Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine   

Archives

2008 Great Texas Birding and Nature Calendar

A whole year's worth of birding events and other outdoor fun.

By Shelly Scroggs Plante

Year-Round Events

Available Daily

Mangrove Warbler Boat Tours - Laguna Madre Bay, Port Isabel. Bay tour to see mangrove warblers and do shorebird study. Six or fewer people make it a personal tour. $45 per person. (956-739-2473, spinaturecenter.com)

Available Daily

King Ranch Nature Tours - King Ranch, Kingsville. Guided birdwatching and nature-related tours on the famous King Ranch. Focus of tours, length and cost will vary. (361-592-8055, www.king-ranch.com)

Every Wednesday

Birding on the Boardwalk - Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center, Port Aransas. Guided birding tour for anyone novice to expert with local guide Ray Little.

9 a.m. Free. (361-749-4158, www.cityofportaransas.org)

Every Wednesday

& Saturday

Nature Walk - Goose Island State Park, Rockport-Fulton. Half- to one-mile nature walk featuring marsh, woods and flora. 2 p.m. Free with park entry. (361-729-2858, www.tpwd.state.tx.us/gooseisland)

Every Weekend

Interpretive Van Tours - Aransas National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, Austwell. Two-hour tours to see alligators, javelinas, whooping cranes (mid-October to March), armadillos, white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, roseate spoonbills and other wildlife. Reservations required. 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Park entry fee ($5 per car or $3 per person). (361-286-3559, www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/texas/aransas)

Second Saturday of Each Month

2008 BCP Hike and Lecture Series - Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, Travis County. The BCP partners share opportunities for the public to learn about and experience one of the region's natural treasures. Monthly hikes throughout the preserve and a variety of lectures hosted by leaders in the fields of conservation and wildlife management provided. Free (pre-registration required). (512-263-6437, www.balconescanyonlands.org)

Second Saturday of Each Month

Beginner's Bird Walk - Judson Nature Trails, Alamo Heights. Binoculars are provided. All are welcome. 8 a.m. each month except June, July and August, when groups meet at 7:30 a.m. Free. (210-342-2073, www.saaudubon.org)

Third Saturday of Each Month

Breakfast with the Birds - Lake Houston Park, New Caney.

Fun and educational guided bird walks open to birding enthusiasts of all experience levels. 8 a.m. Free with $3 day-use fee (reservations required). (281-354-0173, www.houstonparks.org)

Third Saturday of Each Month

Monthly Saturday Bird Banding - Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, Lake Jackson. Bird banding station open to the public for observation. 8 a.m. - noon. Free. (979-480-0999, www.gcbo.org)

Monthly (see Web site or call for dates and times)

Breakfast with the Birds - Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco. Enjoy a continental breakfast on the deck overlooking one of the park's lakes, after which an experienced bird guide will give a walking tour of the park. $7 per person. (956-565-3919, www.worldbirdingcenter.org)

By Reservation in Advance

Pontoon Boat Birding/Nature Tours - Lake Conroe. Personalized pontoon boat birding and nature tours on 22,000-acre Lake Conroe to see bald eagles, osprey, waterfowl and other wildlife. Costs vary (call for details, 936-577-4019)

April

Every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday through May 25

Bird Walks - Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco. 1 1/2- to 2-hour walking tours conducted by experienced bird guides over about 2 miles of mostly level terrain and boardwalks. 8:30 a.m. $4 park admission. (956-565-3919, www.worldbirdingcenter.org)

Every Weekend in April

Bird Walks - Blucher Park, Corpus Christi. Audubon Outdoor Club of Corpus Christi members lead walks through Blucher Park and the expansive lawns of the homes across the street. Blucher Park is the site of large spring migrant fallouts. Sat./Sun., 7:30 a.m. Free. (361-443-0744, www.ccbirding.com)

