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Events for April 19 - April 25 › Birding Field Trips

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April 2022
April 19 @ 6:30 am - April 20 @ 3:00 pm

Two ecosystems converge in the Beaumont area, the Pineywoods, so called because of the abundant pine trees that are the dominant tree species for the region and the Coastal Marshes, both fresh and brackish marshes along the Gulf Coast. This combination of a variety of habitat results in some excellent spring birding. With the arrival of neotropical migrants, perhaps a rare or uncommon bird or two, a few habitat restricted birds and you have two exciting days to look forward to!

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April 19 @ 8:00 am - 2:00 pm

Clear Creek winds its way from Clear Lake through League City in Galveston County, providing beneficial freshwater riparian edge habitat to a wide variety of bird species and other wildlife. This pre-festival trip explores some of the hidden gems in the Clear Lake Loop of the Upper Texas Coast – Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, beginning with the beautiful Dr. Ned and Fay Dudney Clear Creek Nature Center. We’ll hike along the trails there looking for spring migrants such as…

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April 19 @ 8:00 am - 2:00 pm

NEW for 2022! In northeast Harris County, Lake Houston dams the confluence of the two forks of the San Jacinto River, Luce Bayou and Cypress Creek. The mighty San Jac watershed bottomlands hold a bounty of flora and fauna along its courses. Beaver and river otter share Lake Houston with alligator and banded water snakes to name a few. Overhead gulls, pelican and waterbirds move in groups plying the water of the lake for fish. In the spring, the dawn song from the forest is large and loud. Target local nesters include Brown-headed Nuthatch, Red- headed Woodpecker, Bald Eagle, Anhinga and Pine Warbler. Neotropic nesters we hope to encounter: Prothonotary Warbler, Swainson’s Warbler, Painted Bunting, Hooded Warbler, Purple Gallinule and Yellow-billed cuckoo. This habitat also serves the avian migration north, with respite for Blue Grosbeak, Black-throated Green Warbler, Swainson’s Hawk, Western Sandpiper and many others.

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April 20 @ 7:30 am - 11:30 am

We visit two sites within the City of Pearland to observe how one city’s mission, “To protect, manage, and enhance the City’s natural resources, provide citizens with outdoor recreation opportunities, and to further the public’s understanding and appreciation of its natural resources through education and hands-on experiences”, has been taken to the next level. From 50 acres of constructed storm water wetlands to 140 acres of parkland managed entirely for nature and wildlife, the concept of bringing nature to everyone…

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April 20 @ 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

This pre-festival trip will explore some of the best birding spots on the Clear Lake Loop of the Upper Texas Coast - Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. This area contains a variety of habitats, including approximately 60 acres of oak woodlands, riparian edge habitat along the bayou, freshwater ponds, wetlands, and bay waters. This amazing habitat diversity attracts a wide variety of resident and migratory bird species, as well as other wildlife such as turtles, deer, alligators, and swamp rabbits. We'll…

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April 20 @ 8:00 am - 11:30 am

For over forty years Armand Bayou Nature Center has been a leader in habitat restoration. Join us for a behind the scenes adventure of their wildlife treasures. This tour will deepen your appreciation for the richness of life that exists right here next to the fourth largest city in the country.

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April 20 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

NEW for 2022! Sheldon Lake was created in the early 1940’s as a water supply reservoir in support of war industries along the Houston Ship Channel. In 1953 TPWD acquired the reservoir and adjacent property as a waterfowl research management area. Twenty-eight islands were created along the west and south levees to prevent excessive wave erosion on the levees. Over the years the islands have become host to one of the largest inland Colonial Waterbird rookeries on the upper Texas coast. We will leave the boat ramp as a group and work our way among the islands. Some of the birds we may see: 5 species of heron, 3 species of egrets, White and Dark Ibis, Anhinga, Roseate Spoonbill, 4 species of Hawk, and migratory and nesting passerines. We might also see Nutria, Otters, and if lucky, one of the Bald Eagles that nest nearby.

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April 20 @ 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Two of the most iconic birds in North America visit Armand Bayou every winter and spring.  The American bald eagle and osprey spend November through April hunting and fishing the productive waters of the bayou.  Once threatened by the use of pesticides, the recovery of these species is a great testament to the value of clean water and habitat preservation. This is an incredible viewing opportunity, located in Houston’s backyard.

