Kristine Rivers is a lifelong birder, author, and the founder of Birding for Fun, an organization offering guided tours, workshops, and family-friendly events that embrace her philosophy that nature should be accessible to everyone. She’s written five birding books, and was honored to co-author the most recent title, “Bird Detectives: Science Sleuths and Their Feathered Friends” with Carla J. Dove, Program Director of the Feather Identification Lab at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. Kristine enjoys sharing her love of nature, offering virtual birding classes and workshops year-round, as well as in-person classes and events in partnership with League City Parks & Recreation. She has provided nature-based education for the Cities of Pearland, Meadows Place, and Missouri City, as well as UTMB’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) in both Galveston and Angleton. She is a popular blogger and guest speaker, and has been instrumental in developing nature tourism within her community; the birding itineraries she created for Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council (GINTC) and Bay Area Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau are available to the public free of charge. Kristine has been a FeatherFest leader since 2016, as well as Area Leader for the Brazoria-Columbia Bottomlands CBC since 2013 and for the Galveston West End CBC since 2019. She is a proud Texas Master Naturalist, and served as President of her local chapter from 2017 to 2019. You can connect with Kristine, learn about upcoming events, and register for classes and workshops at birdingforfun.com.
Clear Creek winds its way from Clear Lake through Galveston County on the mainland, providing beneficial freshwater riparian edge habitat to a wide variety of bird species and other wildlife. This pre-festival trip explores two of the hidden gems in the Clear Lake Loop of the Upper Texas Coast – Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, beginning with the beautiful Challenger Seven Memorial Park. We’ll hike along the trails there looking for spring migrants such as Baltimore and Orchard Oriole, Painted…Find out more »
Follett’s Island is just across the San Luis Pass toll bridge from Galveston Island, yet few people are familiar with its name. This pre-festival trip will introduce you to the importance of this ecologically sensitive and narrow barrier island as we explore some of the best birding hotspots along the Bluewater Highway. We’ll begin at San Luis Pass County Park on the Brazoria County side of the bridge, which hugs the shoreline of the pass and provides excellent birding of…Find out more »
Galveston’s West End has drawn birders from all over the world for nearly 100 years. In addition to estuarial saltwater marsh, it contains freshwater ponds, pockets of scrubland, mudflats, and sandy beach habitat. This combination attracts a wide variety of shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, songbirds, and more. We will begin the trip by viewing tidal pools on the Gulf of Mexico side and work our way to the estuaries on the edge of West Bay, stopping at freshwater ponds along the…Find out more »
Spring is an exciting time to go birding on the Upper Texas Coast because of its prime location within two major migratory flyways. In this workshop, Kristine Rivers will discuss the reasons birds undertake such a hazardous roundtrip journey each year, and review what ornithologists know about how birds orient and find their way. We’ll also talk about migration trends and take a closer look at some of the beautiful species you may see and hear during FeatherFest.Find out more »
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!Find out more »
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.Find out more »
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 woodlands. The…Find out more »