The “Big Sit” is an event held every year and sponsored by Texas Parks and Wildlife to promote birding and to record bird species in locations across the state. It is celebrated as the Great Texas Birding Classic.
The Friends of Connie Hagar sponsored a team to honor the late Connie Hagar – the 1st lady of Texas birders. The team was headed up by Rockport’s Susan Foster. Due to COVID restrictions the number of participants was very limited. The total number of participants was nine.
Birders gathered from 6 am to 6pm at the Connie Hagar Cottage Sanctuary and they were required to sit within a 50 foot circle. From the circle at the Sanctuary site with binoculars, they could observe birds on the bay at Water St., in the prairie on the south and east part of the property and in the brush and oaks on the west side.
A total of sixty species were observed including Sandhill Cranes, migrating Franklin Gulls and several species of Hawks. Team members reported sightings to Susan Foster who kept track of the species observed on the ebird app and then sent the results sent to Texas Parks and Wildlife. This is a way to continue the collection of data on migrating birds as Connie Hagar did in the 1930-60s.
The Connie Hagar Cottage Sanctuary is partner with Aransas Pathways and is located at the corner of South Church St. and First Street (1491 S. Church St.) in south Rockport. The 6.25 acres was purchased in 1995 to protect the environment and to honor Connie Hagar. The gardens feature native plants that attract birds and butterflies. The plants are labeled so that visitors may see how native plants adapt to this environment. Workdays are held on the third Sat. of each month at 8:30 am. You may join Friends of Connie Hagar by sending $25 dues to Box 2465, Rockport TX 78381.
Story submitted by Pam Stranahan on behalf of the
Friends of Connie Hagar, PO Box 2465, Rockport, TX 78381