25th Annual RGV Birding Festival
Begins On November 7, 2018

Municipal Auditorium

1204 Fair Park Blvd., Harlingen, Tx.

Welcome to the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival’s 25th anniversary festival!

We are so excited for you to join us in celebrating our 25th anniversary of the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival this November 7-11, 2018! See below for our information on registration, the all-event Kiskadee Pass, our terrific line-up of speakers, our reunion-like socials, and birdy destinations for our field trips. Registration will open August 1st @ 12 noon CT, and registrant profiles can be filled out ahead of time to get a jump start on registering. Photographers will be delighted in the new format for PhotoTrack (under the 2018 ACTIVITIES tab), from experienced to budding nature photographer. See the bird checklists from years past under the BIRDS SEEN tab to whet your appetite – which birds do you still need for your life list? Use the Field Trip Worksheet under the DOWNLOADS tab to organize your trips. So many birds to see, and so little time…think about extending your trip to do a little self-exploration. South Texas is birder-friendly!

About Event 2018

25th Annual Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival, November 7-11, 2018
Event location: 1204 Fair Park Blvd., Harlingen, TX 78550
Office location: 311 E Tyler Ave., Harlingen, TX 78550, (956) 423-5565

Situated in the center 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 far west, and the coastal habitats are less than 60 minutes to the east, with a riparian ribbon along the entire southern boundary (AKA the Rio Grande River) and vast ranch land to the north. For 24 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 Birders Bazaar, and their contributions to the Silent Auction make that event very inviting. We offer great birds, excellent guiding, educational seminars, rousing socials and FUN! Ask anybody who has been here before!

On your registration, you will notice a Registration Fee. This $25 charge is required for all registrations (signing up for one trip, or the whole shebang) to cover administrative costs and promotion. It is non-refundable, and an integral part of our continuation.

The Kiskadee Pass, an all-event ticket, has been created to save on the individual pricing of seminars, workshops and full array of keynote speakers. Choose the Kiskadee Pass option for $30 when you select your field trips to get in to all activities at the Auditorium. This savings will only be available during the online registration period. Individual pricing for seminars and workshops will be in effect after October 17, so be sure to select the Kiskadee Pass on your registration form!

The Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival is volunteer-propelled! Over 50 volunteers have organized this event, and another 100 make it happen. If you would like to be on our volunteer squad, please contact Tamie Bulow at [email protected] Requirements include a smiling face, and a Texas-friendly attitude.

Sponsors

Great Kiskadee Sponsors

Speakers

Keynotes, workshops and seminars

Speaker
While working on The Crossley ID Guide: Waterfowl, Richard decided he needed to drive to the Arctic Ocean, northern Alaska – from his home in Cape May, NJ. Told in a thick Yorkshire accent, with a sense of humor, and a disdain for PC, Richard will talk about his 16,000-mile adventure. Living out of his truck, Richard chats about the incredible places he travelled and the inspiring people he met.
Presentation: Richard Crossley – There & Back, Wednesday 3p

Speaker
The hypersaline Laguna Madre Bay, with its unique habitats, is a hotspot for numerous migratory and resident birds. Over 25 species of water birds, the majority of which are facing serious population declines, nest on its important rookery islands. Learn about the unique coastal birds of the Laguna Madre, and Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program’s ongoing conservation efforts to benefit them.
Seminar: Stephanie Bilodeau - Monitoring Birds/Habitats of the Laguna Madre, Thursday 2p

Speaker
The creator of the comic Bird and Moon and author of kids’ books on science will discuss the funny side of birds, from vomiting vultures to awkward sage-grouse to cavorting birds-of-paradise. She’ll share tales from the field and talk about how she turns her research and experiences into cartoons. She’ll also explain why comics are powerful tools for conservationists.
Keynote: Rosemary Mosco – Giving Science Wings: Comics for Bird Conservation, Thursday 6:15p

Speaker
The 12 Steps, described in the recently published Peterson Guide to Bird Identification—In 12 Steps (co-authored with Brian Sullivan), looks at how we as modern humans approach the process of bird identification. We start with some basics that so many people forget, or take for granted, and then build simply and logically into a framework that can help anyone in his or her goal to identify and appreciate birds.
Keynote: Steve NG Howell – Bird Identification Simplified– In 12 Steps, Friday 6:15p

