The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953 Page: 165
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began his college career at fifteen in Texas Christian University
in Fort Worth in the session of 1913-1914. In the summer of
1926 he was a member of the Fargo Expedition to the Big Bend
region of Texas, and he continued intermittently, along with his
associates, studies of bird life there until 1936. The results of
these investigations, published in The Birds of Brewster County,
Texas, in 1937, attracted the attention of the ornithological world
to the area and gave bird-loving visitors to this great national
park an invaluable bird guide.
Housed in a dark, little adobe apartado during one of his early
"vacations" in the Big Bend, the young ornithologist, looking
across the mouth of Tornillo Creek into the mountainous mystery
that was Coahuila, was seized with the hope of eventually ex-
tending his studies into Mexico, a hope destined to be deferred
for twenty years by engagements with birds of other lands and
The expedition, of which Mexican Birds is a record, begins at
Laredo with an account of Texas species observed along the road
south to Monterrey. The first illustration in this book is a fine,
half-page, pen-and-ink drawing of the state bird of Texas, perched
in his accustomed pride atop a blade of our familiar prickly pear.
He records also the black-throated sparrow and the Pyrruloxia,
both birds common from San Antonio and Corpus Christi all
the way to the Rio Grande Valley.
So, in spite of the widely advertised decision at the Battle of
San Jacinto, border birds, like the wetbacks, refuse to recognize
the Rio Grande as a lawful impediment to migrations either
north or south. They continue to flow back and forth in seasonal
movements and thus may be classed either as Texas or as Mexican
species. Dr. Sutton makes an interesting point of this. He says:
South of the city [Laredo], in the open country once more, we
could not dispel a vague feeling of disappointment. That curiously
worshipful attitude toward boundary lines was at work again. Now
that we knew ourselves to be outside the United States we expected
the world to be different, but what we saw at either side of the road,
and what stretched off ahead of us as far as we could see, was the
same flat, monotonous, brush-covered country we had seen north of
Laredo. ... What we failed to sense, in our eagerness to experience
Mexico and things Mexican, was that the broad valley across which
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953, periodical, 1953; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101145/m1/185/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.