GET READY FOR THE 27TH ANNUAL RIO GRANDE VALLEY BIRDING FESTIVAL!

Put the dates of Nov 11 – 15, 2020 on your calendar for the upcoming Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival. And you might want to have some extra days before or after to continue adding birds to your list, your memory card or just your memory. The Valley is always full of colorful birds, friendly people, and plenty of birders. Throw in a few tacos here and there, and you have a Fiesta!

The Festival will offer over 120 field trips for the five days, keynote speakers, afternoon presentations, a rousing trade show (called Birders Bazaar), a whopping silent auction, a souvenir booth, and the fabulous art and photographs from local students. Come reunite with birders from across the country – seeing old friends and making new ones. Be sure to plan your trip to arrive on Tuesday to attend the Welcome Reception Tuesday evening. Music, noshes and sips!

Watch for our website to populate with 2020 information in the late spring/early summer, meanwhile you can browse last year’s info to get a feel for our Festival. Online registration will open around August 1st and go for at least 10 weeks. While everyone who participates pays a registration fee, you have the option of purchasing a Kiskadee Pass (an all-event pass that gets you into the talks) during online registration for a savings or buying tickets separately at the door. All field trips are priced according to entry fees/vehicles used/# guides allotted.

If you have questions, feel free to call the Registration Office at 956.423.5565.

2019 Schedules

While we have kept the classic field trips that define our Festival, we have also added a few new locations, and a few twists on old favorites. Click schedule for a simple overview of the daily trips to help you plan your days.  Below is the detailed daily description of the activities offered, with access to even more specific information within each box.

In its 26th year, the RGVBF has long been known for its low ratio of participants-to-guides and for the quality of its leaders. Check out the Guides section for a roster and summary of this year’s field trip leaders, with many familiar names in the professional birding community. New or returning guides for 2019 include Pete Dunne, Rick Wright, Ted Floyd, Bill Clark, Jon Dunn, Michael O’Brien and Louise Zemaitis. We have an outstanding group of talent that has been invited to guide our field trips to the magical destinations of South Texas! And you will be amazed at the skills of the up-and-coming brood of “young birders”.

This year’s pre-trip will be to the Upper Texas Coast. This 3-day van trip will begin in Houston and explore the famed areas of W.G. Jones State Forest in the pineywoods, then on to Beaumont/Port Arthur to Sabine Woods, Sea Rim State Park and McFaddin Wildlife Refuge. The post-trip will be to the renowned El Cielo Biosphere Reserve outside Gomez, Mexico. This 5-day bus trip is intended for those who are anxious to see the fabulous birds of that area, enjoy the scenic experience of El Cielo, and the flavors of interior Mexico. Both trips are detailed under the 2019 ACTIVITIES tab on the website.

2019 Trip Schedule

For Details on Field Trip click here,Phototrack click here,Pre/Post click here

5:00am - 2:00pm - SANTA MARGARITA BLUFFS

Fee $125 (Field Trip)

5:30am - 3:00pm - LAS ESTRELLAS and RANCHO LOMITAS

Fee $110 (Field Trip)

6:00am - 1:00pm - COLLEY’S “PRIVATE” ISLAND

Fee $135 (Field Trip)

6:00am - 1:00am - KING RANCH NORIAS

Fee $ 125 (Field Trip)

6:00am - 4:30pm - KLEBERG COUNTY ROMP

Fee $ 125 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:00pm - ARROYO COLORADO UNIT

Fee $90 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:30pm - AUDUBON ISLANDS of LAGUNA MADRE

Fee $110 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:30pm - BAHIA GRANDE UNIT

Fee $85 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:30pm - BENTSEN–RGV STATE PARK

Fee $75 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:30pm - eBIRD TIPS AND TRICKS

Fee $80 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:30pm - LAGUNA ATASCOSA NWR LAKESIDE DRIVE

Fee $90 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 4:00pm - PORT MANSFIELD

Fee $115 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:30pm - SABAL PALM SANCTUARY

Fee $85 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 4:00pm - VALLEY RAPTORS

