Erik started birding in the Pacific Northwest, where he and his wife, Hannah, spent weekends exploring the national wildlife refuges, state parks, and ocean shores. He followed Hannah’s career bringing them to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas then Florida and now back to Cannon Beach, OR, where they spend their time looking for puffins, guillemots, and more while hosting their podcast: Hannah and Erik Go Birding. Through their podcast, they share their birding adventures and work to expand birding and wildlife viewing around the world. They travel as much as possible and Erik obsessively eBirds along the way. Erik is passionate about inspiring new birders.
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 »
Love walking the beach shore and seeing all the "peeps" run back and forth from the waves? Although Hannah Buschert and Erik Ostrander have led birding trips all over the world, they are making their FeatherFest debut at this year’s FeatherFest. Join them to get the basics down on shorebirds and waterbirds on this field trip along some of the great shorebirding sites around the Galveston area. Topics may include birding basics, identification, eBird, species life history, and more. Bring…Find out more »
We offer this trip to those who would like a slower paced trip to Houston Audubon’s two world famous sanctuaries, Smith Oaks, and Boy Scout Woods. Although this is still a mostly walking trip, we will allow time to stand and/or sit to observe the splendor that is High Island birding. We schedule this trip for late afternoon to catch any lingering migrants and catch afternoon arrivals who have spent 10+ hours flying nonstop across the Gulf of Mexico. From…Find out more »
Join Hannah and Erik to one of the best locales for finding numerous varieties of waterbirds, East Beach. We begin with a drive down Boddecker Rd through the 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…Find out more »
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 »