Hi Everybody!!

Hi Everybody!!
Welcome to my Hometown!!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

ROAD TRIP TO THE PRAIRIE (A PRAIRIE BIRDS AND PRAIRIE CLOUDS ON KATY PRAIRIE PHOTO BLOG)

Hi Everybody!!
Here we are out on the Katy Prairie looking for red wing blackbirds. I found them! Most of You know I live in the woods, but outside the woods is a big, big prairie. The next town 5 miles away is called Prairie View (to see on map). This road trip was to Monaville, which is about 35 minutes from Rainbow Creek (by car). It might as well be the moon as the landscape is that different from the woods. Likewise, different types of birds live there. My fave to look for is the red wing blackbird as they do not come to the woods. There are almost no trees on the prairie, so the sky is very big. I found some cool clouds there for you to see, and (maybe a secret admirer) in his fancy red jet! All in your Prairie photostudy tonight! Enjoy!







From the Google Index:
Red-winged Blackbird
Bird
The Red-winged Blackbird is a passerine bird of the family Icteridae found in most of North and much of Central America. Wikipedia
Scientific nameAgelaius phoeniceus
RankSpecies


The following is an excerpt from the Page. See link for complete Article:

Red-winged Blackbird

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The range of the Red-winged Blackbird stretches from southern Alaska to theYucatan peninsula in the south, and from the western coast of California andCanada to the east coast of the continent. Red-winged Blackbirds in the northern reaches of the range are migratory, spending winters in the southern United States and Central America. Migration begins in September or October, but occasionally as early as August. In western and middle America, populations are generally non-migratory. [16]
The Red-winged Blackbird inhabits open grassy areas. It generally prefers wetlands, and inhabits both freshwater and saltwater marshes, particularly if cattail is present. It is also found in dry upland areas, where it inhabits meadows, prairies, and old fields.[16]

Relationship with humans[edit]

In winter, this species will forage away from marshes, taking seeds and grain from open fields and agricultural areas. It is sometimes considered an agricultural pest.[9]Farmers have been known to use pesticides such as parathion in illegal attempts to control their populations.[25] In the United States, such efforts are illegal because no pesticide can be used on non-target organisms, or for any use not explicitly listed on the pesticide's label. However, the USDA has deliberately poisoned this species: in 2009, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service reported poisoning over 950,000 Red-winged Blackbirds in Texas and Louisiana.[26] This poisoning has been implicated as a potential cause of the decline of the Rusty Blackbird, a once abundant species that has declined 99% since the 1960s and has been recently listed as threatened on the IUCN Red List.[27]

A Baby blackbird











A Lonesome Dove





Katy Prairie Conservancy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Katy Prairie Conservancy
NewKPCLogo.jpg
KPC logo
Formation1992
Purpose/focusconservation
HeadquartersTexas, United States
LocationKaty Prairie
WebsiteKaty Prairie Conservancy
Katy Prairie Conservancy (KPC) was established in 1992 to conserve Katy Prairie, part of the Western Gulf coastal grasslands located in Texas, United States. Its mission is "To protect a sustainable portion of the Katy Prairie for the benefit of its wildlife and all Texans forever."[1]

Background[edit]

As Houston expands westward, valuable habitat, open space, traditional ecological functions and agricultural lands are lost. The prairie's very existence is now threatened by rapidly changing economic and social forces, which are formidable; however, loss of the prairie is not inevitable. In the fall of 1992, Katy Prairie Conservancy was established in the belief that creative cooperation among those with an interest in the prairie including landownersdevelopershunters,environmentalists, and local residents can result in consensus-based land management strategies without painful economic sacrifices or politically forced solutions to save this invaluable resource.

The importance of Katy Prairie Conservancy[edit]

Katy Prairie comprises a variety of habitats, including agricultural wetlands, depressional wetlands, creek corridors, and coastal grasslands.