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April 21 @ 6:30 am - 11:30 am

Galveston is a Gulf coastal island renowned for its many habitats. On the Gulf beaches, you’ll scan out on the swells and incoming surf for rafts of waterfowl and seabirds. Walking along the beach the edge of the surf is active with the antics of the island’s year-round and migrating peeps, Reddish Egret, Great Blue Heron, and shorebirds foraging on “what the tide brung-in.” Away from the water among the dunes of San Luis Pass, East Beach and GISP, Savannah Sparrow and Horned Lark flit about. Beyond the dunes are briny ponds holding roosting seabirds, Nelson’s and Seaside Sparrows, rails, coots, and water birds. In the bay and tidal marshes migrating and nesting herons, egrets and cormorants in their breeding best, forage. The avian fauna is always in flux with the advance and retreat of the tide moving the food chain in and out. Among the tidally influenced habits and the open coastal prairies and oak mottes migrating songbirds need to refuel and find fresh water.

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April 21 @ 6:30 am - 3:30 pm

Boy Scout Woods, Smith Oaks, The Rookery, and more! The accident of geology makes the Upper Texas Coast a beacon to weary neotropical migrants finishing a 10+ hour, nonstop flight across the Gulf of Mexico. From under an ancient sea, a salt dome emerged. After a few thousand years the dome reached just 38-feet above a pancake-flat coastal plain where it became covered with 20-30-foot oak trees, creating a vast canopy. This created High Island, which is now a beacon…

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April 21 @ 6:30 am - 3:00 pm

Join Greg Miller and Winnie Burkett at what is called “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. Bolivar Peninsula stretches east of the confluence of the Galveston Bay system and the Gulf of Mexico. This Gulf coast barrier peninsula is the result of natural processes and human activity. The peninsula’s natural features pull in fisherman,…

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April 21 @ 7:30 am - 11:30 am

We will concentrate on gaining a deeper understanding of bird identification. Our approach is to observe differences in body structure, behavior, habitat preferences, and feeding styles of various species of birds. This trip allows us time to observe and discover the distinct characteristics of each species as opposed to generating a list of a larger number of species that we know little about. Notebooks are encouraged! Driving directions to the meeting site will be emailed prior to the festival. We…

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April 21 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Participants will travel in their own vehicles to Galveston Island West End shorebird hot spots to bird the freshwater ponds, coastal marshes, and bay waters. We begin the field trip with herons and egrets, migrating shorebirds and waterfowl in the wetland areas so numerous in this section of the island. We may encounter Clapper Rail, Black-necked Stilt, Common Loon, diving ducks and “peeps.” There is also excellent viewing of American Oystercatcher, Dunlin, Ruddy Turnstone, dowitchers, gulls and terns that gather on the private piers on Sportsman Road.

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April 21 @ 8:00 am - 12:30 pm

We're happy to welcome back Kevin Karlson for FeatherFest 2022! You'll enjoy this trip that could go anywhere on the Island based on where the birds are! Kevin will decide the destinations 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. Get…

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April 21 @ 12:30 pm - 4:45 pm

Birders will find this workshop/field trip combo the perfect introduction to coastal birding. During the workshop, your guides will give a brief discussion about the diversity of species, as well as various techniques to identify birds on the Upper Texas Coast. We will then board our bus and proceed to the East End Lagoon Nature Preserve beach area where you’ll see Black Skimmer, American Avocet, Black-necked Stilt, and many species of shorebirds, gulls, terns, sandpipers, plovers, and more. Stops along the way will highlight birds preferring marsh habitat.

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April 21 @ 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm

This is your opportunity to explore “the other side” of Galveston Bay. We head over the causeway bridge to explore birding areas on the Mainland side of Galveston Bay in the Tiki Island, Texas City, and La Marque areas. One of our best kept secrets and most under explored areas, participants will be surprised at the number and variety of birds seen on this outing. Birding locations may include some privately-owned land with fresh water ponds that provide easy observation of migrating shorebirds and ducks. American Golden Plover, Upland Sandpiper, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, and Wilson’s Phalarope are often seen at this location during migration.