April - May 4

High Island Open for Spring Migration - Houston Audubon Sanctuaries, High Island. The four High Island sanctuaries, including Boy Scout Woods and the Smith Oaks Rookery, are open to the public, with volunteers manning the kiosks. Daily bird walks until May 5; times vary. $5 daily entrance fee or $25 patch. (713-932-1639, www.houstonaudubon.org)

April - May

Dragonfly Walks and Butterfly Walks - Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco. 1 1/2-hour walks through park conducted by knowledgeable leaders. Fridays at 1:30 p.m. $4 park admission. (956-565-3919, www.worldbirdingcenter.org)

April - May

A Natural Place to Be - Kickapoo Cavern State Park, Brackettville area. Kickapoo Cavern State Park supports the largest breeding population of black-capped vireos on state lands as well as a large variety of migratory avian species. Come birding in the park on your own or call for tour dates (please call ahead for availability and updates). $3 park entrance (more for tours). (830-563-2342, www.tpwd.state.tx.us/kickapoocavern)

April - June 30

Valley Land Fund 2008 Photo Contest - South Texas. South Texas Shootout, small tract competition and youth contest open to landowners and photographers in eight Rio Grande Valley counties. (956-686-6429, www.valleylandfund.com)

April 19

Walk Across Texas and Plant Sale - San Antonio Botanical Garden, San Antonio. An official Fiesta event with plant sales by various plant societies. 9 a.m. - noon. Free. www.sabot.org)

April 19

Wonders on the Wing Migratory Bird Day - River Legacy Living Science Center, Arlington. Includes hikes, birdwatching, educational programs and other events designed to increase awareness and understanding of migratory birds and their annual journey across the Americas. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Free. (817-860-6752, www.riverlegacy.org)

April 20

Yellow Rail Walks - Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge, Anahuac. Search for the elusive yellow rail on foot through salty prairie habitat. Interested participants should bring waterproof boots, binoculars, insect repellent and drinking water. All tours begin at the Visitor Information Station at the refuge. 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Free. (www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/texas/anahuac)

April 21 - 26

Earth Week 2008 - Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, Orange. Enjoy visits to see the birds in the heronry, guided nature walks, boat trips on Adams Bayou and special speaker Jack Hanna. Call for cost. (409-670-9113, www.shangrilagardens.org)

April 21 - 26

Birding for Conservation in Southeast Tamaulipas - Southeast Tamaulipas, Mexico. This Texas Parks and Wildlife-Pronatura project offers access for private birding tours to private sites in southeastern Tamaulipas that have conservation agreements with Pronatura, a Mexican non-governmental organization that has been a leader in habitat conservation and restoration in northeastern Mexico. $800-$880 per person. Also held May 12-17, September 15-20 and October 13-18. (www.pronatoursbirding.com)

April 22 - 27

Nature Quest - Texas Hill Country River Region, Uvalde County. Learn from world-class experts about native plants, wildflowers, butterflies, insects, birds and mammals through field trips, workshops, seminars and evening programs. Cost varies. (800-210-0380, www.thcrr.com)

April 25 - 28

Balcones Songbird Festival - Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge, Lago Vista. A celebration of nature to experience birds, butterflies and wildflowers. Join birding nature walks and enjoy family events, including searches for the endangered golden-cheeked warbler and black-capped vireo. Nature tours are $23 per person. (512-965-2473, www.balconessongbirdfestival.org)

April 26

15th Annual Bluebird Festival - Wills Point. Includes educational and entertaining programs, driving tours to see hundreds of bluebirds and nesting boxes throughout town as well as arts and crafts, games and food, and educational booths set up throughout downtown area. (903-873-3111, www.willspointbluebird.com)

April 26

Fennessey Spring Migration Tour - Fennessey Ranch, Bayside. A full day in the field with experienced birding guides to explore marshes, woodlands and riparian corridors on a private coastal ranch. Lunch on the banks of the Mission River. $58.50 per person. (361-529-6600, www.fennesseyranch.com)

