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Events for April 4 - April 10 › Birding Field Trips

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April 2017
April 4 @ 6:30 am - April 5 @ 3:00 pm

The East Texas ecosystem is often referred to as the Pineywoods because of the abundant pine trees that are the dominant tree species for the region. To stand beneath these majestic trees and soak in their quiet beauty is a glorious experience. Toss in some excellent birding for neotropical migrants, a couple of rare birds, a few habitat restricted birds and you have an exciting day to look forward to! (see complete trip description below) MONDAY - APRIL 3 -…

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April 4 @ 6:30 am - April 5 @ 12:00 pm

This photography Pre-Festival trip was a huge success last year.  This photo trip to a colonial bird rookery will take us near Aransas National Wildlife Refuge near Rockport/Fulton, Texas. Expert leader, Larry Ditto, worked as an assistant manager at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge many years ago and is a trained wildlife biologist with a good knowledge of colonial nesting birds and ecology. He also has 40 years of nature photography experience and is excited to be your nature guide and…

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April 4 @ 4:00 pm - April 5 @ 4:30 pm

This trip will start Tuesday at 4:00 pm with light birding around the lodge area followed by dinner and an overnight stay at the famous Oyster Bayou Hunting Club Lodge. Following breakfast on Wednesday morning, you will caravan to the Historic Lagow Ranch for a buggy ride and nice easy walking around their fresh water reservoir. You will then return to the lodge for lunch. After lunch and a short rest, we will drive back to the Lagow Ranch and…

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April 5 @ 7:00 am - 1:00 pm

We are very excited to be able to offer this pre-festival trip to our FeatherFest registrants once again! Only an hour or so west of Houston, the Katy Prairie contains a wide array of habitats critical to migratory and resident birds including coastal prairie uplands, agricultural grassland, prairie and agricultural wetlands, bottomland hardwoods and wetlands, and freshwater impoundments.

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April 5 @ 1:30 pm - 5:30 pm

The Lagow Ranch is located between the main unit and East unit of Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. It is a working ranch with rice fields, plowed fields, pasture land, brackish marsh and a fresh water reservoir. This private property has been maintained for many years to provide excellent habitat for wildlife. In the winter, waterfowl abound and there should be some of them left in the spring. The reservoir has large patches of open water and Sea Cane which attracts…

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April 6 @ 6:30 am - 11:30 am

Explore the entire island on a fast-paced trip. Our local leaders know the birding spots well and will take into account the weather and tides, and what they have seen just prior to and during the festival. The tour is not fixed rigidly in advance but is more a birding adventure. You'll go where the birds are!

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April 6 @ 6:30 am - 3:00 pm

Guests will explore various habitats on the peninsula, e.g., sand flats, grassy prairies, jetties, tidal sloughs, wooded lots, and Fort Travis. The Bolivar sand flats area is known as one of the finest migratory locations in North America for shorebirds, terns, herons, egrets and other water birds. It is a designated habitat for the protection of the endangered wintering Piping Plover. Targets: Expect to see at least 80 – 100 species! For example: 5 species of plovers, 7 species of…

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April 6 @ 7:00 am - 12:00 pm

The group will travel by bus to the Nature Conservancy’s Texas City Prairie Preserve. This 2,300 acre preserve offers a combination of grassland, wetland, and coastal habitats where a diversity of birds can be seen in one trip. The large dike that protects Texas City is one of the boundaries of this property where pipits and other grassland birds are frequently seen. Various species of ducks, gulls, herons, egrets, terns, raptors, shorebirds, and flycatchers can also be viewed at the…

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April 6 @ 8:00 am - 12:30 pm

Kevin is so much fun to bird with that we decided to add a trip where he will concentrate on just Galveston Island! We’ll let Kevin decide where he wants to go depending on what he’s scouted out before the festival. He’ll check out Corps Woods, Lafitte’s Cove, the East End Flats, Sportsman Road and sites all the way to San Luis Pass so that he’ll be able to take you to all the best birding spots on the Island.…