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April 21 @ 1:00 pm - 5:00 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 21 @ 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

The accident of geology makes the Upper Texas Coast a beacon to weary neotropical migrants finishing a 10+ hour, nonstop flight across the Gulf of Mexico. From under an ancient sea, a salt dome emerged. After a few thousand years the dome reached just 38-feet above a pancake-flat coastal plain where it became covered with 20-30-foot oak trees, creating a vast canopy. This created High Island, which is now a beacon to weary Trans-Gulf migrants. This area provides wooded habitat…

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April 21 @ 4:45 pm - 8:00 pm

NEW for 2022! On this field trip, you'll be birding prairies, woodlots, and marshes of Artist Boat Coastal Heritage Preserve with Karla Klay. Join Karla for a birding adventure at Artist Boat’s Coastal Heritage Preserve. Explore the marshes, prairies, and oak motts across the Preserve via walking. Spring migration on the Preserve has hosted up to 103 species identified in a 24-hour period. The spring prairie is famous for heaps of Indigo and Painted Buntings, Dickcissel, Bobolink, and more feasting on dew berries. The spring “Peake” woods host warblers, tanagers, and orioles. From different vantage points, one can find shorebirds, terns, and pelicans in the marshes and over the bay. At dusk we will watch the dramatic sunset across the prairie and preserve. It’s all absolutely spectacular!

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April 22 @ 5:30 am - 11:30 am

During  this field trip we will visit some areas not normally publicly accessible.  Virginia Point is a historic peninsula location across Galveston Bay comprising the wonderful 3,000 acres of mainland bay margin which SCENIC GALVESTON, Inc. (SG) has acquired for permanent conservation protection.  Visitors coming into or out of Galveston on I-45 (the O’Quinn Estuary Corridor) see the results of this non-profit’s work on both flanks, and those areas are open to the public.

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April 22 @ 5:45 am - 1:30 pm

Our trip begins with a bus ride to the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory to watch migrant songbirds being caught in mist nets and banded by professional bird banders. This project establishes baseline data for the GCBO property on both resident and migratory bird populations. Banding allows the observatory to obtain information about the physical condition of migrants at this intermediate location between the coast and the bottomland forests lying well inland. Both coastal woodlots and inland bottomland forests are known to be extremely important stopover habitats for nearctic-neotropical migrants that move through the Gulf of Mexico region. Birds that are captured for banding can provide valuable information about their relative physical condition. What a unique opportunity….and that is just the start of this exciting field trip!

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April 22 @ 6:00 am - 2:00 pm

Join FeatherFest favorite Kevin Karlson on a trip to one of the finest migratory locations in North America – the western end of the Bolivar Peninsula. Here are the Houston Audubon Horseshoe Marsh and Bolivar Flats bird sanctuaries. This combination of salt marsh, mud flats and beachfront hold the highest rated designation in the birding world as a Globally Important Bird Area and is an International Site in the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network. Hundreds of thousands of shorebirds converge…

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April 22 @ 6:30 am - 3:00 pm

Greg 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 Greg 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 22 @ 6:30 am - 3:30 pm

Boy Scout Woods, Smith Oaks, The Rookery, and more! The accident of geology makes the Upper Texas Coast a beacon to weary neotropical migrants finishing a 10+ hour, nonstop flight across the Gulf of Mexico. From under an ancient sea, a salt dome emerged. After a few thousand years the dome reached just 38-feet above a pancake-flat coastal plain where it became covered with 20-30-foot oak trees, creating a vast canopy. This created High Island, which is now a beacon…

Find out more »
April 22 @ 7:00 am - 11:00 am

Enjoy zipping along on a quiet and easy electric bike that allows you to get up close and personal with the resident and migratory birds species seen at this time of year. This nearly effortless ride allows you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of our wetlands and beaches.

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April 22 @ 7:30 am - 11:30 am

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 22 @ 7:30 am - 11:30 am

NEW for 2022! iNaturalist is a social network of thousands of individuals that share an interest in all things related to nature and the outdoors. This powerful community is accessed via an application from your phone or via a computer and the internet. If you are just beginning, iNaturalist can provide an invaluable tool for you to learn about and share with others your love of nature. If your interest is birds, butterflies, plants, dragonflies, beetles, frogs, snakes, mammals or any other nature related subjects this network, consisting of many qualified individuals, is there to help.

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April 22 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

The estuaries of Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge are an important nursery for the fish and shellfish species found in the Gulf of Mexico. Beyond the estuaries, the saltwater marshes ease inland. Fresh water from an occasional storm and the inflow from rivers and creeks helps to keep saltwater out of the freshwater marshes, as well as providing nutrients and sediments.  With the change in salinity level comes a different plant community. Though remnant stands of native prairie can be found…

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April 22 @ 8:00 am - 11:00 am

Ever chase a bird song in the canopy of tall oaks then chase it until the bird stops singing? Ever sit in your backyard and hear a strange bird song in the distance? In both cases you had no chance to see the bird. In both cases you wondered what it was. All birds vocalize and for songbirds’ song is necessary for species survival. A unique biology found only in birds lies behind bird song and communication. The genetics that drive bird vocalizations are not very different than humans.

