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Texas Spring Migration Birding Festival

By Susan Fennewald Galveston Texas, USA

This April 3-6, Galveston, Texas is hosting its first birding festival - Spring migration season on Galveston Island and the upper Texas Coast can be an amazing time for birders. Birds migrating north fly over the Gulf of Mexico and stop to rest along the coast in this area. Many birders are familiar with the High Island sanctuaries located just 30 miles to the east of Galveston Island. In addition, many shorebirds are on the move and present on the beaches of Galveston and nearby areas such as Bolivar Flats. Galveston has the best lodging and restaurants on the upper Texas Coast, as well as excellent birding. Certainly, if you`re travelling to High Island for spring migration, Galveston is the perfect place to stay. In addition to its great location near High Island, it is a historic town, as well as a tourist town, and offers activities for those members of your family who may not be as fanatic about birds as you are. The Featherfest birding festival is an important event for the Galveston area birders, and anyone interested in preserving the natural habitats in this area. Galveston, and the entire coast, are under increasing pressures from developers. This area is easy driving distance from the city of Houston and its vast urban sprawl. As a result, developers are rapidly building more and more vacation homes all along the shore. Many local politicians actually encourage this development as an economic benefit and would prefer to turn wetlands into a golf course. The best way to prevent development from covering the entire area is to show that nature tourism relies on these natural resources. The local politicians do not believe nature tourism exits. Galveston, and the upper Texas coast, needs any and all conservation-minded tourists to attend the FeatherFest birding festival, and make their presence known to the politicians and developers. From one perspective, the talks and birding field trips will be secondary to this political message. For others, the field trips to Bolivar Flats and High Island, or a trip to see the Attwater`s Prairie Chicken, may be more important. The festival has set up a web page: http://www.galvestonfeatherfest.comGalveston needs your help. Please come and show your support for preserving the natural environment on Galveston and the upper Texas Coast. (And have a good time, enjoy the birds and birding seminars.) Always remember, where ever you travel in search of birds, let the local businesses and politicians know that preserving nature pays.

4th July 2014