Speaker
What is the purpose of being in a group with conspecifics? While the physical appearance of the Black-crested Titmouse (BCTI) is rather drab in shades of black and gray, the social structure of this species is anything but that! Over the course of a six-year study, it has been discovered that the BCTI is a complicated species with peculiar flocking capabilities and reproductive behaviors.
Seminar: Rebekah Rylander – Why Titmice Flock, Saturday 2p

Speaker
This is a place like no other…where a phantom wildcat stealthily stalks the cloaking thornscrub, tropical birds dart from dense thickets and wintering waterfowl greet the crimson dawn. Laguna Atascosa is the largest protected area of natural habitat open to the public in southernmost Texas and one of the most biologically diverse tracts in the United States.
Seminar: RICHARD MOORE - Laguna Atascosa: A South Texas Treasure, Saturday 3:30p

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 25th 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 2018 include presenters Steve Howell and Richard Crossley.  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” who are guides-in-training.

This year’s pre-trip will be to Laredo, TX – home of the newly-named Morelet’s Seedeater (formerly White-collared Seedeater).  This 3-day van trip will be limited in participants for better access to and experience of the natural areas we will visit.  The post-trip will be to the famed 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 2018 ACTIVITIES tab on the website.

Day 1 - Wednesday
  • 5:00 am - SANTA MARGARITA BLUFFS

    Fee $110 / 5am – 2pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - COLLEY'S "PRIVATE" ISLAND

    Fee $125 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - KING RANCH NORIAS with Tom Langschied

    Fee $110 / 6am – 1pm  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - MARTIN REFUGE

    Fee $200/ 6am – 1:45pm (PhotoTrack) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - SHOREBIRD ID FIELD WORKSHOP

    Fee $95 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - YOUNG BIRDERS

    Fee $110 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - ARROYO COLORADO UNIT

    Fee $85 / 6:30am – 12noon  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - AUDUBON ISLANDS of LAGUNA MADRE with Stephanie Bilodeau

    Fee $110 / 6:30am – 12:30pm  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - BAHIA GRANDE UNIT

    Fee $80 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - BENTSEN – RG STATE PARK

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - eBIRD TIPS AND TRICKS with Ian Davies

    Fee $75 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - EDINBURG SCENIC WETLANDS AND QUINTA MAZATLAN

    Fee $70 / 6:30am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - PORT MANSFIELD

    Fee $110 / 6:30am – 4pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - VALLEY RAPTORS with Bill Clark

    Fee $95 / 6:30am – 4pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - WHERE THE LOCALS BIRD - Cameron County

    Fee $100/ 6:30am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

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

    Fee $75 / 7am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

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

    Fee $75 / 7am - 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - ORNITHOLOGY AND MORE with Jon Dunn

    Fee $110 / 7am - 1pm  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - WESLACO’S URBAN OASES

    Fee $85 / 7am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - PHOTO RODEO: INTRODUCTION TO BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

    Fee $50/ 7am – 12pm (PhotoTrack) Read more.

  • 8:00 am - PHOTO RODEO: UNDERSTANDING AND MASTERING MICRO 4/3 CAMERAS

    Fee $50/ 8am – 12pm with Tropical Birding (PhotoTrack) Read more.

  • 8:00 am - BIG EASY BIRDING

    Fee $50 / Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday 8am - 12pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 1:00 pm - POINT-AND-SHOOT: CLASSROOM WORKSHOP – An Introduction to Point-and-Shoot Nature Photography

    Fee $20/ 1pm – 2:30pm (PhotoTrack) Read more.

  • 1:30 pm - PHOTO RODEO: CLASSROOM WORKSHOP - Introduction to Bird Photo Processing

    Fee $20/ 1:30pm – 3:30pm (PhotoTrack) Read more.

  • 4:00 pm - THERE & BACK with Richard Crossley

    Free with Kiskadee Pass / 4pm (Seminar) Read more.

Day 2 - Thursday
  • 5:00 am - UPPER RIO GRANDE

    Fee $100 / 5am – 2pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - COLLEY'S "PRIVATE" ISLAND

    Fee $125 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - KING RANCH NORIAS with Tom Langschied

    Fee $110 / 6am – 1pm  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - KLEBERG COUNTY ROMP

    Fee $110 / 6am – 4:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - RIVER PONTOON and ANZALDUAS

    Fee $95 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - SHOREBIRD ID FIELD WORKSHOP

    Fee $95 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - SOUTHMOST PRESERVE

    Fee $80 / 6am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - ARROYO COLORADO UNIT

    Fee $85 / 6:30am – 12noon  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - BOCA CHICA ROAD

