24th Annual RGV Birding Festival
On November 8, 2017

Municipal Auditorium

1204 Fairpark Blvd., Harlingen, Tx.

Registration Opens late July

Register For This Event

Thank you

Thanks for attending our 2016 Festival – it was fantastic to see all of you again!  Put the dates for next year on your calendar – November 8-12.  Look for our 2017 events to be posted around July 4th.

About Event

Situated in the middle of the Rio Grande Valley, Harlingen is the ideal location to venture from for excellent birding. Within 90 minutes are dry, desert habitats to the west, and the coastal habitats are only 60 minutes to the east, with a riparian ribbon along the entire southern boundary. For 22 years running, the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival has provided thousands of birders with life birds, those we call the RGV Specialties. Professional tour guides lead every trip, whether bus or van, with a low participant-to-guide ratio to provide excellent spotting and identification. Over 60 vendors of bird-related products can delight every level of birder at the Bazaar, and their contributions to the Silent Auction make that event very exciting. We offer great birds, excellent guiding, educational seminars, rousing socials and FUN! Ask anybody who has been here before!

NEW THIS YEAR: An all-event pass has been created this year to save on individual pricing. Choose the Kiskadee Pass option on your registration form for $25 to get in to all seminars and the Mexican Fiesta dinner and show. This savings will only be available during the registration period. Individual pricing for seminars and workshops will be in effect after October 14, so be sure to select the Kiskadee Pass on your registration form!

NOTE: A fee of $25 will be automatically included in each registration for processing and administration.   This non-refundable fee is required for every registrant, and is termed a Registration Fee.

Sponsors

Great Kiskadee Sponsors

2016 Speakers

Keynotes, workshops and seminars

Speaker
Neil Hayward is currently the Field Trip Coordinator and a director of the Brookline Bird Club. He is the author of Lost Among the Birds (Bloomsbury, June 2016), a memoir of his accidental big year. He lives in Cambridge, MA with his wife Gerri and two cats, Sally and Khiva
Neil Hayward

KEYNOTE: Friday 6:30pm

Speaker
Stephen Shunk has spent the last 19 years studying woodpeckers in his backyard and beyond, and his long-awaited Peterson Reference Guide to Woodpeckers of North America hit the shelves in May 2016.
Stephen Shunk

KEYNOTE: Thursday 6:30pm

Speaker
Erik Bruhnke has had a love for birds since he was a child. Erik taught field ornithology various times at Northland College. His avian field experiences have taken him throughout Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho, North and South Dakota, Maine, Texas, and western Canada. Erik’s wildlife photography has won national awards, and his writings have been featured in Birder’s Guide via the American Birding Association, BirdWatching, and Birdwatcher’s Digest.
Erik Bruhnke

Saturday 3:15pm

Speaker
Ian Davies works at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology as the Project Coordinator for eBird (ebird.org), a free global database of bird sightings that is used by birdwatchers, researchers, and conservationists worldwide. More than 335 million sightings of birds from every country on earth are available for free use by anyone, contributed by more than 315,000 birdwatchers like you.
Ian Davies

Thursday 2:00pm

Speaker
Cullen Hanks is a Texas Nature Tracker Biologist in the Wildlife Diversity Program at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. Cullen has extensive experience with the collection and management of data on rare and threatened species. He is very passionate about being a naturalist and the contribution of the naturalist community to conservation.
Cullen Hanks

Saturday 2pm

Speaker
Homer Hansen has a passion for sharing bird watching with others and is a regular field trip leader for several festivals and served as chairman of the Wings Over Willcox Birding & Nature Festival for 17 years. Homer is also co-founder of the Sulphur Springs Valley Young Birders Club and the annual Arizona Young Birders Camp.
Homer Hansen

WORKSHOP: Wednesday 2:30pm

Speaker
Kevin Karlson is an accomplished birder, professional tour leader and wildlife photographer. He is a regular presence at Bird and Nature festivals in North America, where he gives keynote presentations and workshops on bird identification and appreciation, as well as photo instruction.
Kevin Karlson

