Explore the Weekly Wonders

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Explore The Wonders-QM

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Raptors of the Rio Grande Valley with Bill Clark

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Raptor expert Bill Clark will speak at Quinta Mazatlán in McAllen on Thursday, January 2nd from 6-7 pm about birds of prey that live near us! Many species of neotropical raptors just reach the U.S. in south Texas, where Bill lives. Additionally, there are passages of in the RGV of large numbers of migrating raptors, both in spring and autumn, most of which also winter there. In this illustrated talk, Bill will show and discuss all of these raptors, with more extensive coverage of Aplomado Falcons, White-tailed Hawks, and Hook-billed Kites. Many raptors will be shown in hand up-close, many vocalizations will be played, and aspects of their biology will be discussed.

Aplomado Falcon (Old PI road) 12-18-2013
Aplomado Falcon by John Brush

The program is $3 per person, or free with a Quinta Mazatlán membership. Quinta Mazatlan, the McAllen Wing of the World Birding Center, is located at 600 Sunset in McAllen, one block south of La Plaza Mall on 10th Street. For more information contact Quinta Mazatlan at (956) 681-3370 or visit www.quintamazatlan.com.

Is there an Ichhthyologist in the House?

Thursday 6-7 pm at Quinta Mazatlan.

Dr. Robert J. Edwards

Once regulated to select channels, fishing has gained mainstream popularity with shows such as Wicked Tuna, River Monsters, and Hillbilly Handfishin. Here in the beautiful Rio Grande Valley, fishing takes the form of the thrilling struggles of deep sea fishing, the practice of good sportsmanship in fishing tournaments and the peaceful passing of time of recreational fishing.  With different fishing activities and environments, one wonders about the sustainability of this activity.  What happens when a fish’s environment has been altered?  Do they find a way to adapt and survive or do they lose the battle to the changes that mankind has made?  Join us on Thursday, December 5th, 6:00 pm at Quinta Mazatlan as we will have an Ichthyologist in the house!

Dr. Edwards, an Ichthyologist, will take us on a journey into the fascinating lives of fishes.   Dr. Edwards ‘presentation will  give the audience an inside look into the amazing adaptations fish go through.  In addition, participants will explore the world of our local fish fauna through his own scientific investigations .  Edwards’s studies have focused on fish community ecology and the changes that have occurred over the past century and a half in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

Rio Grande Basin photo

Dr. Robert J. Edwards is a Professor of Biology and Director of the Environmental Science program at the University of Texas-Pan American.  Dr. Edwards received his bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University.  He returned to Texas to receive his master’s and doctorate degrees in Zoology, from the University of Texas at Austin.  He currently teaches courses in various areas of biology, including his own field of ichthyology, at UTPA.  In addition, Dr. Edwards has extensively researched fish and other aquatic organisms of Texas, the southwestern U.S., and northern Mexico.  He is a member of four endangered species recovery teams and has been the leader of two of these.  His current research has dealt with reintroducing the endangered Rio Grande silvery minnow back into its historic habitats in the Big Bend region of Texas.  Dr. Edwards has received numerous awards for his research including being a three-time recipient of the prestigious international George Miksch Sutton Award in Conservation Research.

To kick off this fantastic presentation here are a couple of fun fish facts:

  • Catfish are literally covered from head to tail in taste buds; even their whiskers have taste buds which helps them locate food in murky water.
  • Most fish can see in color and use colors to camouflage themselves or defend themselves and their territory.
  • Most fish cannot swim backwards.
  • Fish were well established long before dinosaurs roamed the earth.

The Nature Speaker Series takes place on Thursday evenings through April 2014 and is proudly sponsored by Thurmond Eye Associates.  The program fee is $3 per person and no advance reservation is required. Quinta Mazatlan is located at 600 Sunset in McAllen, one block south of La Plaza Mall on 10th Street. For more information contact Quinta Mazatlan at (956) 681-3370 or visit www.quintamazatlan.com.

Invasives with John Goolsby

John Goolsby Photo

Thursday Nature Lecture Series from 6:00 – 7:00 pm.

Bugs – We see them on the ground and we see them flying around but what do we really know about these tiny creatures? For example, did you know that ladybugs prefer warmer weather? In fact, according to entomologist these cute little red and black bugs are swarming the southern states to avoid an early hibernation.

The habits of crawly creatures are quite fascinating but what happens when these engrossing creatures become pests?  How do you control an invasive species?

Dr. John Goolsby is the perfect person to answer these questions.  Dr. Goolsby has traveled throughout the world from India to Australia, learning how to combat the worst invasive species in the U.S.

Dr. John Goolsby is a native of the Rio Grande Valley and is a Research Entomologist with the United States Department of Agricultural- Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) for the Cattle Fever Tick Research Laboratory in Mission, TX.  He specializes in biological control and integrated pest management methods (IPM) of weeds and pests.

So come and visit with Dr. Goolsby this Thursday, November 21, 2013.  Follow has he retraces the scientific pathways that led to biocontrol solutions for invasive weeds in the Everglades, grasses and agricultural pests in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and throughout the nation.

The Nature Series takes place Thursday evenings form 6-7 p.m. through April 2014 and is proudly sponsored by Thurmond Eye Associates.  The program fee is $3 per person and no advance reservation is required. Quinta Mazatlan is located at 600 Sunset in McAllen, one block south of La Plaza Mall on 10th Street. For more information contact Quinta Mazatlan at (956) 681-3370 or visit http://www.quintamazatlan.com.