For those of you that are already birders, you know what’s coming: ’tis the season to see unique, remarkable, and incredible birds as they migrate through the Texas Gulf Coast! If you’re not yet a birder, you can be…learn all about it – all you need is a field guide to get started!
During this exciting time of year, Texas Parks and Wildlife puts together a birdwatching tournament called the Great Texas Birding Classic from April 15 to May 15. Are we getting involved? You know it.
Bird keepers from the Houston Zoo (team Jiminy Frigates) are getting together for 24 hours starting at midnight on Sunday, April 21 for a birding marathon: the goal is to identify as many birds as possible in the wild in 24 hours. And that means we can’t cheat and just go to the Zoo and name all our birds! I’ll follow along and bring you updates as they happen, from crazy mishaps to amazing birds to gorgeous scenery.
The Texas Birding Classic isn’t just 24 hours, though…there are lots of different
categories depending on your interest, age, ability, and time constraints. You can be beginner or advanced, a team of one or 5, and you can participate in a tournament for a morning, 24 hours or six consecutive days. You can even do the “Big Sit!” This is where have to identify birds in 24 hours, with all team members sitting or standing within a stationary 17-foot diameter circle!
So what’s our plan? If we told you we’d have to…well, you know. But we can give you some clues on where we’re going, because you might be interested in checking them out sometime. We’ll be searching for owls at the Big Thicket, enjoying the views and birds along the coast, and heading to famous High Island to see what we can see.
It’s going to be a fun adventure, and we hope you’ll join us on the blog for the big day. And while registration’s almost over, it may not be too late for you to jump in and have your own team!
Photos by Megan Neal, Houston Zoo Bird Keeper and Member of Team Jiminy Frigates