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April 22 @ 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Participants will travel in their own vehicles to Galveston Island West End shorebird hot spots to bird the freshwater ponds, coastal marshes, and bay waters. We begin the field trip with herons and egrets, migrating shorebirds and waterfowl in the wetland areas so numerous in this section of the island. We may encounter Clapper Rail, Black-necked Stilt, Common Loon, diving ducks and “peeps.” There is also excellent viewing of American Oystercatcher, Dunlin, Ruddy Turnstone, dowitchers, gulls and terns that gather on the private piers on Sportsman Road.

Find out more »
April 22 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Galveston Island has all the habitats associated with a barrier island – beach, uplands, fresh water ponds, brackish lagoons and wetlands. Join local father and son team, Allen and Michael Hardee, on this “birdy” trip as you learn to identify Black Skimmers, gulls, terns, sandpipers, plovers, herons, egrets, ibis, spoonbills, ducks and much more.

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April 22 @ 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

The accident of geology makes the Upper Texas Coast a beacon to weary neotropical migrants finishing a 10+ hour, nonstop flight across the Gulf of Mexico. From under an ancient sea, a salt dome emerged. After a few thousand years the dome reached just 38-feet above a pancake-flat coastal plain where it became covered with 20-30-foot oak trees, creating a vast canopy. This created High Island, which is now a beacon to weary Trans-Gulf migrants. This area provides wooded habitat…

Find out more »
April 22 @ 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Back by popular demand, for this trip, you will be guided by one of our most experienced birders and all-around nature lover, Glenn Olsen. Glenn leads nature tours in the US and overseas but he calls the upper Texas coast home. His extensive knowledge of local birding areas is sure to yield excellent views of migrating warblers as they move through our area on their way to nesting habitat. As a bonus, Glenn is also a Texas Master Naturalist and has served as the president of the Native Plant Society of Texas. His knowledge in these areas should greatly enhance your trip experience. Our group will focus on techniques for improving field identification skills. We will be traveling by bus and places visited will depend on weather patterns and reports from the previous day’s birding activities.

Find out more »
April 22 @ 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

NEW for 2022! This trip takes you to a private property owned by the Galveston Bay Foundation (GBF) and not generally open to the public. GBF has conserved over 13,000 acres of critical coastal habitat in and around Galveston Bay. For decades, groundwater pumping in the region caused massive subsidence and contributed to the loss of wetlands. That coastal erosion meant wetlands around the bay sank into the water. Like many parts of Galveston Island, Sweetwater Preserve has sustained severe erosion. A 1,000-foot oyster reef project is part of larger restoration efforts in which the foundation has planted marsh along the shoreline. The reef protects the marsh from more degradation and protects the 464-acre property. This property includes a mixture of habitats including coastal prairie, estuarine marsh, salt flats, freshwater wetlands, brackish wetlands, and coastal woodlots.

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April 23 @ 5:30 am - 12:30 pm

Don’t miss this popular field trip to the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, which is designated an Internationally Significant Shorebird site and contains more water than land within its 44,000+ acres. We’ll leave dark and early on our bus trip to the refuge, crossing San Luis Pass at sunrise and making a quick stop to check for rails in the lagoons. As we continue westward along the Bluewater Highway, we’ll check the small lagoons along the way for nesting herons and keep an eye out over the wetlands for raptors.  We’ll continue along the levee road that follows Oyster Creek, offering the possibility of Ospreys, White Pelicans, and lingering winter waterfowl.

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April 23 @ 6:00 am - 2:00 pm

Targets: Expect to see at least 80 – 100 species! For example, 5 species of plovers, 7 species of terns, 4 species of gulls, Dowitchers, Buff-breasted sandpiper, Peregrine Falcon, Northern Harrier, American Avocet, Marbled Godwit, Long-billed Curlew, Whimbrel, Red Knot, White-tailed Kite, Marsh Wren, Seaside Sparrow, Clapper Rail and Osprey

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April 23 @ 6:30 am - 3:30 pm

