Monday, May 17, 2021
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What to do if you find a baby bird

bird hatchlingCenter for Urban Ecology, Quinta Mazatlan

Every spring and summer, nature centers and wildlife refuges receive countless phone calls asking the same question: What do I do with the baby bird I found?
The most important thing to do is be patient and assess the situation. The unfortunate truth is that many baby birds are inadvertently kidnapped from their parents simply because a concerned person sprang into action too quickly, thinking they were coming to the rescue. Before taking any action, there are two questions to answer: Is the bird hurt? How old is the bird?

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The Not So Lonesome Dove

White wing Doves 191 2By Colleen Hook, Executive Director at Quinta Mazatlan

The mornings in the Thornforest now belong to the White-winged Doves cooing “Who cooks for YOU…Who cooks for YOU”. Breeding season has begun for this dove and will continue through summer. The male and female construct their platform nest of loose twigs. In the Rio Grande Valley they prefer ebony, mesquite and prickly pear habitat. The female usually lays 2 smooth off-white, one inch oval eggs, and both parents incubate the eggs. Both parents also care for and feed the young, which are called “squabs’. Unlike most other birds, doves of both sexes produce a “crop milk” as a food source for their squabs. White-winged Doves are nearly 100% vegetarian.

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DHR Health creates SIDU and Emergency Room Extension to keep patients safe

ER EXTENSIONEdinburg, TX –– When COVID-19 affected the area, DHR Health immediately anticipated the needs of the community and developed a Physician Task Force Team, a team of physicians working together to promote the safety of patients, staff, and visitors during this pandemic. As DHR Health remains open, a Serious Infection Disease Unit (SIDU) and an Emergency Room Extension have been created to prevent disease spread within the hospital and clinics.

“The Physician Task Force is in charge of reviewing and presenting the most current literature about COVID-19 treatment on a daily basis,” states Carlos Garcia-Cantu, MD, Chief of Staff at DHR Health. “This is extremely important for us since guidelines are continuously changing.”

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Gladys Porter Zoo Reopens Its Doors

20141125 Gladys Porter Zoo KO IMG 6439BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS (June 4, 2020) — The day is finally here, and we’re excited to welcome everyone back to the Gladys Porter Zoo. The animals anticipate your visit!

We have been preparing for a soft opening in the past weeks, and the Zoo has established a comprehensive reopening plan. With the helpful advice of City health officials, new measures have been put in place to help ensure the safety of the Zoo’s guests, employees, and animals. Most notably, there will be a change in the ticketing system. Guests will now sign up for a designated date and time slot to enter the Zoo.

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The Texas Quilt Museum will reopen June 4

LA GRANGE, TEXAS – June 1, 2020 – The Texas Quilt Museum has announced that it will reopen for visitors beginning Thursday, June 4, at 10 am.

The three exhibits for spring—which had just debuted when the Museum had to close in mid-March due to the worldwide pandemic and state’s orders—have been extended until September 20. They include “Texas Grand Masters: Timeless Quilts,” “Fun with Fractals and Other Mathematical Quilts,” and “My Mexico by Quilters de México.”

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IMAS to Reopen at Limited Capacity

The International Museum of Art & Science values each and every member and appreciates the continued support of our community. The IMAS staff is making plans to reopen to the public on Wednesday, June 11 with a member preview on Tuesday, June 9, from 3:00-7:00 PM.

As we reopen at the 25% limited capacity, following the recommendations of the Texas Department of State Health Service (DSHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we are doing our best to provide you and your family a safe and educational environment during the pandemic time of the COVID-19. Most of our interactive areas are still closed or have been modified for the safety of our visitors and staff and to prevent the spread of the virus.

Read more: IMAS to Reopen at Limited Capacity

Manage Mosquitoes for a Safer and More Enjoyable Summer

Mosquito Webby Melinda Myers

Don’t let the buzz of mosquitoes keep you indoors. Most mosquitoes are a nuisance, causing rashes and itching but some species can transmit diseases that can make you sick. Understanding how they breed and spread disease can help you gain the upper hand in the battle against these pesky insects.

