Our 2018 Winter Birding Census will be held on Saturday & Sunday, the 3rd & 4th of February, 2018. Participants can bird either morning they wish. If you are interested in joining in, please contact Amy Hardy, ORWMA Birding Chairperson, at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
The Birding Census will conclude with a lunch at the Hardy home on Sunday, Feb 4th.
We hope everyone will consider participating! Bird counts are generally done at daybreak when the birds are most active. Simply walk your property and use the attached bird list to write down how many you see of each species. Turn your completed list(s) in to Amy via email or take them to the lunch on Sunday, the 4th. Grab a cup of coffee, bottle of water, your binoculars & cameras and hit the fields and woods of Oakridge Ranch.
Fall has come to Oakridge Ranch! What a beautiful time of year!
But even better is the fact that Fall & Winter brings a beautiful bird to our area, the American Bald Eagle. Thank you, Maggie Lynch, for this picture! So neighbors, keep your cameras ready. You never know what you’ll see or what is seeking a safe haven here at Oakridge Ranch. Click on the picture to enlarge it and check out this amazing bird of prey.
Below is a note from Jim Trickett regarding our Individual Landowners’ Observation data. Also attached is the required Landowner Individual August Census form…….or you can use Jim’s shortened version attached above.
“The Observation data is needed to finish the survey. It needs to be turned in as soon as possible [Sept. 1st]. The survey sheets you have should be tallied and that data passed along to me. The sheets can be placed in my mailbox – 1278 Oakridge Road – the green address sign is close to the mailbox, but not on it.
If you would prefer, I will accept the data you have added up and averaged at bottom of the sheet. Below is a form you can fill in the data and email by return email to email@example.com. So either bring the sheets to my mailbox or send back the summarized data sheet below [via email].
With this data, I think I can furnish the data sheet for Oakridge [to Texas Parks & Wildlife Department biologists as required for our MLD].”
Jim Trickett Oakridge Ranch MLD August Whitetail Census Facilitator
The Court ordered burn ban (see below) was lifted for Colorado County on August 30, 2017. OVFD will still prefer you ask for assistance and back-up when burning your brush piles. You are required to call in your brush burning to the administrative line for Colorado County Sheriff’s Office before you burn. Be careful out there! There is still loads of dry grasses & leaves falling from the trees that are totally dry.
Attached is the individual landowner’s deer census form for August 2017 for your immediate use should you not have received it before this post.
All Oakridge Ranch property owners are required to complete this form and submit it as part of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Managed Land for Deer (MLD) program for the Ranch. These are sent to our county Wildlife Biologists to use for management of our deer herd for the upcoming season.
Please submit your completed form to Jim Trickett at the address at the bottom of the attached form by Sept 1st.
We appreciate your cooperation and participation in your MLD!
Greater Roadrunner, July 2017, Photo by B.LaVergne
The Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) is native to the desert southwest portion of the U.S., also found in most states of the southwest. These birds are year-round natives of Texas, including the Oak Prairie Region here at Oakridge Ranch. Several birds have been seen for the last few years in our area and we have had a nesting pair for the last 4 years.
These birds are much more interesting than the one made famous in the Warner Brothers cartoon series. Adult birds are 20-24 inches long with a large up-turned tail and long beak and mottled black/brown & white feathering throughout its body that appears to look like stripes. These birds have long legs with 4 toes on each foot, two pointing forward & two pointing back. You’ll rarely see a Roadrunner in flight for more than a few feet because it can’t get the lift it needs due to its size. However, Roadrunners have been clocked at 12 to 17 miles per hour.
Roadrunners mate for life and have 2 or 3 clutches per year as habitat conditions and food availability allow. A hen will usually lay 2 to 12 eggs in one clutch, but records show up to 20 eggs have been laid in rare clutches. Their nest is built by the female 2 to 12 feet off the ground with materials supplied by both the male and female. Interesting thing is the male sits on the nest at night since the female’s body temperature drops too low to keep the eggs warm enough. Young birds hatch out at about 20 days and are taken care of by both parents. The baby Roadrunners will leave the nest at 18 to 21 days, but will continue to be fed & cared for by the parents until day 30 to 40 when they go out on their own. Greater Roadrunners’ life span is approximately 8 years.
Greater Roadrunners are omnivores. Their diet is varied and includes insects, various plants & berries, lizards, small birds such as sparrows & hummingbirds. And they are fast enough to take on rattlesnakes for dinner! These beautiful birds do drop their activities by approximately 50% during the heat of the day.
Stay alert when you’re on the roads in and around Oakridge and you just might catch a glimpse of the amazing birds.
Below is a link for more information on breeding of Roadrunners in Texas: http://txtbba.tamu.edu/species-accounts/greater-roadrunner/
Check out this next link for a map of their locations in the U.S.: http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/greater-roadrunner
ORWMA will be hosting our Annual Whitetail Deer Spotlight Census in August this year. The census dates are as follows:
1. Sat – Aug 12: We will gather at 7:15PM. The trucks will be on the start line at 8:PM. Anyone who does not ride in one of the trucks may stay and visit while trucks are out.
2. Sat – Aug 19: There may be a spot or two still available in one of the pick-up trucks for counting, but come on anyway and just sit and talk.
3. Friday – Aug 25: Gather at 7:15PM. Trucks on start line at 8:PM. Visit while trucks are out if you’re not counting.
The numbers are added to the individual landowner totals and turned in on September 1st to our TPWD Wildlife Biologist. These numbers help determine the number of doe tags Oakridge Ranch Wildlife Management Association receives for the upcoming Whitetail Deer Season.
We will meet at the Trickett’s house, 1278 Oakridge Rd. You may bring a beverage and/or snack of your choice.
Please contact Jim Trickett if you would like to drive or participate in the count. Jim’s number is 281-507-7572.