April 26

Festival on the Bayou - Sims Bayou Urban Nature Center, Houston. Come celebrate International Migratory Bird Day with the Houston Audubon Society. Live birds, snakes, games, crafts, raffles, food and lots of fun on the bayou. 1 - 5 p.m. Ticket prices vary. (713-640-2407, www.houstonaudubon.org)

April 27 - May 4

12th Annual Great Texas Birding Classic - Texas Coast. This friendly birding-for-conservation tournament is held each year to coincide with the spectacular spring migration. To date, $578,000 has been donated directly to habitat conservation projects through this event. Entry fees vary. (979-480-0999, www.birdingclassic.org)

April 28 - August 8

Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition's Baby Bird Program - TWRC Wildlife Shelter, Houston. Train to feed and care for baby birds under the supervision of a permitted wildlife rehabilitator. Birds are fed 7 days a week - shifts suitable for all working schedules. Free. (713-468-8972, www.twrc-houston.org)

May

Begins in May

Butterfly Exhibit - Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary, McKinney. A beautiful collection of live native Texas butterflies, including swallowtails, monarchs, sulphurs and many more. Check Web site for specific dates. $8 per adult, $5 for kids 3-12 years of age and seniors. (972-562-5566, www.heardmuseum.org)

May 1 - 3

TOS Spring Meeting - Alpine. The Texas Ornithological Society's annual meeting with field trips to Big Bend, Davis Mountains and several private ranches. Keynote speakers: John O'Neill and Dan Lane. Call for costs. (979-299-0066, texasbirds.org)

May 1 - 4

WildFest San Antonio 2 - Various locations throughout Bexar County. Fifty events, including birding trips to Mitchell Lake Audubon Center, Government Canyon State Natural Area and various other locations. Cost varies. (210-886-9991, wildfestsanantonio.com)

May 3

Birdathon 2008 - Mitchell Lake Audubon Center, San Antonio. Annual fundraising event where birders raise pledges based on species seen. All levels of birders are welcome to participate. This is a pledge drive, call for details. 7 a.m. (210-628-1639, www.mitchelllakeaudubon.org)

May 3

Galveston County Spring Bird Count - Galveston County. Sponsored by the Galveston Group of the Houston Audubon Society, this count differs from the Christmas Bird Count in that the weather is warmer, you'll have a chance to see neotropical migrants, and the count area includes all of Galveston County. Species total for 2007 was 199. Free. (409-772-3126, www.houstonaudubon.org.)

May 3

International Migratory Bird Day - Guadalupe River State Park, Spring Branch. Celebrate the wonders of our feathered friends through bird hikes, bird banding demonstrations, naturescaping for birds, children's games and crafts and more. A fun family event sponsored by the Friends of Guadalupe River and Honey Creek. 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. $6 park entry fee for adults. (830-438-2656, www.tpwd.state.tx.us/guadaluperiver)

May 3

Master Gardener Hidden Gardens Tour - Green Acres, Rockport. Arrive at Green Acres to purchase your tickets and maps for this one-day event. You will find maps to wonderful hidden gardens in both Aransas County and San Patricio County. 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. $10 per person. (361-790-0103, aransas-tx.tamu.edu)

May 3

National Frog Monitoring Day - statewide. Families and communities across the state are encouraged to spend this night outdoors listening for the songs of frogs as part of the 2008 Leap Year "Year of the Frog" activities. Monitoring materials and a $5 CD of frog calls are available from Texas Parks and Wildlife. Free. (800-792-1112, ext. 7011, www.tpwd.state.tx.us/amphibians)

May 3

Night Hike - Armand Bayou Nature Center, Pasadena. Take a beautiful walk through the woods and listen to the fascinating sounds of the night. Children over 6 years of age are welcome; parents, remember your flashlight. 8 - 9:30 p.m. Costs vary from $3 to $8 per person. (281-474-2551, www.abnc.org)

