Texas Travel

February Events: Bird’s the Word at These Birding Events

By Abi Grise Morgan 1.31.20

The big Texas sky is a superhighway for majestic feathered fowl. Amateur and seasoned birders alike enjoy watching flocks migrate through the state each winter. Why not take your family on a guided hike through desert canyons or along lush lakes to watch eagles, waterfowl, and even turkeys (well, kinda) take flight? These birding events across Texas will help you do just that.

Central Texas

Winter Birding at Louis Rene Barrera Indiangrass Wildlife Sanctuary, Feb. 9, Austin
Few people have had the opportunity to visit the little-seen Louis Rene Barrera Indiangrass Wildlife Sanctuary on the north shore of Lake Walter E. Long. Join the list of the lucky few by reserving your spot on a guided morning birding tour lead by Austin Park Rangers. You might just catch a glimpse of the sparrows, raptors, and waterfowl that call the nature preserve’s 250 acres of Blackland Prairie habitat home. This event is BYOB — bring your own binoculars. Email Park Ranger Owen Moorhead at owen.moorhead@austintexas.gov to reserve your spot.

Birding 101 at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Feb. 9, Fredericksburg
This beginner-level class will ease you into the art of bird identification. Meet a park ranger at the gazebo in Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. They’ll show you the basics and then take the group for a stroll to test your newfound skills. Come early to claim one of the 12 pairs of loaner binoculars.

Park admission is $7 for adults and free for children 12 and under.

North Texas

Cross Timbers Bird Walk, Feb. 8, Mineral Wells
Go for a stroll through the Cross Timbers area with a park ranger to identify the feathered friends that call Lake Mineral Wells State Park and Trailway home. Binoculars will be available on loan. Make your reservation by calling 940.328.1171, extension 222.

Park admission is $7 for adults and free for children 12 and younger.

Birding 101, Feb. 19, Denton
New birders on the block will enjoy this beginner-friendly expedition put on by Denton’s Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center and the City of Denton Sustainability. Join Texas Master Naturalist and bird enthusiast Scott Kiester for a class at the South Branch Library that covers the basics of birding.

South Texas

Super Bird LIV, Feb. 1, Houston
Birding gets downright competitive at Archbishop Fiorenza Park. The SUPERB Owls, led by Richard Gibbons, and the Gridiron Goatsuckers, led by Mary Anne Weber, will square off on the first day of February to see which team can spot 54 species of birds before noon. Pick your team at the park and come ready to rumble.

Bird Banding, Feb. 15, Lake Jackson
Birding meets scientific study at the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory once a month. Come watch the capture, banding, and release of birds migrating through the Gulf during the winter. Birds are captured (without harm) inside nylon nets and banded with an aluminum cuff that’s engraved with a number to track their route, health, and longevity.

East Texas

Winter Birding on the Texas City Dike, Feb. 13, Galveston
The Texas City Dike and levee are home to a wide variety of coastal inhabitants … which many bird species enjoy as a snack! Come take a look at the birds that migrate (and graze) through the area on their way south of the border. Meet at the Rosenberg Library for this adventure led by Kristine Rivers and presented by the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council.

Guided Canoe Trip to View Nesting Bald Eagles, Feb. 15, Jasper
Get up close and personal with America’s star bird of prey, the bald eagle, on this tour led by Master Naturalist Gerald. Meet at the Walnut Ridge day-use area. After a brief lesson on the basics of paddling a canoe, you’ll set out on the water for a two-hour excursion. You’ll likely want to bring sunscreen, bug spray, a towel or cushion to sit on, and a water bottle or two. Canoes, paddles, and life jackets will be provided by Martin Jr. State Park, but you are welcome to bring your own.

Park entrance is $4 for adults and free for children 12 and under.

West Texas

Birding Walk on the Wild Side, Feb. 1, Fort Davis
Get acquainted with the birds that thrive in Texas’s high-desert climate inside the Limpia Canyon. Sign in at the Primitive Area at the park headquarters dressed for the weather and with binoculars in tow. Be prepared for a slow descent over the course of a mile. Bring your two-legged friends but leave your pup at home —they tend to scare away canyon-dwelling critters.

Park admission is $6 for adults and free for children 12 and under.

Hike With a Ranger, Feb. 29, Quanah
Take a closer look at Cooper Breaks State Park’s abundant flora and fauna with a ranger-led hike, beginning at the Juniper Ridge Trail Head. You might just catch one of the resident bobcats on the prowl or spot a turkey or two along the lakeside trails!

Park admission is $3 for adults and free for children 12 and under.

Prep for these events with this field guide to Texas birds.

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