waterfowl and other birds. It's quite an interesting unit. Unlike the other units, there is active management of water levels. There are also cattle on the unit, in a controlled grazing project.


     The plan is to meet at the La Salle Monument in Indianola (see Google Map) at 8:30 a.m. and travel to the unit in refuge vehicles. You'll need to wear long pants and boots or closed toe walking shoes. Be sure to bring water, snacks, and insect repellent. You'll probably want to also bring binoculars and/or a camera. If you have a spotting scope, you might want to bring that also.


     The tour will include both driving and walking. We expect it to end by 1:30.


     For those that want to spend more time in the area, there's food available nearby. There is a historic cemetery at Indianola that can be good for birding during migration, and Texas Ornithological Society has a bird sanctuary at Magic Ridge, between Indianola & Magnolia Beach. With all the warm weather, early migrants may be coming through.


    This is a members only event, so members won't be able to bring guests unless they join FAMI. New members will be eligible to reserve a space upon receipt of membership dues.  Our group will be limited to 15 people, so please be sure to RSVP at info@friendsofaransas.org. You should get a confirmation within 24 hours. If your membership is anything other than individual, you should specify how many will be attending. Feel free to email the same address if you have any questions. 

     

    Current members should have received an email invitation. If you are a current member and did not receive an email, please contact treasurer@friendsofaransas.org.

     

  • Saturday, January 28, 2017 9:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We held our annual Membership Meeting January 21, and had very good turnout. We had a different format this year, with members arriving for fruit and baked goods before the business meeting. The minutes from 2016 were approved, as was the financial report from the fiscal year ending 9/30/2016. We elected Ellen Reisinger as Secretary. We also elected 4 new board members at large: Butch Andreozzi, Ryan Ford, Mollie Huber, and Raymond Starr. You can read about all the board members on our Meet the Board page. At the end of the meeting, our new logo was unveiled.

     

    Following the business meeting, we drew for door prizes. Vera Wiatt and Judy Pair each won trips for 2 on the Skimmer, donated by Captain Tommy Moore of Rockport Birding & Kayak Adventures. Several lucky members won various items featuring photographs by our new board member Butch Andreozzi. Butch has shared photos to our Facebook page, which you can view here. By the way, you do not have to signup for Facebook to view our page.

     

    After the meeting, we opened the program up to the public. Our featured speaker was Carrie Salyers with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. She gave us a fascinating presentation about the history of Whooping Cranes in Louisiana, and the current program to reestablish a flock there.

     

    Following the program, members were offered a tour with refuge staff to some of the non-public areas of the refuge. One of the treats they had was a very good view of an Aplamado Falcon!

     

     

     

    Our new logo

     

     

     

  • Sunday, November 13, 2016 10:05 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)



    We have a wide variety of volunteer opportunities just now. There are even some jobs that you can do from home, no matter where you live! Please take a look at our Volunteer Opportunities page and contact us if you can help.


    If you have a specific interest or talent, and you don't see anything listed that's a good fit, please contact us. We'll work something out!


  • Saturday, November 05, 2016 4:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Photo by Laura Bonneau, USFWS 

     

     On Saturday, November 19, members will have an opportunity to visit the Lamar Unit of Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. This unit is located on the Lamar peninsula, north of Rockport, and is closed to the public. It is home to Whooping Cranes and numerous other birds. Laura Bonneau, Refuge Visitor Services Manager, will be along to tell us about the unit. *

     

    This is a field trip limited to Friends members only. If you are a current member and did not receive your invitation, please contact the treasurer. If you are not currently a member, and would like to join you can do so here.

     

    If you have any questions about the field trip. you can email us for more information.

     

    This is a wonderful opportunity to explore a part of Aransas National Wildlife Refuge that many people do not get to see. 

     

    *Since the Lamar Unit is not managed for public access, a different trip may have to be substituted due to weather and/or road conditions. 

     

    Aerial photo by Wade Harrell, USFWS 

  • Wednesday, October 19, 2016 4:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Linda Lanoue, Fred Lanoue, Linda Swiggett, & Linda Frank  Photo by Joe Saenz, USFWS

     

    Aransas National Wildlife Refuge celebrated National Wildlife Refuge Week with Refuge Celebration Day October 15th. Over 350 people came out to enjoy tours of the refuge, kayaking, archery, face painting, and much, much more.