May 4

San Antonio Water System Garden Jazz Party - San Antonio Botanical Garden,

San Antonio. Live jazz music fills the garden while visitors learn water saving tips presented by SAWS. Water-saving plants and colorful blooming flowers on sale. Free from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (www.sabot.org)

May 10

Birdathon - Central Texas. Count birds and collect pledges from sponsors based upon the number of species you see in a given time frame. Have fun and raise vital funds to promote the enjoyment, understanding and preservation of birds, other wildlife and their habitats in Central Texas. Free. Dawn to dusk. (512-300-BIRD, www.travisaudubon.org)

May 10

Dragonfly Family Nature Day - Valley Nature Center, Weslaco. Children will make dragonfly nature crafts, take nature walks and listen to dragonfly presentations. 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. $3 per child, adults are free. (956-969-2475, www.valleynaturecenter.org)

May 10

Kids Birding 101 - Mitchell Lake Audubon Center, San Antonio. Kids learn the basics of bird identification and binoculars, and go out in the field with trained docents. 9 - 11 a.m. Free, reservations required. (210-628-1639, www.mitchelllakeaudubon.org.)

May 12 - 17

Birding for Conservation in Southeast Tamaulipas - Southeast Tamaulipas, Mexico. This Texas Parks and Wildlife-Pronatura project offers access for private birding tours to private sites in southeastern Tamaulipas that have conservation agreements with Pronatura, a Mexican non-governmental organization that has been a leader in habitat conservation and restoration in northeastern Mexico. $800-$880 per person. www.pronatoursbirding.com)

May 15 - 18

Dragonfly Days - Valley Nature Center, Weslaco. This festival includes speakers on dragonflies, field trips to different nature destinations, seminars and a banquet. Cost varies depending on activity. (956-969-2475, www.valleynaturecenter.org)

May 24

Warbler Woods Bird Sanctuary Open Gate - Warbler Woods, Cibolo. Warbler Woods is a premier inland migratory stop that is a major nesting site for painted buntings and other songbirds. During migration, visitors can see up to 32 species of warblers! 8 a.m. - sundown. Free (donations accepted). (warblerwoods@gmail.com, www.warblerwoods.com)

May 24 - 25

Texas Hill Country Nature Photography Alliance Bird and Nature Photography Ranch Previews - various Hill Country ranches. Explore bird and nature photography opportunities on premier private ranches in the Texas Hill Country. Attendance is limited and advance registration is required. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Free. (830-833-0958, www.hillcountryphoto.org)

May 31

Hill Country Alliance Photo Contest. Capture the essence of the Hill Country with your photography. Deadline to receive photo entries is May 31. Winners from the HCA Photo Contest will be recognized in the 2009 Hill Country Alliance Calendar. Free. (512-560-3135, www.hillcountryalliance.org)

June

June - August

Alligator Walks - Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco. One-hour walks to observe and learn about the park's resident alligators. Daily. Call or check Web site for dates and time. $4 park admission. (956-565-3919, www.worldbirdingcenter.org)

June - August

Family Campout - Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco. An overnight adventure for all ages. Tents supplied - bring your own bedroll/sleeping bags. Evening dinner and breakfast cooked outdoors included. Call or check Web site for dates, times and cost. (956-565-3919, www.worldbirdingcenter.org)

June 2 - 6 or June 9 - 13

Kids' Nature Camp - Valley Nature Center, Weslaco. Children will experience nature up-close, listen to nature speakers, make nature crafts and go to Estero Llano Grande State Park. 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. each day. $85 for one week (ages 6-8, first session; ages 9-12, second session). (956-969-2475, www.valleynaturecenter.org)

June 6 - august 21

Revealing Character-Robb Kendrick's Tintypes - Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi. Exhibition features 66 tintypes of cowboys and cowgirls taken all over the Lone Star State, plus 12 enlarged prints of tintype images. $6 per adult, children 12 and under free. (361-825-3500, www.artmuseumofsouthtexas.org)

