In this revised and re-titled edition of Attracting Birds in the Texas Hill Country: A Guide to Land Stewardship, biologist Rufus Stephens and educator Jan Wrede provide a comprehensive update to their popular and practical handbook that focuses on habitat improvement to benefit birds on properties of all sizes in Central Texas.
Nearly 50 years of research shows that over time, the North American bird population has declined by 2.9 billion. Breeding birds have declined by nearly 30 percent in virtually all habitats, and Central Texas is no exception. Just as human impact on the environment has contributed to habitat loss, so can our actions restore the habitats that once sustained a thriving birdlife population.
Central Texas resident, migrant, and wintering birds have specific habitat needs for cover, food, and water. Breeding birds also need specific habitat for raising their young. Thus, Land Stewardship for Birds: A Guide for Central Texas is organized by the types of habitats present: woodlands and savannahs; grasslands; rivers and streams; canyons, springs, and seeps; constructed tanks, ponds, and lakes; plus residential backyards. Three chapters on management of predators, deer, and cedar and other brush offer in-depth recommendations for addressing these important factors that impact bird habitat.
New material in this edition includes a section on wildfire, improved bird census guidelines, updated plant lists, the latest standards for managing bird boxes, a more robust guide to managing brush species, and helpful apps and online resources, making Land Stewardship for Birds a valuable addition to the land steward's reference library.
W. Rufus Stephens, retired Texas Parks and Wildlife Department district leader for the 25-county Edwards Plateau, is a certified wildlife biologist with over 30 years of professional experience. He lives in Boerne, Texas.
Jan Wrede is former director of education and citizen science at the Cibolo Nature Center in Boerne and the author of Trees, Shrubs, and Vines of the Texas Hill Country. She lives in Boerne, Texas, USA.