Mosquitoes serve as a carrier (vector) in the spread of certain diseases. It starts when they feed on an animal infected with heartworms or an animal or person with West Nile, Saint Louis Encephalitis, Zika or other mosquito-vectored disease. The young heartworm or virus is taken in with the mosquito’s blood meal. The heartworm larvae or virus is then transmitted to other organisms when the mosquito feeds on them.

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Texas Garden Icon-The Purple Sage

Cenizo flowerBy Colleen Curran Hook, Executive Director at Quinta Mazatlan

Along with our friendly pride, we have various symbols that officially represent Texas. Today we are recognizing our native shrub, the Texas Purple Sage. When it rains in the Valley, you will notice this shrub as the purple flowers dominate the plant. The old timers in Texas called it the Barometer Bush as it has a habit of blooming right before a good rain. The native plant has been featured in many a Texas Tile like the famous western novel, “Riders of the Purple Sage”.

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Bring in the Birds with These Winning Plant Varieties

EchinaceaSombreroBajaBurgundy AllAmericaSele WEBby Melinda Myers

Fill your gardens with beautiful plants that produce an abundance of seeds the birds will love. You’ll enjoy the flowers as well as the birds that visit to dine on the seeds. Best of all, there is no feeder to refill or clean.

Sunflowers are likely the first seed-producing plant that comes to mind. Their dark brown centers turn to seeds that attract a wide variety of birds and of course squirrels to your yard. Add a unique flare to your sunflower collection with the All-America Selections (AAS) winner Sunflower Ring of Fire. Its chocolate brown center is surrounded by a ring of red petals tipped in gold. The 4- to 5-feet-tall plants reach their peak late in the season, adding a fresh look to any flowerbed.

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5 Tips To Keep Mosquitoes Away

Summer is on its way, which means so are mosquitoes. The flying pests invade neighborhoods like an army, but they aren’t just a backyard nuisance with bites that itch. They also can carry dangerous diseases, including West Nile virus and Zika.

Most regions of the U.S. have issues with mosquitoes, but knowing prevention and mitigation measures can stop them from mushrooming into a big problem, says Dr. Craig Stoops (, a retired U.S. Navy medical entomologist and chief science officer at Mosquito® Authority, a mosquito control company.

Read more: 5 Tips To Keep Mosquitoes Away

Virtual Memorial Day Ceremony with George P. Bush

Join us in honoring our Texan Veterans this Memorial Day

AUSTIN — On Monday, May 25th, Texas Land Commissioner and Chairman of the Veterans Land Board George P. Bush will be hosting a virtual Memorial Day ceremony to honor and remember our military servicemembers who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The year 2020 has brought many unforeseen changes. However, one thing that has not, nor ever will change is our unwavering dedication to Texas Veterans and remembrance of the ones we have lost.

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One Special Evening a Cactus May Surprise You

Moonlight Cactus Queen of the night QM 5 12 20By Colleen Curran Hook, Executive Director of Quinta Mazatlan

One night a year, the Night Blooming Cereus bursts open with beauty. Few get to witness this glorious sight as they close before the morning sun. The cacti typically bloom all at once to attract pollinators like the Sphinx Moth. They need to bloom, set fruit and have their seeds dispersed before the end of their very short blooming season.

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Lush Peonies Add Beauty and Fragrance to Early Summer Gardens

Peony Sarah Bernhardt photo credit Longfield GardensBy Melinda Myers

Set aside a sunny spot in your garden or landscape for a few easy-care, herbaceous peonies. These traditional favorites are treasured for their bountiful early summer flowers, vigorous, shrub-like habit and amazing longevity. Peonies blend nicely with other perennials and are a good addition to both formal and informal garden designs.

The peony’s sumptuous flowers and captivating fragrance have been admired by generations of gardeners. While many other plants come and go, peonies have staying power. The variety ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ was introduced in 1906 and has been popular ever since. Its plush, pale pink flowers have silvery tips and open late in the peony season.

Read more: Lush Peonies Add Beauty and Fragrance to Early Summer Gardens