Come at 6:30 to socialize. Anecdotes from the early 1900s tell of “carpintera grande” flying up the Lower Rio Grande River, and in 1983, birders reported a Pileated Woodpecker from the same region. A report published in 1965 defined the Texas Panhandle as the southern terminus of the hybrid zone between “Red-shafted” and “Yellow-shafted” Northern Flickers. In response to reports of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers in eastern Texas in the late 1960s, U.S. Senator Ralph Yarborough, of Beaumont (founder of the U.S. Endangered Species Act), authored legislation that established the Big Thicket National Preserve.
Woodpeckers have caught the attention of Texas naturalists, birders, and ornithologists for nearly two centuries, telling volumes about this charismatic bird family. From the majestic Ivory-billed to the diminutive Downy, 16 woodpecker species have occurred in the state, and 10 species breed regularly here. Join Oregon naturalist and North American woodpecker specialist Steve Shunk for an evening of stories about Texas woodpeckers. Steve will cover their natural history, ecology, and conservation, and he will leave you with a new appreciation for these carpenters of our forests and woodlands.