Fee $110 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:30pm - YOUNG BIRDERS - ESTERO LLANO GRANDE

Fee $80 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 1:00pm - WHERE THE LOCALS BIRD - Cameron Cnty North/East

Fee $100 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 1:00pm - WHERE THE LOCALS BIRD - Cameron Cnty South/West

Fee $100 (Field Trip)

7:00am - 1:00pm - EDINBURG AND QUINTA MAZATLÁN

Fee $75 (Field Trip)

7:00am - 1:00pm - MCALLEN NATURE CENTER AND SAN JUAN WETLANDS

Fee $90 (Field Trip)

7:00am - 1:00pm - ORNITHOLOGY AND MORE

Fee $110 (Field Trip)

7:00am - 1:00pm - WESLACO’S URBAN OASES

Fee $95 (Field Trip)

8:00am - 12:00pm - ACCESSIBLE BIRDING - Estero Llano Grande State Park

Fee $60 (Field Trip)

6:00am - 1:00pm - KING RANCH NORIAS

Fee $ 125 (Field Trip)

6:00am - 1:00pm - YOUNG BIRDERS

Fee $125 (Field Trip)

6:00am - 1:00pm - COLLEY’S “PRIVATE” ISLAND

Fee $135 (Field Trip)

6:00am - 1:00pm - RIVER PONTOON and ANZALDUAS

Fee $115 (Field Trip)

6:00am - 1:00pm - SHOREBIRD ID FIELD WORKSHOP

Fee $95 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:30pm - SOUTHMOST PRESERVE

Fee $90 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:00pm - ARROYO COLORADO UNIT

Fee $90 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:30pm - BAHIA GRANDE UNIT

Fee $85 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:00pm - BOCA CHICA ROAD

Fee $90 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:00pm - eBIRD TIPS AND TRICKS

Fee $80 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:30pm - ESTERO LLANO GRANDE GRAND TOUR

Fee $ 75 (Field Trip)

6:00am - 4:30pm - KLEBERG COUNTY ROMP

Fee $ 125 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:00pm - LEARNING HOW TO LISTEN

Fee $100 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:30pm - SPI BIRDING AND NATURE CENTER

Fee $80 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:30pm - SABAL PALM SANCTUARY

Fee $ 85 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:30pm - SANTA ANA NWR

Fee $75 (Field Trip)

7:00am - 1:00pm - BIKING for BIRDS - BENTSEN

Fee $ 100 (Field Trip)

7:00am - 1:00pm - EASY (BUT NOT LESS!) BIRDING TOUR - BENTSEN

Fee $85 (Field Trip)

7:00am - 1:00pm - OLD PORT ISABEL ROAD – APLOMADO ALLEY

Fee $90 (Field Trip)

7:00am - 1:00pm - RESACA DE LA PALMA STATE PARK and UNIVERSITY RESACAS

Fee $90 (Field Trip)

8:00am - 12:00pm - ACCESSIBLE BIRDING - BENTSEN

Fee $60 (Field Trip)

4:00pm - 6:00pm - PARROTS OF THE AREA

Fee $40 (Field Trip)

5:00am - 2:00pm - UPPER RIO GRANDE

Fee $110 (Field Trip)

5:30am - 3:00pm - LAS ESTRELLAS and RANCHO LOMITAS

Fee $110 (Field Trip)

6:00am - 1:00pm - COLLEY’S “PRIVATE” ISLAND

Fee $ 135 (Field Trip)

6:00am - 1:00pm - KING RANCH NORIAS

Fee $125 (Field Trip)

6:00am - 1:00pm - RIVER PONTOON and ANZALDUAS

Fee $110 (Field Trip)

6:00am - 1:00pm - SHOREBIRD ID FIELD WORKSHOP

Fee $95 (Field Trip)

6:00am - 12:30pm - SOUTHMOST PRESERVE

Fee $90 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:30pm - AUDUBON ISLANDS of LAGUNA MADRE

Fee $110 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:30pm - BENTSEN–RGV STATE PARK

