May 172015

For some time now I have been following and participating in various wildlife related Facebook Groups. I really enjoy the special give and take between the members that goes on in these groups. I especially like the spontaneity and immediacy of the postings. Some really special and unique wildlife stuff get shared in these venues.

All the rain we have been having—though much needed—has kinda been putting a damper on my outdoor activities. With a little extra time on my hands, I thought this might be a good chance to create a similar Facebook group for DFW Urban Wildlife and explore the level of interest it might generate. Facebook Groups offer a convenience and familiarity that some other more dedicated alternatives are lacking. For a lot of folks, Facebook is just easier to use. Most people already know their way around Facebook—they use it almost daily and feel comfortable with it. That makes it easy for people to share any off-the-cuff or unexpected observations they may have made. I hope all of you will consider joining the group and participating in the fun.

I’ll kick things off by posting a few pictures from Saturday’s iNaturalist Bioblitz at Oliver Nature Park in Mansfield, Texas. You can check them out here: DFW Urban Wildlife Facebook Group

We had a good turn out for this event, with right around two dozen participants. Several Texas Master Naturalists were present and they were eager to offer guidance and to share their expertise. Despite the threat rain, the weather turned out to be almost perfect. Temperatures remained on the cool side. The light overcast even began to thin a bit and let the sun shine through briefly before the end of the day’s activities. All age groups were represented, and I think everyone had a great time.

Exploring Oliver Nature Park

Exploring Oliver Nature Park

Lots of amazing wildlife observations were made on this morning. Of particular note was a huge female Wolf Spider with her abdomen completely covered by hundreds of her newly hatched young. We also stumbled across a pair of mating Texas Rat Snakes. Mississippi Kites and Red-shouldered Hawks were seen soaring on high. The list goes on and on.

Sam Kieschnick did a great job hosting this event. He made all the preparations necessary to ensure that everyone would have a good time. He thought of everything. On hand were insect collecting nets, maps, insect repellant, guidances for using iNaturalist, wildlife checklists, snack and drinks, and umbrellas (just in case). Sam even had cameras that could be checked out for use in the park. Again, he thought of everything and did an exceptional job.

I’m hoping we can put another one of these events together soon, and maybe even start holding them on a regular basis—at Oliver Nature Preserve and other suitable places around the metroplex. If you were thinking about attending this one, and couldn’t make it out for some reason—or if this just sounds like something you’d like to do—stayed tuned to these pages (and the new Facebook Group). I ‘ll let you know as soon as we have another Bioblitz on the schedule. I’d love to see you there!

  2 Responses to “Join the DFW Urban Wildlife Facebook Group”

  1. Chris, thank you SO MUCH for not only coming to and participating in the bioblitz but for promoting it!

    So far, we had around 290 observations, and lots more to come — I still have to download all of the pictures from the cameras I handed out. Great stuff!

    We do another one of these sooner before later — perhaps at a different park/organization!

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