Wild weekend featured at Jesse Jones Park

There are many people with an interest in the diversity of birds and other wildlife found in our area. If you share this interest, then there is sure to be something to whet your appetite for knowledge at Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center this weekend, as the park hosts a Winter Bird Count and a Bird Banding program Saturday, December 15 at 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m., respectively, as well as several Pontoon Boat Tours throughout the day. And Sunday, December 16 at 2 p.m. a fun-filled Critters’ Christmas program promises to help you look out for the animals during the holidays.

The cool winter months are often the best time of year to observe a wide variety of birds, as many species of migratory birds spend the winter in our area. Join members of the Piney Woods Wildlife Society Saturday, December 15 at 7:30 a.m. as they conduct an informal count of wintering and resident birds found in Jones Park. This program is geared towards serious birders and learners ages 15 and above. Reservations are required.

Saturday at 9 a.m., join avian biologist Edwin Juarez of Harris County Mosquito Control for Bird Banding. Mr. Juarez captures resident and wintering birds in mist nets and gently attaches coded bands to their legs. Visitors ages seven and older can also learn how banding helps biologists in the study of bird migration, populations and conservation.

For those wanting a unique opportunity to view the native wildlife found along Spring Creek, Jones Park offers Pontoon Boat Tours throughout the day Saturday. Previous participants have seen such interesting animals as the elusive osprey and American alligators.

Reservations are required. Please call the park for additional details.

Although native wildlife is generally abundant during the warmer months, these creatures are often scarcely seen in the winter.

This is often because residents discontinue filling their backyard bird feeders or feeding stations, causing the animals to seek food elsewhere. This can be remedied, though, with a little holiday flair as well. Have you ever thought of decorating a tree outside just for the critters? Sunday, December 16 at 2 p.m., come join Jones Park staff members for Critters’ Christmas. Participants learn how to make decorative edible treats for the birds and other wildlife that visityour yard.

Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center, a Harris County Precinct 4 facility, is located at 20634 Kenswick Drive in Humble. All programs are free of charge and open to the public.

Harris County Precinct 4 programs serve people of all ages regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex, religion, national origin or disability.

For more information on the park or any of its progams, call 281-446-8588.