Fee $75 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 1:00pm - EDINBURG AND QUINTA MAZATLÁN

Fee $75 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:30pm - LAGUNA ATASCOSA NWR LAKESIDE DRIVE

Fee $90 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:30pm - LEARNING THE SPARROWS FIELD WORKSHOP

Fee $100 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 4:00pm - PORT MANSFIELD

Fee $115 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:30pm - SANTA ANA NWR

Fee $75 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 1:00pm - SOUTH PADRE ISLAND and BAY CRUISE

Fee $110 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:30pm - YOUNG BIRDERS - Santa Ana

Fee $80 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 1:00pm - WHERE THE LOCALS BIRD - Cameron County North/East

Fee $100 (Field Trip)

7:00am - 1:00pm - BIKING for BIRDS - Laguna Atascosa

Fee $100 (Field Trip)

7:00am - 1:00pm - EASY (BUT NOT LESS!) BIRDING TOUR - Estero Llano Grande

Fee $85 (Field Trip)

7:00am - 1:00pm - OLD PORT ISABEL RD – APLOMADO ALLEY

Fee $90 (Field Trip)

7:00am - 1:00pm - ORNITHOLOGY AND MORE

Fee $110 (Field Trip)

8:00am - 12:00pm - ACCESSIBLE BIRDING - Valley Nature Center

Fee $60 (Field Trip)

9:00am - 2:00pm - BUTTERFLIES – RGV JEWELS

Fee $90 (Field Trip)

4:00pm - 6:00pm - PARROTS OF THE AREA

Fee $40 (Field Trip)

5:00am - 2:00pm - SANTA MARGARITA BLUFFS

Fee $125 (Field Trip)

5:00am - 2:00pm - YOUNG BIRDERS - SANTA MARGARITA BLUFFS

Fee $125 (Field Trips)

6:00am - 4:30pm - BIG DAY VANS

Fee $135 (Field Trip)

6:00am - 1:00pm - COLLEY’S “PRIVATE” ISLAND

Fee $135 (Field Trip)

6:00am - 1:00pm - RIVER PONTOON and ANZALDUAS

Fee $110 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:30pm - BAHIA GRANDE UNIT

Fee $85 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:00pm - BOCA CHICA ROAD

Fee $90 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:30pm - ESTERO LLANO GRANDE GRAND TOUR

Fee $75 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:30pm - LEARNING THE SPARROWS FIELD WORKSHOP

Fee $100 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:30pm - SANTA ANA NWR

Fee $75 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 1:00pm - SOUTH PADRE ISLAND and BAY CRUISE

Fee $110 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 1:00pm - WHERE THE LOCALS BIRD - CAMERON SOUTH/WEST

Fee $100 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 1:00pm - WHERE THE LOCALS BIRD - HIDALGO COUNTY

Fee $100 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:30 - LAGUNA ATASCOSA NWR LAKESIDE DRIVE

Fee $90 (Field Trip)

7:00am – 1:00pm - BATTLEFIELDS AND BIRDS

Fee $65 (Field Trip)

7:00am - 1:00pm - BIKING for BIRDS - Brownsville

Fee $100 (Field Trip)

7:00am - 1:00pm - BIRDING IN THE DIGITAL AGE

Fee $100 (Field Trip)

7:00am - 1:00pm - EASY (BUT NOT LESS!) BIRDING TOUR - Resaca de la Palma

Fee $85 (Field Trip)

7:00am - 1:00pm - WESLACO’S URBAN OASES

Fee $95 (Field Trip)

8:00am - 12:00pm - ACCESSIBLE BIRDING - QUINTA MAZATLAN

Fee $60 (Field Trip)

8:00am - 2:00pm - RAPTOR BANDING

Fee $95 (Field Trip)

4:00pm - 6:00pm - PARROTS OF THE AREA

Fee $40 (Field Trip)

6:00am - 1:00pm - COLLEY’S “PRIVATE” ISLAND

Fee $135 (Field Trip)

6:00am - 1:00pm - KING RANCH NORIAS

Fee $125 (Field Trip)