June 7

Night Hike - Armand Bayou Nature Center, Pasadena. Take a walk through the woods and listen to the fascinating sounds of the night. Children over 6 years of age are welcome; parents, remember your flashlight. 8:30 - 9:30 p.m. Costs vary from $3 to $8 per person. (281-474-2551, www.abnc.org)

June 16 - August 31

Rat Snakes to Rattlers: Live Texas Snakes - Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary, McKinney. Check out a collection of dozens of live native Texas snakes and learn about the venomous snakes of Texas and how to distinguish them from non-venomous snakes. Kids can also enjoy snake education games and activities. $8 per adult, $5 for kids 3-12 years of age and seniors. (972-562-5566, www.heardmuseum.org)

June 19

Concerts Under the Stars - San Antonio Botanical Garden, San Antonio. Live bands fill the garden with music. Box dinners can be ordered ahead of time. Gates open at 6 p.m. and concert starts at 7 p.m. $5 admission. (www.sabot.org)

July

July 15 - 18

Kids' Photo Camp - Valley Nature Center, Weslaco. Ruth Hoyt, a well-known nature photographer, will teach techniques on how to photograph the beauty of nature. 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. each day. $120 per child. (956-969-2475, www.valleynaturecenter.org)

July 17

Concerts Under the Stars - San Antonio Botanical Garden, San Antonio. Live bands fill the garden with music. Box dinners can be ordered ahead of time. Gates open at 6 p.m. and concert starts at 7 p.m. $5 admission. (www.sabot.org)

August

August 2 - 3

Dog Days of Summer - San Antonio Botanical Garden, San Antonio. This is the only time during the year guests can bring their four-legged friends to the garden. Special pet-related activities are planned for Saturday, August 2. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Free with admission to the garden plus a donation per dog (to be donated to local animal groups. (www.sabot.org)

August 21

Concerts Under the Stars - San Antonio Botanical Garden, San Antonio. Live bands fill the garden with music. Box dinners can be ordered ahead of time. Gates open at 6 p.m. and concert starts at 7 p.m. $5 admission. (www.sabot.org)

August 30 - September 1

Terrific Tree houses - San Antonio Botanical Garden, San Antonio. Through a judged competition, local design teams will create and build tree houses at the garden. The exhibit opens Saturday with a three-day extravaganza packed with family activities (exhibit on display through November 30). Free with admission to the garden. (www.sabot.org)

September

Every Wed., Sat. & Sun.,

September - November

Bird Walks - Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco. 1 1/2- to 2-hour walking tours conducted by experienced bird guides over about 2 miles of mostly level terrain and boardwalks. 8:30 a.m. $4 per person park admission. (956-565-3919, www.worldbirdingcenter.org)

Every Saturday in September

Hummingbird Banding Bonanza - Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, Lake Jackson. Watch experts demonstrate the delicate art of hummingbird banding. Adopt a hummer and shop in the nature store. 8 a.m. - noon. Free for members, $5 for non-members. (979-480-0999, www.gcbo.org)

September 8 - December 6

Beginning Birding ID Series - South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, Corpus Christi. Twelve Monday night classes (6:30 - 8:30 p.m.) and six weekend field trips for beginning birders taught by entertaining birder and naturalist Gene Blacklock. Class capacity is 16 people and pre-payment must accompany registration by September 4. $175 per person for series ($150 for members). (361-852-2100, www.stxbot.org)

September 11 - 14

Hummer/Bird Celebration - Rockport Fulton High School, Rockport. Listen to birding experts, visit hummer homes, see banding and enjoy over 80 nature themed vendors. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. $40 for all-program pass. (361-729-6445, www.rockporthummingbird.com)

September 13

Hummingbird Migration Tours - Fennessey Ranch, Bayside. See hundreds of hummingbirds in the wild. These tiny birds feed and roost by the Mission River on this private ranch. (Call 361-729-6443 for times, costs and reservations. www.rockport-fulton.org)

