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Kevin Karlson

Kevin Karlson is an accomplished birder, author, professional tour leader and wildlife photographer/instructor. He is a regular at Bird and Nature festivals in North America, where he gives keynote presentations, workshops on bird identification, and photo instruction. Kevin’s books include The Shorebird Guide (2007); Birding by Impression: A Different Approach to Bird Identification (2015); Birds of Prey (2017) (all three Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishers); and Gulls Simplified: A Comparative Identification Approach (Princeton University Press, 2018). Photography books include The Birds of Cape May and Visions: Earth’s Elements in Bird and Nature Photography (Schiffer Publishing). Kevin also produced six photographic laminated foldout ID guides for Quick Reference Publishing (Raptors of Eastern and Western North America (2012); Waterfowl of North America (2013); Warblers of North America (2016);  Shorebirds of North America (2014); and  Owls and Nightjars of North America (2017). While officially retired, Kevin continues to lead select tours and photo workshops for his company Jaeger Tours, and for Wildside Nature Tours.

Upcoming Events

April 2020
April 16 @ 8:00 am - 12:30 pm

We're happy to welcome back Kevin Karlson for FeatherFest 2020! 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 16 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Join Kevin for a short introduction to the commonly found birds in coastal areas around Galveston in spring. This is not a detailed ID workshop, but just a sampler of the birds that you might see during FeatherFest, and includes shorebirds, terns, gulls, raptors and herons/egrets. Some photos show several species together, which approximates real life viewing conditions, and others show similar species in digitized photo arrays to help you understand how they differ. Come and get a jump on…

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April 17 @ 6:30 am - 2:30 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 18 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Come along as Kevin combines the traditional field mark approach to ID with a more holistic one that incorporates physical features and behavior to reach a more complete ID picture. Most of the expert guides use this combined approach on a regular basis, and you too can improve your field skills by employing this technique. This approach concentrates initially on the relative size, shape, structure and behavior of every bird, and then fills in the blanks using conventional field marks…

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April 18 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Gull ID has always been troublesome for birders, largely due to the variety of plumages that they show at different ages. Kevin Karlson and Pete Dunne’s book “Gulls Simplified” will change that. Kevin shares tips on gull ID starting with basic features of size, body shape, structure and general plumage patterns to form a solid ID foundation. Simplified aging terms and plumage descriptions are then shared without confusing ornithological terms, and comparative photos showing similar species together help you to…

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April 19 @ 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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