Roving Reporter | "Author, Author, Birder" | Article and 6 Photos by Jeanette Larson

Students from Fulton Learning Center's birding teams became published authors and illustrators when they put together a book on local birds for Wings Rescue Center, printed by Full Circle Printing. Assisted by their teacher, Martha McLeod, the teams wrote and illustrated Common Birds of the Coastal Bend. Carefully researched and assisted by mentors Bron Rorex and Steve Reisinger, each student focused on a particular bird that calls our area home. Students also provided original illustrations of the birds, which were supplemented by photographs by well-known local bird photographers.

A standing room only crowd gathered at the Aquarium at Rockport Harbor on Saturday, February 25th for a book release and signing party. People began arriving well before the 4:00 p.m. start time and books sold out quickly. Each author was seated at a signing table with pen in hand and eagerly autographed their pages in the book. While many buyers were proud family members the signing was also attended by many winter Texans, local birders, and supporters of Wings Rescue Center. Birds covered ranged from the famous whooping cranes to lesser-known birds like the indigo bunting. The book concludes with tips on how to provide first aid to birds and illustrations to help readers understand bird anatomy.

While the book sold out at the release party more copies will be available from Wings Rescue Center at Oysterfest (in front of Terry's Seaworthy Marine) March 3-5 and at future Wings events. Proceeds from the sale of books ($11 including tax) will be divided between the birding teams and Wings to support each group and their programs.

Jeanette Larson is a retired librarian and author. She and her husband, retired architect and artist Jim Larson, moved to Rockport several years ago for the birds, the beach, and the coastal community.

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