September 17 - November 15

Ansel Adams-The Man Who Captured the Earth's Beauty - Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi. Exhibit features 25 black-and-white photographs printed from vintage negatives taken by renowned photographer Ansel Adams. $6 per adult, children 12 and under free. (361-825-3500, www.artmuseumofsouthtexas.org)

September 20

Kleb Woods Hummingbird Festival - Kleb Woods Nature Center, Tomball. Hummingbird banding, lectures and children's activities. Free. (281-357-5324, www.pct3.hctx.net/PKleb)

September 27

Fall Plant Sale - Green Acres, Rockport. Purchase those native plants that you can't find anywhere. 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Free. (361-790-0103, aransas-tx.tamu.edu)

September 27

Gardens by Moonlight - San Antonio Botanical Garden, San Antonio. The garden is filled with live music performers, plus culinary treats all under the light of the fall moon. 7 - 11 p.m. Advance tickets ($20 per person) will be available online or visitors may purchase tickets at the gate. (www.sabot.org)

September 27

Hawk Watch - Fennessey Ranch, Bayside. Kettle after kettle of hawks by the thousands take off from the tall pecan trees on the Mission River. Full day in the field with guides and lunch. $59.50 per person. (361-529-6600, www.fennesseyranch.com)

October

October 1 - 13

McAllen International Birding Festival - El Cielo, Mexico; Rio Grande Valley; Veracruz, Mexico. Visit El Cielo, the Rio Grande Valley and Veracruz. Cost varies. (1-800-MCALLEN, www.mcallencvb.com)

October 4 - 5

Texas Parks & Wildlife Expo - Austin. Expo gives visitors an opportunity to learn about and experience a wide variety of outdoor sports and pastimes, including wildlife viewing, native gardening, angling, rock climbing, mountain biking, paddling, camping, shooting and much more. (800-792-1112, www.tpwd.state.tx.us/expo)

October 11

2008 Fall Wildlife Festival and Plant Sale - Mitchell Lake Audubon Center, San Antonio. Annual festival features native plants, lectures, nature activities, demonstrations, exhibits and children's activities. Event will have hayrides and a raptor show. 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Free. (210-628-1639, www.mitchelllakeaudubon.org)

October 16 - 19

13th Annual Texas Butterfly Festival - Mission. Celebrate the Valley's 280-plus species of butterflies. Learn from internationally renowned speakers, explore the area's natural habitats with expert guides and enjoy other activities at the festival. (800-580-2700, www.texasbutterfly.com)

October 18

Nurture Nature Festival - Baytown Nature Center, Baytown. Festival to highlight natural resources found in the Baytown area including children's activities, birding tours, educational exhibits, live animals, games and food. Free. (281-420-5360, www.baytown.org)

October 19

BOOtanica! and Fall Garden Fair - San Antonio Botanical Garden, San Antonio. The entire family can celebrate autumn at the garden. Plant sales, nature walks and various demonstrations on wildlife rescue and fall gardening will be offered. Free with admission to the garden. (www.sabot.org)

October 30 - november 1

Wild in Willacy Bootfest - Raymondville and Port Mansfield. Celebrate the natural biodiversity of Willacy County with birding field trips, airboat rides into Laguna Madre Bay, children's programs from nature organizations and other special events. (888-603-6994, www.wildinwillacy.com)

November

November 5 - 9

15th Annual Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival - Harlingen. This festival focuses on field trips, a trade show and special presentations by internationally renowned birders and authors. Field trips offer glimpses of parrots, plain chachalacas, great kiskadees and green jays. (800-531-7346, www.rgvbirdfest.com)

November 15

En-Raptor-Ed! - Kinkaid School, Houston. Third annual fundraiser for the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory's conservation operations. Amazing live raptor show with free flight over the audience. Lunch included. 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. $100 per person. (979-480-0999, www.gcbo.org)