     

    We also held our Pollinator Garden "Grand Opening". It was perfect timing, and the garden was full of butterflies. Guided tours of the garden were given, and other people visited it on their own. We saw people enjoying the garden in various ways, such as sketching, photographing, studying the plants and their labels, and watching butterflies.

     

    We've gotten wonderful comments on the garden. If you're in the area, come and check it out!

     

     Julia butterfly in garden Oct. 15th. Photo by Debra Corpora

  • Sunday, October 09, 2016 10:34 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Members of the Rough Riders 4-H Club, from the Austwell-Tivoli ISD, did an amazing job in our pollinator garden October 8th. They removed a mountain of undesirable plants from the garden in record time! Many thanks to them for their hard work. A couple slipped away before we could get a photo, but we appreciate each and every one of them!

     

     Rough Riders 4-H Club workers, along with Linda Frank (far right) who supervised the work. Photo by Fred Lanoue

  • Sunday, September 18, 2016 6:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    There are some exciting events being planned at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. Details are still being worked out, but mark your calendars now!

     

     

    Saturday, October 15 - 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

    Refuge Celebration Day

     

     Activities will include:

    Pollinator Garden Grand Opening, with tours of the garden led by the garden designers. Representatives from the South Texas Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will be present to give information on native plants.

    Also...

    • Live animals to be viewed close up
    • Fishing
    • Crafts for kids
    • Archery
    • Tours of the refuge
    • Photography walks
    • Whooping Crane talks, and more!

    No admission will be charged that day, and all the activities will be free.

     

     

    Saturday, November 19 - Time to be determined 

    Lamar Unit Tour for Members Only *

     

     Refuge staff will take us into the Lamar Unit, which is closed to the public. Lamar is a wooded and wetland unit that Whooping Cranes and other species call home. Details will be emailed to members in early November.

     

    Wednesday, December 21 - Time to be determined

    Christmas Bird Count

     

    Annual citizen science bird census. Contact Paul Swacina to sign up. 

     

    Saturday, December 31 - Time to be determined

    Early Bird New Year's & Refuge Birthday

     

    This was a wonderful event last year, and this year should be even better. We had cake & punch, a contest for best dressed in Whooping Crane colors, Super Whooper led dancing to the Whoop Song, and counted down to noon. Details will be listed as they become available. 

     

     

    Saturday, January 21 - Time to be determined

    Annual Friends Membership Meeting

     

     Business meeting, election of officers, and updates on the refuge and FAMI. The program will be given by Carrie Salyers, Biologist/Wildlife Outreach Coordinator with Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries. She will be speaking about their project to restore Whooping Cranes to Louisiana. Details & instructions to RSVP will be emailed to members in early January.

     

     

    Saturday, March 25 – Time to be determined

    Myrtle Foester Whitmire Unit Tour for Members Only *

     

     Refuge Staff will take us into the Whitmire Unit, which is closed to the public. It’s an important resting area for migratory waterfowl and other birds. Details will be emailed to members in early March.

    * Field trip locations may vary based on road and weather conditions.

     

    We hope you can join us for some, or all, of these events! 

     

  • Sunday, September 11, 2016 10:13 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The History Center for Aransas County honored Friends of Aransas NWR and others that were chosen as  Stewards of Nature in Aransas County. President Fred Lanoue was presented a certificate at a reception September 10th. Organizations and individuals honored were chosen by members of the community for their efforts to preserve, protect, and restore the natural environment. 

     

    The reception marked the opening of the History Center's exhibition, Stewards of Nature, which will be on display through November 12, 2016. The exhibit celebrates those who have worked to preserve the unique environment of the Coastal Bend, with its barrier islands, marshes, and oak mottes. There will be posters telling the stories of the honorees.  

     

    You can see more about the exhibit here.

     

    We are excited and proud to be part of this exhibition! 

     

     Photo by Linda Swiggett

  • Tuesday, September 06, 2016 11:06 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This study was done on the introduced Eastern flock, but it is quite interesting.

    Click here to read the study. 
  • Wednesday, August 31, 2016 3:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    There was a great deal of excitement when Whooping Cranes were recently sighted on the refuge from a boat, with people thinking they had arrived back very early. Actually, they never left! Click here to read Sara Sneath's article in the Victoria Advocate.

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