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Goldie and Tabasco
Goldie and Tabasco, residents of the South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center
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South Texas Botanical Gardens
The South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center Rose Green and Pavilion
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South Texas Botanical Gardens
The Samuel Jones Orchid Conservatory, Wall of Phaleanopsis at the South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center.
Bring your binoculars, spotting scopes and cameras, and join the migration to Corpus Christi. On April 20 - 23, you and more than 300 bird species will converge for the first Birdiest Festival in America.
“People come from all over the country,” said Mary Jane Crull, Communications and Marketing Director for the South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center. “Our festival is not only new; it’s unique, because we’re located in so many migration patterns at this time of year.”
A $35-a-person registration fee includes six special talks, admission to the vendor tent, arts and crafts booths, Raptor Project shows, and access to the Botanical Gardens and a Mexican fiesta, featuring cultural music of South Texas and a fajita dinner. Optional, separately-priced features include a good old-fashioned, melt-in-your-mouth Texas barbecue dinner, and 13 different field trips, featuring some of the best bird sightings in the country.
Field trips include:
- The Norias Division of the King Ranch - some of the rarest nesting birds in the U.S.
- The Fennessey Ranch - more than 400 species have been sighted
- Lake Choke Canyon State Park - at the edge of the thorn-brush desert hosting a different suite of birds
- Port Aransas Area - driving on the beach while looking for shorebirds and seabirds
- Corpus Christi Area - 18 to 20 species of warblers, plus shorebirds, waders and ducks
- Hazel Bazemore County Park - the largest and most diverse migration of raptors in the U.S.
- Shorebird Trip - seeking Snowy and Piping Plover, Reddish Egret and American Oystercatcher
- Big Day (full day) - fast paced, challenging and fun
- “Skimmer” Boat Tour - visiting four separate colonial waterbird rookery islands
- South Texas Botanical Gardens Nature Walk - an exploratory bird and nature walk on 182 acres
- Great Texas Birding Classic “Big Sits” (full day) - teams try to see or hear as many species of birds as possible from a 17-foot circle during each of the two “big sits”
Special talks include:
- “The Corpus Christi Hawk Watch - 20 Years and Beyond”
- “Positive Vibes - A Texas Big Year”
- “Forty Years of Observing Birds and Just About Everything Else on Coastal Bend Barrier Island Beaches”
- “A Birding Tour of the Texas State Parks in South Texas”
- “Bird Song Through the Ages”
- “Solving Shorebird I.D. Pitfalls”
The Raptor Project is an extraordinary and outstanding array of eagles, hawks, falcons and owls that have won the attention of enthralled audiences throughout the nation. www.raptorproject.com
The vendor tent will present representatives from conservation organizations and nature-related companies.
The arts and crafts booths will feature creations from local artisans.
“We’ve been thinking about this festival for years,” said Crull. “But we had to do our research to make sure we had all our ducks in a row, so to speak.”
For more information about the Birdiest Festival in America, call the South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center at 361.852.2100 or visit www.stxbot.org.
By L.L. Garvey