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April 6 @ 11:30 am - 8:30 pm

Boy Scout Woods, Smith Oaks, The Rookery, and more! High Island is the surface expression of a salt dome on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico. Due to its elevation above the saltwater table, it supports wooded habitat that supplies food, water and places to rest for tired trans-Gulf migrants. The Houston Audubon Society has two large sanctuaries in the area - Boy Scout Woods and Smith Oaks, which are known worldwide for their spectacular variety of spring migrants.…

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April 6 @ 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm

This trip offers a combination of shorebirding in a long, shallow lagoon and canvassing for songbird migrants in woodlots, all on nearby Pelican Island.

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April 6 @ 12:30 pm - 4:45 pm

Birders will find this workshop and field trip the perfect introduction to coastal birding. You will spend the first hour in a workshop learning about the diversity of species and state of the art techniques to rapidly identify birds on the Upper Texas Coast.  We will then go to one of the hotspots on the Upper Texas Coast to view these incredible birds.  The trip is designed to give each participant the extra attention needed to develop a skill set…

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April 6 @ 12:45 pm - 5:00 pm

This field trip is one of our best kept secrets! Participants in the past have been surprised at the variety of birds seen on this outing. The Texas City Dike projects approximately 5 miles into East Galveston Bay, almost to Pelican Island. The newly built recreational area along the dike is an excellent vantage point to see birds that prefer a true marine environment. Along the drive to the dike you will stop and bird at private property that has…

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April 7 @ 5:30 am - 3:30 pm

This is a 75-mile bus trip to Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge which is located on the mainland side of East Galveston Bay. With 35,000 acres of brackish and freshwater marsh, flooded moist soil units and the East Galveston Bay shoreline, the refuge offers the full range of coastal and migratory birds. Park roads, trails and boardwalks provide excellent viewing of several varieties of rails, herons, egrets, waterfowl, Seaside Sparrows, late Nelson’s Sparrows, Sedge and Marsh Wrens, some raptors, early migrant…

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April 7 @ 5:45 am - 1:30 pm

The first part of this trip is similar to the trip to Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge. It will head west over the San Luis Pass bridge and off Galveston Island. The first destination will be Gulf Coast Bird Observatory to watch migrant songbirds being caught in mist nets and banded by professional bird banders. The bus will then continue to San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge and search for spring migrating songbirds, late waterfowl and shorebirds. This 54,000 acre wildlife refuge…

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April 7 @ 6:00 am - 2:00 pm

Join Kevin Karlson at what he calls “one of the finest migratory locations in North America” – the southern end of the Bolivar Peninsula. Shorebirds, terns, herons, egrets and other water birds will give participants an unforgettable field experience. Targets: Expect to see at least 80 – 100 species! For example, 5 species of plovers, 7 species of terns, 4 species of gulls, Dowitchers, Peregrine Falcon, Northern Harrier, Marbled Godwit, Long-billed Curlew, Whimbrel, Red Knot, White-tailed Kite, Marsh Wren, Seaside…

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April 7 @ 6:30 am - 3:30 pm

Boy Scout Woods, Smith Oaks, The Rookery, and more! High Island is the surface expression of a salt dome on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico. Due to its elevation above the saltwater table, it supports wooded habitat that supplies food, water and places to rest for tired trans-Gulf migrants. The Houston Audubon Society has two large sanctuaries in the area - Boy Scout Woods and Smith Oaks, which are known worldwide for their spectacular variety of…

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April 7 @ 6:30 am - 3:00 pm

Have you ever wondered what the Texas Birding Classic, Birdathon and birding competitions are all about? Here’s your chance to have that experience! Local birders will lead you to their best, secret Galveston County birding locations where participants will spot, listen, locate, describe, identify, verify, agree, record, and count as many feathered species as possible within an 8-hour period. The goal of the group will be to find more bird species than the previous high number for this trip, which…