6:00am - 1:00pm - RIVER PONTOON and ANZALDUAS

Fee $110 (Field Trip)

6:00am - 1:00pm - SHOREBIRD ID FIELD WORKSHOP

Fee $95 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:30pm - BENTSEN–RGV STATE PARK

Fee $75 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:00pm - BOCA CHICA ROAD

Fee $90 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:30pm - ESTERO LLANO GRANDE GRAND TOUR

Fee $75 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:00pm - LEARNING HOW TO LISTEN

Fee $100 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 12:30pm - YOUNG BIRDERS - CLEAN UP

Fee $80 (Field Trip)

6:30am - 1:00pm - WHERE THE LOCALS BIRD - CAMERON SOUTH/WEST

Fee $100 (Field Trip)

7:00am - 1:00pm - BIRDING IN THE DIGITAL AGE

Fee $100 (Field Trip)

7:00am - 12:00pm - BKFST BIRDS AT CHACHALACA BEND

Fee $95 (Field Trip)

7:00am - 1:00pm - EASY (BUT NOT LESS!) BIRDING TOUR - LAGINA ATASCOSA

Fee $85 (Field Trip)

7:00am - 1:00pm - OLD PORT ISABEL RD – APLOMADO ALLEY

Fee $90 (Field Trip)

7:30am - 12:00pm - SONGBIRD BANDING

Fee $95 (Field Trip)

8:00am - 12:00pm - ACCESSIBLE BIRDING - NATIONAL BUTTERFLY CENTER

Fee $60 (Field Trip)

9:00am - 2:00pm - BUTTERFLIES – RGV JEWELS

Fee $90 (Field Trip)

NORTHEAST TEXAS PINEYWOODS AND COASTAL MARSHES! - 6:00 PM - Saturday, Nov 2 to 10:30 AM Tuesday, Nov 5

Fee $ 825 double occupancy, $ 1,000 single occupancy (Pre-Trip)

EL CIELO BIOSPHERE RESERVE, MEXICO – BIRDING HEAVEN! - 6:30am Monday, Nov 11 – 6pm Friday, Nov 15

To register please call 956-423-1446

DIGISCOPING DEMYSTIFIED CLASSROOM WORKSHOP - Thur 3:30-5pm

Fee $20

DIGISCOPING FROM THE DECK - Sat 2pm – 5pm

Fee $20

LAGUNA SECA RANCH - Thur, Sat, Sun 7am – 11:30am

Fee $125

MARTIN REFUGE - Wed, Fri, Sun 6am – 1:45pm

Fee $225

PHOTO RODEO: INTRODUCTION TO BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY – ESTERO LLANO GRANDE STATE PARK - Thur 7am – 12pm

Fee $50

PHOTO RODEO: INTRODUCTION TO BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY – NATIONAL BUTTERFLY CENTER - Sat 8am – 12pm

Fee $50

PHOTO RODEO:PHOTOGRAPHING BIRDS IN FLIGHT–HERONS AND WATERBIRDS-SPI-Sun 7:30am–12pm

Fee $50

PHOTO RODEO: PHOTOGRAPHING BIRDS IN FLIGHT – GULLS AND HAWKS - Fri 7:30am – 12:30pm

Fee $75

PHOTO RODEO: CLASSROOM WORKSHOP – INTRODUCTION TO PHOTO PROCESSING - Thur, Sat 1:30pm-3pm

Fee $20

PHOTO RODEO: CLASSROOM WORKSHOP – INTRODUCTION TO PHOTO CATALOGING AND PROCESSING - Fri 1:30pm-3pm

Fee $20

POINT-AND-SHOOT: BASIC FIELD TECHNIQUES - Thur 8:00am-9:30am instruction, 9:30am–12:00pm field experience

Fee $50

POINT-AND-SHOOT: CLASS WKSH–AN INTRO TO POINT-AND-SHOOT NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY-Wed 1:30pm-3 pm

Fee $20

Speakers

Entrance to all keynotes, seminars and workshops are being offered for one flat price during the online registration period. This Kiskadee Pass is $30, and allows you entry to all those offerings as you please. A huge savings from individually priced admissions, you can purchase the Kiskadee Pass only during open registration. During the Festival, individual tickets will be sold for admission. Field trips are not included in the Kiskadee Pass.

