Birds and Wildlife: Their Importance to Our Urban Community
Northern Flicker - several (red-shafted)
Western Scrub Jay
Cliff Swallows arriving for the breeding season
Yellow Rumped Warbler
White Crowned Sparrow
Red Wing Falcon
is home to many migrating birds as a landing or resting area when
they are traveling long distances. It is one of few large open spaces
on the Valley floor that has natural vegetation and is not near
a freeway or under the airport flyway. Texas actually has open spaces
for just this reason; they attract tourists from all over the country.
BAREC is open and offers many places to nest and hide, something
not common in the area. Swallows return to our community for the
breeding season and several species can be seen flying over BAREC.
Kenneth “The Bird Man” Randazzo who lives on BAREC’s
perimeter has a bird aviary adjacent to BAREC. According to Randazzo:
“500 to 600 Canada Geese land on BAREC every winter over a
month period during their migration.”
most active places for birds are on its borders in the gardens that
face BAREC as well as nearby gardens. The old wood poles have lots
of insects in them and birds spend hours on them getting food from
their nooks. The poles purchased today are pressure-treated with
chemicals and do not support the kind of insects like found in the
older, existing poles. You will never see a bird on the newer poles
for this reason. The largest and oldest trees on the property are
on the northwest corner and this is where the Hawk nests have been
sited. The Hawks eat mice, rats, and squirrels. They help to keep
these animals in balance in our urban community. However, in order
for the Hawks to remain in the community they must have large open
spaces like BAREC. Randazzo states: “My children love to watch
the Hawks come souring down to catch the squirrels.” Bats
are seen flying over the property just before dark. They are important
to our urban population because each bat eats approximately 200
mosquitoes a night. Owls are heard at night.
of varieties of insects fly over BAREC and in the neighborhood.
Other animals which have been sited on BAREC are: Weasels, Raccoons,
Opossums, Mice and Rats.
above birds and animals depend on a large natural open space such
as BAREC and not only on linear creeks. Each has its own ecology
and each is needed for a balance in our wildlife and vegetation.
These birds and wildlife co-existed with the BAREC workers when
it was being farmed. If this open space were to become housing,
it is most likely that 95 percent of them will disappear. When they
disappear the mosquito, rice, and rat population would increase.
Abatement would then become expensive and bring chemicals into our
lives that bring health problems to humans. The BAREC neighborhood
is extremely fortunate to have such an abundance of life on a daily
basis. It would be wonderful for our urban population to have this
experience right where they live and not in far away open spaces
or on vacations. A balance with nature and humans needs to be found
and BAREC is helping to teach us this.
Visit www.NotCaserta.org for Caserta info.
Visit www.NorthOfForest.org for information about the North of Forest neighborhood.