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Each year, the Prairie and Timbers Audubon Society (PTAS) contributes to projects across North Texas that support birds, the environment and nature-related education. This effort not only supports birds in North Texas but also enhances collaboration by working with local non-profits, thereby strengthening the collective team.

Any environmental organization may apply for a grant. Upon application, a PTAS board or committee member will be assigned to work with the applicant organization to coordinate and evaluate the grant proposal. Proposals are initially evaluated at the November Board meeting and awarded at the January Board meeting.

Grants Supported in 2023 


Heard Museum Memorial to Gailon Brehm
In memory of Gailon Brehm, PTAS members have donated to establish a memorial in his honor at the Heard Museum. This grant will facilitate improvements to the museum's boardwalk and trails, where Gailon enthusiastically led our 2nd Saturday walks. The memorial will stand as a poignant tribute to Gailon's passion for nature and will enable future visitors to connect with the beauty he held so dear.

Heard Bird Banders

Mist Nets for the Heard Bird Banders

PTAS has provided a grant for replacement mist nets to support the work of the Heard Banders. Over 29,000 birds have been banded since 1978. Bird banding imparts crucial habitat knowledge and tracks migrating songbirds each spring and fall. The station submits data with the U.S. Geological Survey and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The Heard bird banding data has been the basis for 3 bird related journal articles by Dr. Doug Wood and associates of Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Connemara Meadow

Bobwhite Quail and Native Prairie Restoration at Connemara Meadow

PTAS has granted Connemara Meadow a grant for procurement of supplies and maintenance to support the ongoing effort of eradicating invasive plants and establishing native prairie grass. The investment made in the preceding year has been significant. This includes the expansion of irrigation areas and a twofold increase in the "grass from seed" initiative compared to the previous year. This positive trajectory is poised to persist, further enhancing the habitat available for migrating and wintering birds. The grant also provides financial support to strengthen Bobwhite populations through efforts with the City of Plano, Blackland Prairie Master Naturalist and the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center.

Blackland Prairie Raptor Center

Outdoor Learning Experiences at the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center

The PTAS has funded an initiative that brings Outdoor Learning Experiences to under-resourced schools at the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center. This program is designed for various age groups and includes activities aligned with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) objectives. The curriculum includes activities like live raptor programs, guided trail walks, scavenger hunts, owl pellet dissections, angler education workshops, raptor research/observation activities, and interactive conservation/prairie activities. The main goals of this initiative are to expose more young people to nature and help them understand the importance of conservation. the plan is to support at least 15  schools for on-site field trips and involve around 900 students by December 2023.


Mist Nets for Lake Lewisville Environmental Learning Center Banding Station

The LLELA Bird Banding Station, overseen by the University of North Texas Institute of Applied Science, received funding from the PTAS for mist nets. Established in 2006, the station operates under the LLELA Director's management and aims to track the movement of spring and fall migrants along the Central Flyway, documenting species diversity and abundance trends. This data aids in understanding environmental changes, particularly the effects of habitat fragmentation and destruction on bird populations. Additionally, it assists in evaluating local habitat usage by bird species, offering insights into the effectiveness of LLELA's restoration and management strategies. Bird populations serve as crucial indicators of environmental shifts and impacts.


Student Research on Bird Species Richness at Southeastern Oklahoma State University

PTAS provided funding to cover student field expenses and necessary equipment for a research project titled "Comparing Bird Species Richness Using Automated Recording Units." This study is led by Doug Wood at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. By employing automated recording units (ARUs), ornithologists can assess factors like species richness and occupancy. The research will involve two ARUs placed in suburban woodlots, recording bird calls and songs. The files will be analyzed to determine species richness in each woodlot, and to compare morning and afternoon detection rates. Additionally, the study will evaluate the efficiency of the Merlin app by comparing it's results with the audio files.


Student Research on Harris Hawk Social Ecology at University of North Texas

PTAS provided funding for a student study focused on Harris's Hawks at the University of North Texas. This study is being conducted under the guidance of Dr. Bednarz, a distinguished senior lecturer, and advisor within UNT's Biological Sciences Department. Dr. Bednarz has conducted research on the social ecology of Harris's Hawks. These hawks are highly social raptors, often found in groups with complex social hierarchies, engaging in cooperative hunting and breeding.

Dallas Zoo

Capital Construction at the Whooping Crane Center of Texas

A PTAS grant has been provided to the Whooping Crane Center of Texas (WTCC) to help fund the concluding phase of the center's construction. Our prior support has played a crucial role in contributing to the successes of the WTCC program in recent years. These achievements include the establishment of bonded crane pairs, as well as the observation of breeding and nesting behaviors. As part of it's long-term objectives, the WTCC aims to release offspring into the wild in due course.

Organized in 1980, Prairie and Timbers Audubon Society serves Collin County and surrounding counties. We invite you and your family to join us for a wide range of nature-oriented activities. Monthly meetings are scheduled the 4th Tuesday, 6:45 pm, September through November and January through May. They are free and open to the public. Programs are related to wildlife, ecology, conservation and of course, BIRDS!

PTAS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and chapter of the National Audubon Society.3