Boy Scout Woods, Smith Oaks, The Rookery, and more! The accident of geology makes the Upper Texas Coast a beacon to weary neotropical migrants finishing a 10+ hour, nonstop flight across the Gulf of Mexico. From under an ancient sea, a salt dome emerged. After a few thousand years the dome reached just 38-feet above a pancake-flat coastal plain where it became covered with 20-30-foot oak trees, creating a vast canopy. This created High Island, which is now a beacon…

Find out more »
April 23 @ 7:00 am - 12:00 pm

This is the trip guaranteed to expose you to the largest number of island habitats and hopefully the most variety of species! Well known by the locals, these less familiar hot spots have proved fruitful time and again. Joining Greg this year is Alice Anne O’Donell, local resident and expert birder. The locations we travel today are on Alice Anne’s section of the Audubon CBC. We’ll begin at Lafitte’s Cove walking the paths in search of migrating and nesting songbirds…

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April 23 @ 7:00 am - 10:00 am

NEW for 2022! This trip takes you to a private property owned by the Galveston Bay Foundation (GBF) and not generally open to the public. GBF has conserved over 13,000 acres of critical coastal habitat in and around Galveston Bay. For decades, groundwater pumping in the region caused massive subsidence and contributed to the loss of wetlands. That coastal erosion meant wetlands around the bay sank into the water. Like many parts of Galveston Island, Sweetwater Preserve has sustained severe erosion. A 1,000-foot oyster reef project is part of larger restoration efforts in which the foundation has planted marsh along the shoreline. The reef protects the marsh from more degradation and protects the 464-acre property. This property includes a mixture of habitats including coastal prairie, estuarine marsh, salt flats, freshwater wetlands, brackish wetlands, and coastal woodlots.

Find out more »
April 23 @ 7:15 am - 11:15 am

Participants will travel by bus to Galveston Island’s West End shorebird hot spots to bird the freshwater ponds, coastal marshes, and bay waters. We begin the field trip with herons and egrets, migrating shorebirds and waterfowl in the wetland areas so numerous in this section of the island. We may encounter Clapper Rail, Black-necked Stilt, Common Loon, diving ducks and “peeps.” There is also excellent viewing of American Oystercatcher, Dunlin, Ruddy Turnstone, dowitchers, gulls and terns that gather on the private piers on Sportsman Road. From there we travel to Lafitte’s Cove to walk the paths in search of migrating and nesting songbirds in the oaks and wading birds in the ponds.

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April 23 @ 8:00 am - 11:00 am

Join Greg Whittaker on a guided tour of the birds of Moody Gardens.  This unique combination field trip will include a guided tour through the canopy level of the Tropical Rainforest exhibit as well as a viewing of the Penguins in the Aquarium Pyramid.  You will learn everything you wanted to know about how our Life Science and Exhibit Operations team manages a diverse collection of tropical species within the Rainforest biome as well as the 7 species of penguins…

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April 23 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

The estuaries of Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge are an important nursery for the fish and shellfish species found in the Gulf of Mexico. Beyond the estuaries, the saltwater marshes ease inland. Fresh water from an occasional storm and the inflow from rivers and creeks helps to keep saltwater out of the freshwater marshes, as well as providing nutrients and sediments.  With the change in salinity level comes a different plant community. Though remnant stands of native prairie can be found…

Find out more »
April 23 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Join Kevin for a relaxed birding experience at Galveston Island’s East Beach area. We will tour though East End Lagoon Nature Preserve, catching views of a precious and increasingly rare ecosystem. We will explore 684 acres of Galveston’s largest undeveloped habitat including one of the few remaining sizable tracts of coastal prairie. The site contains both tidal and nontidal wetlands, beach dunes, a freshwater pond, black mangroves, and upland prairie, along with an extensive marine coastline.

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April 23 @ 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

The spectacle of a water bird nesting rookery is a birder “must see.” North Deer Island has 1.7 miles of protected shoreline which supports nesting habitat for the threatened Reddish Egret and 16 other bird species. Rookeries dot the Texas Gulf coast. Among the best in Texas is 144-acre North Deer Island shared by nesting herons, egrets, ibis, cormorants, shorebirds and seabirds. You’ll witness the sight, sounds and smells of thousands of Brown Pelican (approximately 40% of TX coastal nesters),…

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April 23 @ 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 23 @ 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm

This is your opportunity to explore “the other side” of Galveston Bay. We head over the causeway bridge to explore birding areas on the Mainland side of Galveston Bay in the Tiki Island, Texas City, and La Marque areas. One of our best kept secrets and most under explored areas, participants will be surprised at the number and variety of birds seen on this outing. Birding locations may include some privately-owned land with fresh water ponds that provide easy observation…

Find out more »
April 23 @ 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Bird Galveston’s East End 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.