Rick Wright

Workshop: Learning the Sparrows, Not Knowing the Sparrows (Wednesday, 3:00-4:30 PM)

Andrea Gibbons

Presentation: Sometimes it Takes a Village: Nesting Harris’s Hawks in South Texas (Thursday, 2:30 – 3:30 PM)

Bill Clark

Presentation: Sharp-shinned or Cooper's, a Perplexing Raptor Field ID Problem (Thursday, 3:45-4:45 PM)

Ted Floyd

Keynote: Thoughts on Birding and Nature Study in the Digital Era (Thursday, 6:15-7:30 PM)

Pete Dunne

Keynote: The World Series of Birding - Stories Behind the Story, Now It Can Be Told (Friday, 6:15-7:30 PM)

Simon Kiacz

Presentation: Parrots in the lower Rio Grande Valley: Who, Where, When and Why. (Saturday, 2:30-3:30 PM)

Tony Henehan

Presentation: Green Jays of Urban RGV (Saturday, 3:45-4:45 PM)

Frequently Asked Questions

WHEN IS THE FESTIVAL?

The 2019 Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival is Nov 6-10.  Registration Packet Pick-up will be on Tuesday, Nov 5th from 12 noon to 5 PM.  Be sure to pick up your credentials at the Harlingen Convention Center at that time OR prior to your first field trip!  If you are delayed and miss the that time slot, arrive 30 minutes before your field trip departs for pick-up of your credentials and welcome packet.  Daylight savings time ends the weekend prior, so hopefully your biological clock will have adjusted before we begin those early morning field trips!

HOW DO I GET THERE?

Harlingen is located in the southern tip of Texas, about 30 miles west of the Gulf of Mexico and 15 miles north of the Rio Grande River. We are further south than one-third of Mexico, and therefore our rich bird diversity. Harlingen is a city of about 75,000 people and is the fourth largest city in the Rio Grande Valley. It offers a convenient airport, motels/hotels, restaurants, fast-food drive thru’s, national pharmacy chains, Wal-Mart & Target, a Travel Information Center, Bass Pro Shop, three HEB Grocery stores, and a mall, should you have forgotten anything.

Harlingen by air: Fly into Harlingen’s Valley International Airport (HRL). It is serviced by Delta, United, Southwest and Frontier (non-stops from Denver or Chicago), and seasonally by Sun Country Airlines (Nov-Apr). Most flights connect through Houston (IAH or HOU) or Dallas (DFW or DAL). With only 8 gates, the airport offers a very pleasant experience to fly in and out. Rental cars are available on site, and reservations are required.

Harlingen by car: Harlingen is located at the confluence of the new I-2 & I-69E (locally, US Hwy 83 & 77 respectively). It is a two-hour drive south of Corpus Christi and a four-hour drive south of San Antonio. You don’t want to know how long it takes to drive to El Paso, and yes, you are still in Texas.

WONDERING WHICH FIELD TRIPS ARE RIGHT FOR YOU?

WHAT FIELD TRIPS ARE RIGHT FOR ME?

++ Border Patrol Checkpoint requires identification

BEGINNER – Beginners are always welcome on all trips. Some sites are easier for new birders to spot birds and enjoy their trip.

