Urban Birding

Houston Public Media | Laurie Johnson

The searing heat of a July mid-morning isn't really the best time to tromp around looking for differentξ species of birds. And a stormwater detention basin probably isn't the first place people think of as a bird habitat. But Joy Hester says there are more birds to be found at the Willow Waterhole in south Houston than mostξpeople would guess.

"What we're looking at is a very large detention basin with an island in the middle and trees planted all along, not completely because left space for grassy slopes, which is that's where Pipits, which are an unusual bird for urban settings, have been seen. What we've got are some swallows flying over and we've got the Black-necked Stilt — it's got long legs, it's a wading bird and it looks like it's got a tuxedo on."

Hester is a longtime member of the Houston Audubon Society. She says birders started paying attention to this detention basin a few years ago, when they noticed uncommon species in the area.

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