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Phyllis Yochem papers

 File — Box: 1
Identifier: Coll-128

This small collection showcases about fifty of Yochem’s “Bird Notes” articles. Many of Kay McCracken’s birding articles and other South Texas nature and environmental writers are represented from 1975 to 1992. A few birding publications are included.


  • 1975-1992

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

This material is made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user assumes full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to taking precautions against infringement of copyright and respecting the publication rights of reproduced materials. All rights are reserved and retained regardless of current or future development or laws that may apply to fair use standards. Any materials used should be fully credited with their source according to the example given in the Preferred Citation note. Requests for assistance with citations and images of publication quality should be directed to


.5 Linear Feet (1 document box)


The papers include “Bird Notes”, a column Phyllis Yochem wrote for the Corpus Christi Caller Times. Yochem took over writing the column in 1990 when birding columnist and founder of "Bird Notes" Kay McCracken retired. Included are news clippings of Kay McCracken’s “Bird Notes” for the years 1975 to 1990. Other nature and environmental articles from various authors during the same time are covered.

Biographical / Historical

Phyllis Nigh Yochem was born on July 9, 1926, in Oak Park, Illinois to parents Madalyn (Warren) and James Fuller Nigh. The family moved to Texas during the Great Depression. Phyllis graduated from Corpus Christi High School in 1942, and attended Stephens College in Columbia, MO before transferring to Northwestern University in Evanston, IL to complete her bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology. After a brief stint of working for a newspaper in California, Phyllis returned to Coprus Christi and married John H. Yochem in 1951. The couple had three children: John Jr., Stephen, and Madalyn, and the family enjoyed many summer camping trips in New Mexico and Colorado. In the 1980s Phyllis returned to CCSU (now Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi), and earned a master’s degree in multidisciplinary studies. In August of 1990 Yochem inherited Kay McCracken’s birding mantle and began to write “Bird Notes” for the Corpus Christi Caller Times. She had previously written for the South Jetty in Port Aransas. Phyllis authored over 1,100 weekly birding columns across the span of 23 years.


The papers are divided into five series:

Series I: Phyllis Yochem’s Birding Articles Published in the Corpus Christi Caller Times

Series II: Kay McCracken’s Bird Articles Published in the Corpus Christi Caller Times

Series III: Bird Articles by Shelly Emling, Ben Goodwin, Vivienne Heines, Larry Morgan, Jack Payne, Jane Wilds, and Scott Williams

Series IV: Newspaper Articles on Nature and Environmental Issues

Series V: Publications

Processing Information

The papers were processed, organized, and the finding guide created by Lori Atkins in 2020. The finding guide was updated in 2023.

Guide to Phyllis Yochem Papers
Lori Atkins
2020 June 10
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives, Mary and Jeff Bell Library, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Repository

6300 Ocean Dr.
Unit 5702
Corpus Christi TX 78412 United States
361-825-5973 (Fax)