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Wild About Houston Short Film Screening Wednesday, 6:30 pm - HNPAT Monthly Meeting Co-presenters for this event are: Houston - NPAT,…

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Conservation Easement Workshop FRIDAY, 2pm to 5pm Co-Hosts: Cibolo Conservancy and the Hill Country Alliance Hill Country…

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Prairie Facts

Report on Maddin Prairie Preserve, December, 2016 by Kirsti Harms


Maddin Prairie Sunset

Maddin Prairie Update Winter 2015

From Kirsti Harms - NPAT President

We conducted our Maddin winter bird survey this weekend. Luckily, Chuck Sexton and Jane Tillman came out. They are working on their Mitchell County bird lists and are actually excited about this part of the state! We are lucky to have Chuck helping out—he’s one of the best birders (and naturalists) I know. And he helped with mesquite clearing on the roads!


Mesquite removal

I arrived late afternoon on Friday. It was in the mid-70s and very still. Beautiful, mild weather. I managed to see the burrowing owl that evening. The sunset was spectacular. And I fixed the irrigation pipes… again…


Prairie dusk at Maddin

Pat Merkord [NPAT Executive Director] and the winds arrived in the middle of the night. Because of the windy conditions, the birding, for the rest of the weekend was difficult. Our group headed to the creek area to get out of the wind. I suspect that this mild winter has affected the birds that migrate down. But still we managed to get a pretty interesting list. LOTS of woodpeckers! I think the drought and dead trees have been good for these birds. Also had lots of American Goldfinches and the regular White-crowned sparrows in the “weed patches.” We had a good sunflower crop this fall. Had three porcupines hanging out in trees. They don’t seem inclined to run away.


Porcupine up a tree

I was most happy to see water in the creek. We haven’t had this much since the drought of 2011. The creek rose was very high during the late October floods that stranded Pat and the area is continuing to get rain. Saturday night’s cold front had us a bit nervous in the trailer, but the high winds passed and the gentle rain for the rest of the night was very nice. Sunday morning was less windy for a few hours and then it started blowing. Part of life on the prairie, I guess.


Water in North Fork of Champion Creek


Non-native emus have taken up residence on the prairie.