Bentsen SP
Breakfast with the Birds at Chachalaca Bend
Easy (But Not Less!)
Edinburg & Quinta Mazatlán
Estero Llano Grande Grand Tour
McAllen Nature Center & San Juan Wetlands
Parrots of the Area
Raptor Banding
Resaca de la Palma SP
River Pontoon & Anzalduas
Santa Ana NWR
Songbird Banding
South Padre Island Birding & Nature Center
Weslaco’s Urban Oases

CUSTOM – specific audience

Accessible Birding (wheelchairs/scooters)
Big Day Vans (listers, Texas Century Club)
Butterflies
PhotoTrack (photography opportunities)
Where Locals Bird (listers, Texas Century Club)
Young Birders (age 12-20)

EASIER – For those who prefer less walking

Breakfast with the Birds at Chachalaca Bend
Butterflies
Colley’s “Private” Island
Easy (But Not Less!)
Edinburg & Quinta Mazatlán
Laguna Atascosa Lakeside Drive
Old Port Isabel Road
Parrots of the Area
McAllen Nature Center & San Juan Wetlands
Raptor Banding
River Pontoon & Anzalduas
Songbird Banding
South Padre Island & Bay Cruise
Weslaco’s Urban Oases

FAMILY – Families are welcome on any trip, and the following would be a special experience

Birding in the Digital Age
Butterflies
Colley’s “Private” Island
Edinburg & Quinta Mazatlán
McAllen Nature Center & San Juan Wetlands
Parrots of the Area
Raptor Banding
Resaca de la Palma SP
River Pontoon & Anzalduas
Songbird Banding
South Padre Island & Bay Cruise
South Padre Island Birding & Nature Center

CLASSICS – First trip to the Valley? Here are the famous not-to-be-missed sites

Bentsen-Rio Grande State Park

Estero Llano Grande Grand Tour
King Ranch
Laguna Atascosa Lakeside Drive
Sabal Palm Sanctuary
Santa Ana NWR
South Padre Island & Bay Cruise
Upper Rio Grande

BEEN BEFORE – Interesting choices beyond the famous parks

Arroyo Colorado Unit
Audubon Islands
Bahia Grande
Battlefields & Birds with Jon Dunn
Big Day Vans
Biking for Birds
Birding in the Digital Age
Boca Chica Road++
Breakfast with the Birds at Chachalaca Bend
Butterflies
Colley’s “Private” Island
eBird Tips and Tricks
Kleberg County Romp ++
Las Estrellas & Rancho Lomitas
Learning Sparrows
Learning to Listen
Old Port Isabel Road
Ornithology & More
Port Mansfield
Raptor Banding
River Pontoon & Anzalduas
Santa Margarita Bluffs
Shorebird ID Field Workshop
Songbird Banding
Southmost Preserve
Valley Raptors
Where the Locals Bird

HOW DO I BECOME A VOLUNTEER?

Volunteers are the bread-and-butter of our Festival. We need volunteers for parking cars, putting supplies on outgoing vehicles, sending out buses, posting and changing out signs, receiving vendors, welcoming returning buses and scouting for lost & found on the vehicles, retrieving supplies off returning vans, restocking of depleted items & inventories, checking out operating supplies, assistance in auditorium during presentations, guide room assistance, stuffing badge holders & alphabetizing, stuffing goodie bags, folding t-shirts, office assistance (computer skills preferred), rovers within the building (attention to needs), and so on. If you have a skill, we can probably use it!

Leave Cristela Wise a voicemail at (956) 873-3167, send an email to [email protected] or fill this <Volunteer form> to offer your services. Shifts range from 3 hours to as long as you can last. Only happy people need apply!

WHERE DO I STAY?

Harlingen offers a wide variety of hotel properties and rates to accommodate every visitor. For a printable version of Festival-friendly recommendations and preferred rates, click here.

For a Harlingen Visitors Guide, go to visitharlingentexas.com or call the Harlingen Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 531-7346.

Once in Harlingen, stop by the Harlingen Chamber of Commerce (311 E Tyler Street) or the Texas Travel Information Center (2021 W Harrison, at the junction of I-2 and I-69E underpass) for brochures on local and Valley-wide attractions.

We strongly suggest you stay in Harlingen, as trip departures are EARLY, and buses do not wait for tardy birders!

WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?

Request additional information at [email protected], or call 209-227-4823. For registration questions, call 956-423-5565. Be sure to leave name and phone number clearly should you need to leave a message. A brochure can be downloaded from the website, or mailed to you. Email your request to [email protected], and include complete name, mailing address and phone number. A printed brochure will be included in every registrant’s packet once you arrive at the Convention Center.