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April 7 @ 6:30 am - 3:00 pm

Bird Galveston Island with one of the world's most famous birders! In 1998, Greg zig-zagged 130,000 miles across the USA hoping to reach at least 700 species of birds in one calendar year. His effort was chronicled in Mark Obmascik's novel, The Big Year, which later became a movie. You'll see the great diversity of the Island as Greg leads you to all of the birding hot spots - East Beach, Corps Woods, Laffites Cove, Sportsman Road, San Luis Pass…

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April 7 @ 7:15 am - 11:15 am

Participants will travel to Galveston Island West End shorebird hot spots to bird the freshwater ponds, coastal marshes and bay waters. These areas provide habitat for Clapper Rails, Black-necked Stilts, Common Loons, diving ducks and “peeps.” There’s excellent viewing of American Oystercatchers, Dunlins, Ruddy Turnstones, dowitchers, gulls and terns that gather on the private piers on Sportsman Road. At the far end of the Island, the San Luis Pass mudflats and marshes provide close-up viewing of American Avocet, American White…

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April 7 @ 8:00 am - 11:00 am

Drive your own car to the Galveston Island State Park for a delightful, natural experience. Enjoy paddling in a provided kayak while slowly exploring the open lagoons and marshes of Galveston Island State Park, one of the area’s premier ecological jewels. This 2,000-acre public park offers a multitude of habitats that support a wide variety of birds: waders like herons, egrets, Roseate Spoonbills and shorebirds; waterfowl and overhead raptors like ospreys; White-tailed Kites and Northern Harriers. If you have time…

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April 7 @ 8:15 am - 12:15 pm

Join us in a three-part series of progressive workshops and field trips to build your bird watching skills and increase your joy of birding. Each session is designed for beginners and intermediate birders that want to learn, reinforce, and refine their birding skills and techniques. These workshops and field trips use field environments to present and develop skills while we watch birds.

Find out more »
April 7 @ 12:00 pm - 4:30 pm

North Deer Island has 1.7 miles of protected shoreline which supports nesting habitat for the threatened Reddish Egret and 16 other bird species. This rookery is located in Galveston Bay between Tiki Island and West Galveston. There are over 12,000 nesting pairs of birds on North Deer Island and the small surrounding islands. Of that total, approximately 40% of all the Brown Pelicans on the Texas coast nest there. The second part of this trip is into Offatts Bayou which…

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April 7 @ 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm

This field trip searches for the spring songbird richness found on West Galveston Island, with a special emphasis on warblers, vireos, tanagers, orioles, grosbeaks and buntings. Guests will walk through Lafitte’s Cove Nature Preserve, Galveston’s crown jewel for migrating songbirds. Several species of vireos and warblers were seen in the oak mott last spring. Freshwater ponds at the entrance to the preserve provide up-close views of migrating shorebirds, ducks, both species of dowitchers and yellowlegs, Solitary, and Pectoral Sandpipers, Marsh…

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April 7 @ 12:45 pm - 3:45 pm

Galveston Island has all the habitats associated with a barrier island - beach, uplands, fresh water ponds, brackish lagoons and wetlands. Join local birder Allen Hardee on this “birdy” trip as you learn to identify Black Skimmers, gulls, terns, sandpipers, plovers, herons, egrets, ibis, spoonbills, ducks and much more. Last year this Sunday trip saw a Great Blue Heron catch, kill and swallow whole a full grown Clapper Rail. What an experience! We think you’ll also enjoy our Shorebirds Identification…

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April 8 @ 5:30 am - 3:30 pm

Six rail species winter or live year-round at the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. This year, with an earlier departure time than in past years, this trip provides a good possibility for seeing or hearing them all – Yellow, Black, Sora, Virginia, Clapper and King Rails. Before the Yellow Rail Walk, the morning will begin with a search for Black Rails, which are very hard to see but can be heard calling most mornings in the spring. Participants may then choose…

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April 8 @ 5:30 am - 12:30 pm