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April 23 @ 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

The accident of geology makes the Upper Texas Coast a beacon to weary neotropical migrants finishing a 10+ hour, nonstop flight across the Gulf of Mexico. From under an ancient sea, a salt dome emerged. After a few thousand years the dome reached just 38-feet above a pancake-flat coastal plain where it became covered with 20-30-foot oak trees, creating a vast canopy. This created High Island, which is now a beacon to weary Trans-Gulf migrants. This area provides wooded habitat…

Find out more »
April 23 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

If you’d love to have a personal Raptor Experience with a touch of history, this one-of-a-kind wildlife celebration is for you! Raptors Uncorked which offers dinner and a raptor show is moving to a new location at the historic 1859 Ashton Villa on Broadway. In addition, registrants are being offered access to the house for docent guided tours prior to dinner and the show.

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April 24 @ 7:30 am - 12:00 pm

Come along and learn about the fine points of identifying gulls and shorebirds with the man who wrote the books about these birds, Kevin Karlson. Gulls Simplified (2018) and the Shorebird Guide (2006) are two of Kevin’s books that share a different style of ID for these birds that puts emphasis on physical features and comparative ID with similar species as well as traditional ID points without using confusing scientific terminology. Kevin will take us to hot spots on Galveston…

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April 24 @ 7:30 am - 11:30 am

Back by popular demand, for this trip, you will be guided by one of our most experienced birders and all-around nature lover, Glenn Olsen. Glenn leads nature tours in the US and overseas but he calls the upper Texas coast home. His extensive knowledge of local birding areas is sure to yield excellent views of migrating warblers as they move through our area on their way to nesting habitat. As a bonus, Glenn is also a Texas Master Naturalist and has served as the president of the Native Plant Society of Texas. His knowledge in these areas should greatly enhance your trip experience. Our group will focus on techniques for improving field identification skills. We will be traveling by bus and places visited will depend on weather patterns and reports from the previous day’s birding activities.

Find out more »
April 24 @ 7:45 am - 12:45 pm

Galveston is a Gulf coastal island renowned for its many habitats. On the Gulf beaches, you’ll scan out on the swells and incoming surf for rafts of waterfowl and seabirds. Walking along the beach the edge of the surf is active with the antics of the island’s year-round and migrating peeps, Reddish Egret, Great Blue Heron, and shorebirds foraging on “what the tide brung-in.” Away from the water among the dunes of San Luis Pass, East Beach and GISP, Savannah Sparrow and Horned Lark flit about. Beyond the dunes are briny ponds holding roosting seabirds, Nelson’s and Seaside Sparrows, rails, coots, and water birds. In the bay and tidal marshes migrating and nesting herons, egrets and cormorants in their breeding best, forage. The avian fauna is always in flux with the advance and retreat of the tide moving the food chain in and out. Among the tidally influenced habits and the open coastal prairies and oak mottes migrating songbirds need to refuel and find fresh water.

Find out more »
April 24 @ 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 guides, Mark Scheuerman and Kristine Rivers. 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…

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April 24 @ 8:00 am - 11:30 am

This is your opportunity to explore “the other side” of Galveston Bay. We head over the causeway bridge to explore birding areas on the Mainland side of Galveston Bay in the Tiki Island, Texas City, and La Marque areas. One of our best kept secrets and most under explored areas, participants will be surprised at the number and variety of birds seen on this outing. Birding locations may include some privately-owned land with fresh water ponds that provide easy observation…

Find out more »
April 24 @ 8:00 am - 12:30 pm

NEW for 2022! Join Jim Stevenson on one of his favorite places to bird on the island! This San Luis Pass walk is an exciting, new FeatherFest experience, providing lots of birds, avian ecological lessons from Jim and some good, slow exercise. Nearly every group of waterbirds will be seen, with huge numbers of shorebirds. Some exciting land species will be squeaked from the marshes, like Seaside and Sharp-tailed Sparrows, Marsh Wren, Clapper Rail, and maybe Horned Larks in the dunes.

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April 24 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Enjoy zipping along on a quiet and easy electric bike that allows you to get up close and personal with the resident and migratory birds species seen at this time of year. This nearly effortless ride allows you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of our wetlands and beaches.

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April 25 @ 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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