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President's Column

Change is a part of life As the year changes and millennium so too must our club. The big shoes of our past two presidents will be hard to fill and their experience will be drawn upon for us to succeed. Robert and Joe both deserve our respect for a job well done. As your new president I hope to encourage more members to become active in birding. As I get deeper and deeper into birding I realize how little I do know and that challenge makes my excitement of birding grow. Each time out I am spiritually and psychologically reawakened and get excited over a common bird as a rare one. Listing and seeing new birds should not be our sole reason for birding. One should improve upon birding skills by learning new field marks and sounds. To this end I encourage all local birders to join our Golden Triangle Audubon Society (GTAS) as well as the Texas Ornithological Society (TOS) and the American Birding Association (ABA). Few of our members belong to one and even fewer belong to two and a sparse minority belong to all three. GTAS supports local bird habitats and with field trips promotes "hands on" birding and skill improvements. TOS and ABA on a broader scale do likewise. Both have excellent publications with in depth articles on birding. TOS 's recent articles on the Black-headed Gull and Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow will improve anyone's field skills. ABA's recent article on  the  recent Solitary Vireo complex split helps our understanding of how to tell them apart and shows us there may be birds around that we did not know of because we did not look. Becoming a better student in bird identification and honing one's skills, the "usual" may turn out to be the unusual. 
Ken Sztraky
 Our Membership Policies 

The Golden Triangle Audubon Society is a certified chapter of the National Audubon Society. As such, all NAS members living in the chapter territory, which comprises Jefferson, Orange and Hardin counties and a few additional adjacent communities, are automatically members of the chapter. We receive a modest dues share from NAS for such members. If you are not already a member of Audubon, you may become one by completing the membership form on the back page and sending it along with a check for $20 to us. For this you will receive Audubon magazine and this Newsletter. If you live outside our territory, but would like to receive this Newsletter on a regular basis, we ask for a subscription of $15. In fact, even for those living in our territory, our dues share from NAS barely covers our Newsletter costs, and we ask those who are able to contribute $15 a year as a donation so that we can continue and expand our programs. Many of you receiving this issue visited our booth at the Home and Garden Show and expressed an interest in our activities. This, however, will likely be the only issue we are able to send you unless you request that we continue.