Grassland[edit]

Grassland Photographed by Michael Morton
Grasslands are characterized by grasses with extensive root systems, usually with many other herbaceous plants. The domination of grasses is facilitated by periodic drought, grazing, and wildfire (Chadwick, 1995). Coastal prairies in Texas andLouisiana extend 50 to 130 km (30 to 80 mi) inland from the marshes along the Gulf of Mexico. They are nearly level, with elevations from sea level to 75 m (250 ft).[6]
The coastal prairies of the Texas coast once covered about 65,000 km² (13 million acres) from Kennedy County north to the Louisiana border. Today, however, it is estimated that under 65,000 acres (260 km2) remain[7] mostly under private ownership. The remaining grasslands are facing human and agricultural pressures with about one-third of the area cultivated for rice,sorghum, corn, and tame pastures.[8] Much of the rest is threatened by aggressive non-native (also called exotic or noxious)invaders, most introduced intentionally by humans. These species, such as the Chinese tallow (Sapium sebiferum), have little value to native wildlife and can out-compete native plant species. The Louisiana Natural Heritage Program's classifies coastal prairie as "critically imperiled"[9] and the Texas Natural Heritage Program's 1993 classification of the Little bluestem and Brownseed Paspalum community as "imperiled" and the Grama grass and Switchgrass community as "critically imperiled." Some of the individual grass species and other rare plants with which they are associated are in danger of becoming extinct, such as Texas windmill grass (Chloris Texensis).
Grasslands provide habitat for a wide variety of dependent wildlife, including many migratory birds and endangered species such as Attwater's Prairie Chicken, which formerly inhabited Katy Prairie. Prairies may be an important sink of carbon dioxide, which is of growing importance in light of concern over global climate changes. Prairies have produced the richest soils for agriculture in the world. They can be hayed, and they provide forage for livestock. Because no fertilizer is required and water is not as critical, the expense of managing native forage is much less than "improved" grass species.[10] This invaluable natural resource has enabled the United States to become the "breadbasket of the world." As a result of continuing habitat loss, prairies have become perhaps the most threatened habitat in the United States.

Wetland[edit]

Roseate spoonbill in wetland Photographed by Greg Lavaty
In addition to its extensive grasslands, Katy Prairie also provides extensive wetland habitat. Wetlands are subject to periodic/constant inundation of water which saturates the soil and supports vegetation which can tolerate these soils. Over the course of the history of the United States, more than 115 million acres (470,000 km2) of wetlands have disappeared, down from an original total of 221 million acres (890,000 km2). Over 30 million acres (120,000 km2) of the remaining area are considered too contaminated to be ecologically usable. In Texas, 600,000 acres (2,400 km2) of coastal wetlands and 52% of the total wetland land has been lost, with ongoing loss of prairie wetlands and coastal marshes.[11]
Wetlands like those found on Katy Prairie support a significant amount of industry. Coastal wetlands in the United States provide spawning habitat for 96% of commercial seafood and fishing grounds for about half the recreational users. They support the fur farming industry with $400 million annually. Texas marshlands have yielded up to 500,000 muskrat pelts a year alone. Hunters spend over $300 million to hunt wetland waterfowl.[12] Wetlands are vital for the live bait and birdwatching industries. Annually, over 60 million people observe and photograph wildlife directly supported by wetlands. Wetlands also serve as food and water source for livestock. In the water cycle, wetlands are crucial in restoring ground-water levels, by collecting run-off and precipitation and allowing it to infiltrate slowly into the soil due to the slow water flow rates. This characteristic of water collection also serves to buffer floods, reducing storm surges and river flows.[11] Wetlands are vital as dilution areas for toxic discharges.

Human and wildlife[edit]

Prairie Explorers Photographed by Michael Morton
The diversity of habitats on Katy Prairie allows the co-existence of a variety of people and wildlife. Open spaces like this are crucial to maintaining the freedom and quality of rural life, supporting outdoor activities such as hunting and birding. The prairie supports a large amount of wildlife. An average total of 597,000 representatives of 196 different bird species were recorded in the 1977-1994 period during Christmas bird counts.
The Texas coastal prairie/marsh ecosystem originally supported large populations of alligatorsbullfrogswhite-tailed deer,American bisonPronghornAmerican Black BearEastern wild turkeyred wolfEastern Gray Squirrelfox squirrel, and muskrat.[13] Currently, beaver, alligator, deer, coyotebobcat and squirrels still reside on the prairie. Katy Prairie is irreplaceable. It represents a unique resource which will continue to enhance the quality of life for the region's residents for years to come.

This is a Prairie View:

A Huge old tower in the middle of the prairie








































It looks like the 'New Kid on the Block' has followed me from Rainbow Creek out to the Prairie! (Or I could be dreaming!)
...this is brendasue signing off from Rainbow Creek.  See You next time. Wish me luck-I am going to follow that fancy red jet into the sunset and watch him fly! (Oh, to be the co-pilot for a minute!) I am hoping there is a remote possibility that from way up there in the sky, I might look pretty good down here on the ground, outstanding in my field! We can rule out the possibility that he is blind since he is flying the jet! (It is Okay to dream!) Have a good night! Love You All!








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