Dan Brooks

Cool birds in strange places (and then some…)
March 23, 2022 · Be The First To Comment

The blog about the stray woodpecker in a cemetery was such a smash hit, that the clever folks in our PR dept. proposed taking it to the next level. My mind raced with possible sites to visit that would fall under the general theme of ‘Cool birds in strange places’, but invariably the best group […]

Enjoying Wildlife with Visual Impairments
February 9, 2022 · Be The First To Comment

Editor’s Note: This article, by our Wildlife curator Dan Brooks, PhD., was co-authored by HMNS Accessibility Programs Manager Matti Wallin and Marcia Moore, OD, FCOVD, ABO Diplomate of Bellaire Family Eye Care. Nearly everyone enjoys wildlife, but sometimes it can be challenging to get good views when you’re out in nature!  As February is Low […]

A dispersed flock of angels, a rare woodpecker, and a local cast of celebs from the past…
January 20, 2022 · Be The First To Comment

While the title of today’s blog perhaps sounds like the introduction to a bad bar joke, these three things really do share something in common besides ambling into a bar or being on a Cessna short of a parachute. The thing they all share in common is the famous historical Glenwood Cemetery, located in the […]

The Houston Urban Wildlife Project
April 22, 2021 · Be The First To Comment

While Earth Day undoubtedly evokes various emotions in people who are passionate about the environment, I don’t consider myself a very emotional person.  I think I can count on my fingers the number of times I’ve had tears in my eyes since I was in my early teens.  However, one of those moments that I […]

Help Save Millions of Birds with the FLIP of a SWITCH
March 29, 2021 · 4 Comments

If you’ve ever visited the Oak Motte diorama in the Farish Hall of Texas Wildlife, we’ve attempted to recreate the spectacular scene of Spring migration along the Texas Coast.  Each and every Spring, 2.5-3.5 billion birds make their way north to the continental US to settle into breeding mode in a more ideal environment to […]

From Our Collections: Look overhead! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no – it’s definitely a bird…
October 1, 2020 · Be The First To Comment

In some of the blogs I wrote several weeks ago, I tried to let you in on some BtS ideas of why certain diorama scenes were created the way they were.  Here is another fun tidbit – over each label describing species and habitat in Farish Hall of Texas Wildlife, there is a bird(s) flying […]

From the Curator: Aquatic Turtles of McGovern Lake
August 18, 2020 · Be The First To Comment

I’ve been doing aquatic bird surveys at McGovern Lake in Hermann Park for over a decade, but that will have to be a blog topic for the future!  Every now and then my son comes with me, and he’s pretty much a reptile-magnet.   We now have documented the following four species of freshwater turtles at […]

How Did We Get These Specimens? The Case of the Edward’s Pheasant
June 25, 2020 · 1 Comment

One of the most common questions I’m asked as Curator of Vertebrate Zoology is “Where and how do you get your specimens?” The standard answer is that they died of natural causes or from medical complications in captivity or at a wildlife rehabilitation facility, which is how we get the bulk of our specimens. However, […]

Tyger Tyger Burning Bright: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
April 24, 2020 · Be The First To Comment

Written in 1794, William Blake’s poem “The Tyger” remarks on the ferocity of this large Felid. When my museum colleagues asked me to hammer out this piece, the first thing that ran through my mind was rejoicing at the opportunity to misspell the name of the tiger (Panthera tigris), as Blake did in what is […]

Update On Waugh bridge bat colony hit by Hurricane Harvey associated flooding
February 23, 2018 · 1 Comment

  By Tim McSweeny and Dan Brooks, Ph.D. Last year Houston was devastated by Hurricane Harvey, with flooding covering streets, bayous and communities throughout Houston after the storm deposited about three feet of rain.  One of the many parts of the city affected by the storm was the colony of Free-tailed bats living under the […]



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