FeatherFest draws hundreds to Texas Coast
Galveston’s birding festival, FeatherFest, begins April 9, offering more than 100 workshops and field trips during its four-day span.
About 700 participants are expected to attend, in addition to the 200 volunteers who staff the event, said Julie Ann Brown, executive director of the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council.
FeatherFest organizes dozens of daily activities led by knowledgeable experts for all levels of birders, Brown said.
There’s a Birding Sampler led by Dick Peake; a trek to the 2,300-acre Nature Conservancy’s Coastal Prairie Preserve near Texas City; a visit to High Island’s best birding locations, and separate shorebird spotting trips to the Texas City Dike, Bolivar Flats and San Luis Pass.
Birding 101 is offered for beginners, and there are classes on identification and do-it-yourself birding, Brown said.
Galveston Birding with Kevin Karlson and Birding by Kayak are just some of the new features of this year’s festival.
Half-day trips are scheduled to the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory and Quintana Refuge, Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge, and Brazos Bend State Park. Some excursions focus on coastal birding along West Isle, and others on sighting early migratory birds.
For nature photographers, FeatherFest offers more than 20 specialized classes and field trips.
For those who choose to come early and stay late, pre-festival trips have been arranged to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge near Rockport, top birding sites in the Beaumont area, and the Katy Prairie Conservancy.
Last year during the festival, birders identified 235 species, and this year, they hope to break that record, Brown said.
FeatherFest began in 2002 to introduce more visitors and residents to the abundant bird life in the area.
Visit www.galvestonfeatherfest.com to register or get more details about field trips, classes, lectures and socials for this year’s FeatherFest.