Explore the mainland beyond the western tip of Galveston Island, along Bluewater Highway, and in route to Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, with guides who know this very pleasant trip well. BNWR is a 40,000-acre refuge famous for its spectacular birding. Snooze for the first part of the trip, then leave Galveston Island by way of the San Luis Pass toll bridge as the sun comes up behind you. If the tide is low, take a quick look for shorebirds on…

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April 8 @ 6:00 am - 4:00 pm

Join birding expert, Kevin Karlson (a FeatherFest favorite), and his logistics team to engage in this fast-paced, fun competition to top birding sites on Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula. Kevin's Team is one of two teams competing to identify the most species of birds on this one day adventure. The second team will be led by Greg Miller.

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April 8 @ 6:00 am - 4:00 pm

Join birding expert, Greg Miller (of “The Big Year” fame), and his logistics team to engage in this fast-paced, fun competition to top birding sites on Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula. Greg's Team is one of two teams competing to identify the most species of birds on this one day adventure. The second team will be led by Kevin Karlson.

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April 8 @ 6:00 am - 2:00 pm

Birding Bolivar is Dick Peake’s favorite local event! Guests will explore various habitats on the peninsula, e.g., sand flats, grassy prairies, jetties, tidal sloughs, wooded lots, and Fort Travis. The Bolivar sand flats area is known as one of the finest migratory locations in North America for shorebirds, terns, herons, egrets and other water birds. It is a designated habitat for the protection of the endangered, wintering Piping Plover. Targets: Expect to see at least 80 – 100 species! For…

Find out more »
April 8 @ 6:30 am - 3:30 pm

Boy Scout Woods, Smith Oaks, The Rookery, and more! High Island is the surface expression of a salt dome on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico. Due to its elevation above the saltwater table, it supports wooded habitat that supplies food, water and places to rest for tired trans-Gulf migrants. The Houston Audubon Society has two large sanctuaries in the area - Boy Scout Woods and Smith Oaks, which are known worldwide for their spectacular variety of spring migrants.…

Find out more »
April 8 @ 6:45 am - 11:45 am

The group will travel by bus to the Nature Conservancy’s Texas City Prairie Preserve. This 2,300 acre preserve offers a combination of grassland, wetland, and coastal habitats where a diversity of birds can be seen in one trip. The large dike that protects Texas City is one of the boundaries of this property where pipits and other grassland birds are frequently seen. Various species of ducks, gulls, herons, egrets, terns, raptors, shorebirds, and flycatchers can also be viewed at the…

Find out more »
April 8 @ 7:15 am - 11:15 am

Participants will travel to Galveston Island West End shorebird hot spots to bird the freshwater ponds, coastal marshes and bay waters. These areas provide habitat for Clapper Rails, Black-necked Stilts, Common Loons, diving ducks and “peeps.” There’s excellent viewing of American Oystercatchers, Dunlins, Ruddy Turnstones, dowitchers, gulls and terns that gather on the private piers on Sportsman Road. At the far end of the Island, the San Luis Pass mudflats and marshes provide close-up viewing of American Avocet, American White…

Find out more »
April 8 @ 8:00 am - 11:00 am

Drive your own car to the Galveston Island State Park for a delightful, natural experience. Enjoy paddling in a provided kayak while slowly exploring the open lagoons and marshes of Galveston Island State Park, one of the area’s premier ecological jewels. This 2,000-acre public park offers a multitude of habitats that support a wide variety of birds: waders like herons, egrets, Roseate Spoonbills and shorebirds; waterfowl and overhead raptors like ospreys; White-tailed Kites and Northern Harriers. If you have time…

Find out more »
April 8 @ 8:15 am - 12:15 pm

Join us in a three-part series of progressive workshops and field trips to build your bird watching skills and increase your joy of birding. Each session is designed for beginners and intermediate birders that want to learn, reinforce, and refine their birding skills and techniques. These workshops and field trips use field environments to present and develop skills while we watch birds.