November 20 - 23

Ninth South Texas Birding and Wildlife Festival - Community Center, Kingsville. Specialist birding and nature tours day and night led by renowned guides and a variety of seminars hosted by academics, naturalists and guides. Educational activities from the Valley Nature Center, Last Chance Forever Bird of Prey Conservancy, Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Texas Zoo. Free admission, tours $25-$60 per person. (800-333-5032, www.kingsvilletexas.com)

December

December 5

Holiday Open House and Sale - Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, Lake Jackson. Tax-free shopping day in natural history bookstore on the Upper Texas Coast. Find the perfect gift for the nature lover in your life. Refreshments served. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Free. (979-480-0999, www.gcbo.org)

January 2009

All Month

Art-in-Nature Workshops - Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco. Four- to five-week programs on a variety of topics (nature writing, bird wood carving, nature drawing, nature photography and close-up photography) offered at different times. Call or visit Web site for more information. (956-565-3919, www.worldbirdingcenter.org)

January - April

Birding Hot Spots - Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco. A classroom setting where the latest rare and unusual bird sightings will be outlined. $4 park entry. Call or check Web site for dates and times. (956-565-3919, www.worldbirdingcenter.org)

Every Thursday, January - February

Recipe for the Birds - Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco. Learn about different types of bird feeders and how to make your own mixes. 10 a.m. $6 per person (includes bird food you can take home). (956-565-3919, www.worldbirdingcenter.org)

Every Wed. and Sat., January - April

Guided Bird Walks - Goose Island State Park, Rockport-Fulton. Spend the morning with birding guides and walk through the park identifying birds of the Gulf Coastal Bend. Bring binoculars and comfortable shoes. 8 a.m. Free with park entry. (361-729-2858, www.tpwd.state.tx.us/gooseisland)

Every Saturday, January - March

Natural History Series - Valley Nature Center, Weslaco. Every week there will be a different speaker on a nature-related topic. 10 a.m. $3 per adult, $2.50 per senior, $1 per child. (956-969-2475, www.valleynaturecenter.org)

January 12 - May 2

Advanced Bird ID Series - South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, Corpus Christi. Twelve Monday night classes (6:30 - 8:30 p.m.) and six weekend field trips for birders with previous beginning training. Classes taught by entertaining birder and naturalist Gene Blacklock. Class capacity is 16 people and pre-payment must accompany registration by January 6, 2009. $175 per person for series ($150 for members). (361-852-2100, www.stxbot.org)

February

February 5 - 8

Laredo Birding and Butterfly Festival - Laredo. The Laredo-Webb County area is caretaker to more than 150 species of birds, including three very rare species for the United States (the white-collared seed-eater, clay-colored robin and red-billed pigeon). Enjoy this unique birding environment by attending the City of Laredo's second annual nature festival. Call for costs. (800-361-3360, www.visitlaredo.com)

February 28

Nature Day - Sea Center Texas, Lake Jackson. Fishing, birding and habitat gardening are just a few of the activities that will be highlighted at this event. Fishing is available for youth from 1 - 3 p.m. only. Bring your own rod, reel, tackle and bait. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Free. (979-292-0100, www.tpwd.state.tx.us/seacenter)

March

March 7

Birds of the Texas Coastal Bend (101) - South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, Corpus Christi. Study some of the more than 450 known bird species in South Texas with acclaimed birder Gene Blacklock. Class capacity is 30 people and pre-payment must accompany registration by March 3. 8:45 - 11:30 a.m. class, 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. field trip. $25 per person ($22 for members). (361-852-2100, www.stxbot.org)

March 7

NatureFest - Jesse H. Jones Park and Nature Center, Humble. Join this fun and educational event, which includes noted speakers on nature topics as well as guided nature walks, bird walks, pontoon boat tours, educational booths and live animals. 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Free. (281-446-8588, www.hcp4.net/jones)

back to top ^