For additional information: call (209) 227-4823 or email [email protected].
For registration questions: call (956) 423-5565 or email [email protected].
For mailing: RGVBF,  PO Box 3162, Harlingen, TX  78551.
Office location:  Chamber of Commerce Building, 311 E Tyler Ave, Harlingen, TX 78550.

HOW DO I GET AROUND?

The Festival does not provide shuttle service between the airport, hotels, restaurants or Festival activities. Some of the hotels may provide limited shuttle service to and from the airport, but in order to best experience the Festival and our unique area, we strongly encourage renting a car. While your mornings are spent on field trips, the afternoons are your opportunity to wander, chase and explore.

IS THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY SAFE?

In a word, YES!!  The Rio Grande Valley continues to grow but we still have a small town feel.  A recent study ranking the nation’s cities using FBI crime statistics and crime types and trends, SafeHome.org listed Harlingen, Brownsville, McAllen, Edinburg and Mission in the top 60 safest places to live in Texas with populations above 50,000.  Interested in learning more, go to www.safehome.org/safest-cities/tx/

HOW DO I BECOME A VENDOR?

The Birders Bazaar runs Thursday through Sunday (Nov. 7– 10, noon to 6 pm/4 pm on Sunday), and vendors must commit to stay for the entire show – early take-downs may not be invited to return. Contact Marilyn Vincent at [email protected] to become a vendor.  Priority is given to vendor attendees from the 2018 Festival in the spring of 2019, then open booths are released to new vendors on June 1. Your application is time-stamped, so early responders have the best opportunity. Any reserved booths not paid by September 1 will also be released to new vendors.

Standard Commercial Booth – $250.  8×10 booth, with one skirted 6’ table, 2 chairs, draped back and side walls, and a one-line business ID booth sign.  Free WiFi.

Standard Non-profit Booth – $175.  8×10 booth, one skirted 6’ table, 2 chairs, draped back and side walls, with a one-line business ID booth sign.  Free WiFi.

HOW CAN I BECOME A SPONSOR?

If you are interested in supporting the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival, become a sponsor! Depending on the level of sponsorship, the benefits to you range from exposure on our website’s home page or sponsor link, possible free booths or endcaps guaranteed at the Birders Bazaar Tradeshow (if submitted by July 1), recognition on RGVBF Facebook page plus other media, placing inserts into Registrant’s Packets, Festival gear and events plus an invite to the very popular Welcome Reception.

  • Sponsorship Levels*
    • Aplomado Falcon $10,000+
    • Great Kiskadee $5,500- $9,999
    • Red-crowned Parrot $3,000-$5,499
    • Ringed Kingfisher $1,000-$2,999
    • Chachalaca $300-$999

*Sponsorships can be made through cash donations, in-kind donations, or a combination of the two.

Contact Irma Pye Gavito at [email protected] for additional information and a sponsorship packet or please click this link <Sponsorship form>.  Documents are available for the Sponsor Newsletter – click here to download. Many thanks to our current sponsors!

We hope you have benefited from the thousands of birders that visit our website annually, see our brochure, are our Facebook friends, visited the Birders Bazaar, and/or have attended at least one of our 25 previous Birding Festivals!

2019 FESTIVAL ARTIST

MICHAEL L.P. RETTER

Michael L. P. Retter has been leading field trips at the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival for 18 years. He is the editor of the American Birding Association’s Birder’s Guide magazine, author of the ABA Field Guide to Birds of Illinois, and a part-time tour leader for BRANT Nature Tours. During college, Michael regularly went on road trips with friends into Mexico over holiday vacations, and he has been tour-leading there ever since. He is currently putting his knowledge of the area’s birds to paper by writing an upcoming Princeton identification guide to the birds of Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize. Michael serves as an eBird reviewer for Mexico, Illinois, and Indiana, where he formerly served as chair of the state records committee. Michael runs QBNA, North America’s informal club for LGBTQ+ birders and their allies. He currently lives and gardens in Fort Worth, Texas.

Festival Artwork 2019

 

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