Find out more »
April 8 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Join us for an eco-art adventure to discover the natural and restored marshes protecting one of the most pristine examples of a dune/swale complex on Galveston Island. Artist Boat’s interpretive staff will lead you to great places via kayak, show and identify native species, interpret natural processes, teach water coloring techniques, and assist you with developing paddling skills. The Coastal Heritage Preserve project is envisioned as a conservation area of approximately 364 acres of land on West Galveston…

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April 8 @ 12:00 pm - 4:30 pm

North Deer Island has 1.7 miles of protected shoreline which supports nesting habitat for the threatened Reddish Egret and 16 other bird species. This rookery is located in Galveston Bay between Tiki Island and West Galveston. There are over 12,000 nesting pairs of birds on North Deer Island and the small surrounding islands. Of that total, approximately 40% of all the Brown Pelicans on the Texas coast nest there. The second part of this trip is into Offatts Bayou which…

Find out more »
April 8 @ 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm

This field trip searches for the spring songbird richness found on West Galveston Island, with a special emphasis on warblers, vireos, tanagers, orioles, grosbeaks and buntings. Guests will walk through Lafitte’s Cove Nature Preserve, Galveston’s crown jewel for migrating songbirds. Several species of vireos and warblers were seen in the oak mott last spring. Freshwater ponds at the entrance to the preserve provide up-close views of migrating shorebirds, ducks, both species of dowitchers and yellowlegs, Solitary, and Pectoral Sandpipers, Marsh…

Find out more »
April 8 @ 12:45 pm - 5:00 pm

This field trip is one of our best kept secrets! Participants in the past have been surprised at the variety of birds seen on this outing. The Texas City Dike projects approximately 5 miles into East Galveston Bay, almost to Pelican Island. The newly built recreational area along the dike is an excellent vantage point to see birds that prefer a true marine environment. Along the drive to the dike you will stop and bird at private property that has…

Find out more »
April 8 @ 1:30 pm - 5:30 pm

What can a birder do in the middle of the day when the sun is high and bird activity may be low? Why look at other critters, of course, like butterflies, and dragonflies and damselflies – insects that are active when the day warms up. On this trip, you'll have an opportunity to identify these insects in the field. Water features at Galveston Island State Park attract adult dragonflies and damselflies and also provide an opportunity to look at their…

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April 8 @ 1:30 pm - 5:45 pm

Birders will find this workshop and field trip the perfect introduction to coastal birding. You will spend the first hour in a workshop learning about the diversity of species and state of the art techniques to rapidly identify birds on the Upper Texas Coast.  We will then go to one of the hotspots on the Upper Texas Coast to view these incredible birds.  The trip is designed to give each participant the extra attention needed to develop a skill set…

Find out more »
April 9 @ 7:30 am - 11:30 am

This trip offers a combination of shorebirding in a long, shallow lagoon and canvassing for songbird migrants in woodlots, all on nearby Pelican Island. On both halves of the trip, Jim will be pointing out the calls of water and land birds, plus offering ecological insights into their avian lives. Many species of sandpipers are present, but the biggest emphasis will be on peeps such as the Baird’s Sandpiper we usually record there. Even the voices of both yellowlegs and both dowitchers may be heard, increasing the identification skills of participants.

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April 9 @ 7:30 am - 12:00 pm

North Deer Island has 1.7 miles of protected shoreline which supports nesting habitat for the threatened Reddish Egret and 16 other bird species. This rookery is located in Galveston Bay between Tiki Island and West Galveston. There are over 12,000 nesting pairs of birds on North Deer Island and the small surrounding islands. Of that total, approximately 40% of all the Brown Pelicans on the Texas coast nest there. The second part of this trip is into Offatts Bayou which…