Thursday 3:30pm

FAQ

Generic Questions About The Festival

That is Nov 2nd – 6th for 2016. Pre and Post trip dates can be found in 2016 Events / Special Trips.
By air: Harlingen is well-serviced by Valley International Airport with four major airlines: Delta, Southwest, Sun Country Airlines and United.
By car: Harlingen is conveniently located at the intersection of  & I2-Faq (US Highway 77 & 83), two hours south of Corpus Christi and four hours south of San Antonio.
The Festival does not provide shuttle service between airport, hotels, or Festival activities. Some of the hotels provide limited shuttle service, but in order to best experience the Festival and our unique area, we strongly encourage a car rental booking.
Harlingen offers wide variety of rooms with rates to please any visitor. Please click Where do I stay? for Festival-friendly recommendations. For a Harlingen Visitors Guide, go to visitharlingentexas.com or call the Harlingen CVB at 1.800.531.7346.

Here are some recommended Hotels in Harlingen:

America’s Best Value *
Best Western Casa Villa ^*
Candlewood Suites *
Country Inn and Suites *
Courtyard by Marriott ^ *
Hampton Inn & Suites *
LaCopa Inn *
Quality Inn ^ *
Super 8 *
Residence Inn by Marriott *
Value Place *
Campground/park for trailer:
Paradise Park RV call 956-425-6881 (Note: No Tents)

You can also download this DOCUMENT .
* Ask for RGV Birding Festival special rate.
^ 2016 RGV Birding Festival sponsor.
++ Border Patrol Checkpoint requires identification
EASIER
For those who prefer minimal walking:
Big Sits
Bird Banding
Breakfast with the Birds at South Padre
Colleys’ Private Island
Easy (But Not Less!) Tours
Edinburg and Quinta Mazatlan
Laguna Atascosa NWR
Parrots of the Area
Quinta Mazatlan and McAllen Nature Center
Rancho Lomitas
River Pontoon
Weslaco
FAMILY
Families are welcome on any trip, and the following would be a special experience:
Big Sits
Bird Banding
Birding 101
Cactus Creek Ranch
Camp Lula Sams
Parrots of the Area
Quinta Mazatlan & McAllen Nature Center
Rancho Lomitas
Resaca de la Palma
River Pontoon
South Padre Island
CLASSICS
First trip to the Valley? Here are the famous not-to-be-missed sites:
Bentsen-Rio Grande State Park
Estero Llano Grande State Park
King Ranch
Laguna Atascosa NWR
Sabal Palm Sanctuary
Santa Ana NWR
South Padre Island
Upper Rio Grande
BEEN BEFORE?
Interesting choices beyond the famous parks:
Bahia Grande
Big Day Vans
Biking for Birds
Boca Chica & Southmost ++
Breakfast with the Birds
Cactus Creek Ranch
Camp Lula Sams
Colleys’ Private Island
Flycatcher ID
Gold Series Tours
Kleberg Wetlands ++
Port Mansfield
Rancho Lomitas
Raptor Banding
Shorebird ID
Valley Raptors
Where the Locals Bird
BEGINNER
Beginners are always welcome on all trips. But some sites are easier for new birders to spot birds and enjoy their trip. We recommend:
Bentsen SP
Big Sits
Bird Banding
Birding 101
Breakfast with the Birds
Camp Lula Sams
Edinburg & San Juan Wetlands
Estero Llano Grande SP
Quinta Mazatlan & McAllen Nature Center
Rancho Lomitas
Resaca de la Palma
River Pontoon
Santa Ana NWR
Weslaco
Booth types and fees (2016 Pricing):

  • Center Endcap (16′ x 8′) $375
  • Standard (10′ x 8′)
    • $100 (non-profit – limit 1 booth per group)
    • $175 (commercial)
  • Extra Skirted Table (6′) $30 each

*Electricity is free. Tradeshow does have WiFi
2017 Pricing will be available after February 1st, 2017