Birding Galveston Island
An attendance record-setting 651 birders and photographers of all ages attended Galveston’s FeatherFest Birding and Nature Photography Festival held April 10-13, 2014. As many as 224 species of resident, seasonal and migrating birds were spotted over the four-day festival, as birders and nature enthusiasts from around the country attended workshops, fieldtrips and social events organized by the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council. Check out our Bird Sightings at FeatherFest 2014 here.
The biodiversity represented on Galveston Island during spring migration draws the attention of novice and expert birders year after year. This year, participants identified four species never before recorded during FeatherFest, including the Brewer's Blackbird, the Tropical Kingbird, the Black-headed Grosbeak, and the Say's Phoebe.
Birding is a great way to bring the family together while enjoying nature. FledglingFest, a special collection of classes and field trips designed for young birders, was new to this year’s festival lineup.
“From parks to parking lots, from beaches to bays, the island is a uniquely accessible venue for bird watching,” said Diane Olsen, President of the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council, the organization responsible for the coordination of FeatherFest. “Birders can spend hours adding to their life list on High Island or at Lafitte’s Cove, or a few minutes observing the behaviors and elegance of various species alongside West End roads and East End beaches. FledglingFest is designed to inspire the next generation of birders and preservationists to enjoy and protect Galveston’s natural habitats, and we look forward to expanding the program in years to come.”
Galveston’s FeatherFest is gaining in national and international popularity, with participants flocking to Galveston Island from 32 states and multiple countries including England, Canada and Chile. As one of the largest birding festivals in the state and the only one with a dedicated photography track, attendees represent a broad range of interests and experience levels.
FeatherFest is held the second weekend in April, and great birding conditions on Galveston Island are expected to continue for several weeks. Next year’s FeatherFest will be April 9-12.
The Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council (GINTC) would like to thank their gracious University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) hosts, Dr. Ben Raimer and Doug Matthews of Health Policy and Legislative Affairs, who made it possible for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UTMB to serve as FeatherFest headquarters.
"Birds Eye View" field trippers having some serious fun at Bolivar Flats, a birding mecca on the Texas coast. Credit: Tim Timmis
Little birders and their grown-ups enjoyed new FledglingFest trips by boat and bus, exploring the natural side of Galveston Island. Credit: Anja Borski
For Further Information
FeatherFest is a project of the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council which supports nature tourism and education, and promotes the value of area natural habitats.