Find out more »
April 9 @ 7:30 am - 11:30 am

Galveston Island has all the habitats associated with a barrier island – beach, uplands, fresh water ponds, brackish lagoons and wetlands. Join local birder David Sarkozi on this “birdy” trip as you learn to identify Black Skimmers, gulls, terns, sandpipers, plovers, herons, egrets, ibis, spoonbills, ducks and much more. Last year this Sunday trip saw a Great Blue Heron catch, kill and swallow whole a full grown Clapper Rail. What an experience! We think you’ll also enjoy our Shorebirds Identification…

Find out more »
April 9 @ 7:30 am - 12:00 pm

This fast-paced event will visit Galveston Island sites where birding over the previous three days has been the best, recognizing that weather conditions may be different. It’s a shorter version of the ever-popular Galveston Complete Birding Sampler. This may also be your chance, if you missed a bird on the Island, to ask your trip leaders if you might visit the site where it was seen. Targets: sandpipers, plovers, herons, egrets, ibis, spoonbills, gulls, terns, ducks, early migrating songbirds and…

Find out more »
April 9 @ 7:45 am - 12:45 pm

Explore the entire island on a fast-paced trip. Our local leaders know the birding spots well, and will take into account the weather, tides, and what they have seen just prior to or during the festival, to decide what to view and where to go. In that regard, the tour is not fixed rigidly in advance, but is more a birding adventure. Targets: American Avocets, Black-necked Stilts, Roseate Spoonbill, sandpipers, waterfowl, prairie birds, sparrows, raptors, herons, egrets, and dowitchers. If…

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April 9 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Brazos Bend can be the perfect ending to your FeatherFest experience! Drive your own car to beautiful Brazos Bend State Park and meet with local guide, Mark Scheuerman. Note: Drive time to Brazos Bend is about 1 ½ hours from FeatherFest Headquarters. The park opens at 8:00 am This beautiful state park is 4,897 acres along the Brazos River in Needville, Texas, and has land in the Brazos River Floodplain with magnificent moss-covered and vine-draped live oak woodlands. The flat…

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April 9 @ 8:00 am - 11:00 am

Drive your own car to the Galveston Island State Park for a delightful, natural experience. Enjoy paddling in a provided kayak while slowly exploring the open lagoons and marshes of Galveston Island State Park, one of the area’s premier ecological jewels. This 2,000-acre public park offers a multitude of habitats that support a wide variety of birds: waders like herons, egrets, Roseate Spoonbills and shorebirds; waterfowl and overhead raptors like ospreys; White-tailed Kites and Northern Harriers. If you have time…

Find out more »
April 9 @ 8:00 am - 12:30 pm

Join Kevin Karlson on this relaxed field trip on Galveston Island to finish up your FeatherFest experience. Kevin will look for and identify everything from peeps, shorebirds, songbirds, gulls, and terns, to early raptors. Kevin will take you to local hot spots big and small to look for birds of all kinds. Destinations will be determined by what's been seen where during the festival weekend.      

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April 9 @ 8:30 am - 12:30 pm

Participants new to coastal birding and novice birders will find this workshop and field trip the perfect opportunity to learn about songbirds. The workshop will focus on identification of wintering and early migrating songbirds seen on the Upper Texas Coast. Slides of common songbirds found this time of year will be presented and tips on becoming a better birder will be shared. After the workshop, you'll have the perfect opportunity to put what you've learned to practice on an easy…

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April 9 @ 9:00 am - 1:15 pm

This field trip is one of our best kept secrets! Participants in the past have been surprised at the variety of birds seen on this outing. The Texas City Dike projects approximately 5 miles into East Galveston Bay, almost to Pelican Island. The newly built recreational area along the dike is an excellent vantage point to see birds that prefer a true marine environment. Along the drive to the dike you will stop and bird at private property that has…

Find out more »
April 10 @ 6:30 am - 5:00 pm

We will begin this spring migration adventure with birding guide Glenn Olsen at the Texas Ornithological Society's (TOS) Sabine Woods Sanctuary and bird our way to McFaddin Wildlife Refuge. Along the way, we'll also visit Sea Rim State Park. Throughout this field trip, we will see a wonderful diversity of habitat and bird species.

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