    Fee $80 / 6:30am – 12noon  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - ESTERO LLANO GRANDE GRAND TOUR

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - LAGUNA ATASCOSA LAKESIDE DRIVE

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - SANTA ANA NWR

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - SOUTH PADRE ISLAND BIRDING AND NATURE CENTER

    Fee $70 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - WHERE THE LOCALS BIRD - Hidalgo County

    Fee $100 / 6:30am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - YOUNG BIRDERS

    Fee $80 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - BATTLEFIELDS AND BIRDS with Jon Dunn and Bob Powell

    Fee $65 / 7:00am – 1:00pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - BIKING for BIRDS - Bentsen RG State Park with Dorian Anderson

    Fee $90 /  7am – 1pm  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - BIRDING 101 WORKSHOP

    Fee $75 / 7am - 3pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - DUCK, DUCK, GOOSE – WATERFOWL CROSSLEY-STYLE with Richard Crossley

    Fee $110 / 7am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - EASY (BUT NOT LESS!) BIRDING TOUR

    Fee $80 / 7am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

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

    Fee $80 / 7am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:30 am - PHOTO RODEO:PHOTOGRAPHING BIRDS IN FLIGHT - GULLS AND HAWKS

    Fee $75/ 7:30am – 12:30pm (PhotoTrack) Read more.

  • 7:30 am - POINT-AND-SHOOT: BASIC FIELD TECHNIQUES

    Fee $50/ 7:30am – 12:30pm (PhotoTrack) Read more.

  • 8:00 am - BIG EASY BIRDING

    Fee $50 / Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday 8am - 12pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 12:00 pm - TRADE SHOW AND SILENT AUCTION

    Free! Open to the public 12noon - 6pm Read more.

  • 1:00 pm - The RAPTOR PROJECT with Jonathan Wood

    Flight Shows 1pm & 3pm Free (Trade Show) Read more.

  • 2:00 pm - COASTAL BIRD MONITORING IN THE LAGUNA MADRE with Stephanie Bilodeau

    Free with Kiskadee Pass / 2pm – 3:15pm (Seminar) Read more.

  • 3:30 pm - BIRDING THE WORLD, PART 1

    Free with Kiskadee Pass / 3:30pm – 5:10pm (Seminar) Read more.

  • 4:00 pm - PARROTS OF THE AREA

    Fee $40 / 4pm – 6pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 5:00 pm - KISKADEE KORDIAL

    5pm – 6pm (Special Event) Read more.

  • 6:15 pm - KEYNOTE: GIVING SCIENCE WINGS with Rosemary Mosco

    Free with Kiskadee Pass / 6:15pm (Seminar) Read more.

Day 3 - Friday
  • 6:00 am - COLLEY'S "PRIVATE" ISLAND

    Fee $125 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - KING RANCH NORIAS with Tom Langschied

    Fee $110 / 6am – 1pm  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - KLEBERG COUNTY ROMP

    Fee $110 / 6am – 4:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - RIVER PONTOON and ANZALDUAS

    Fee $95 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - SOUTH PADRE ISLAND AND BAY CRUISE

    Fee $100 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - SOUTHMOST PRESERVE

    Fee $80 / 6am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - AUDUBON ISLANDS of LAGUNA MADRE with Stephanie Bilodeau

    Fee $110 / 6:30am – 12:30pm  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - BAHIA GRANDE UNIT

    Fee $80 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - BENTSEN – RG STATE PARK

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - EDINBURG SCENIC WETLANDS AND QUINTA MAZATLAN

    Fee $70 / 6:30am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - PORT MANSFIELD

    Fee $110 / 6:30am – 4pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - SABAL PALM SANCTUARY

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - SANTA ANA NWR

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - WHERE THE LOCALS BIRD - Hidalgo County

    Fee $100 / 6:30am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - YOUNG BIRDERS

    Fee $80 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - BIKING for BIRDS - Resaca de la Palma State Park

    Fee $90 / 7am – 1pm  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - DUCK, DUCK, GOOSE – WATERFOWL CROSSLEY-STYLE with Richard Crossley

    Fee $110 / 7am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - EASY (BUT NOT LESS!) BIRDING TOUR

    Fee $80 / 7am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - LAGUNA SECA RANCH

    Fee $125 / 7am – 11:30am  (PhotoTrack) Read more.

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

    Fee $75 / 7am - 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - ORNITHOLOGY AND MORE with Jon Dunn

    Fee $110 / 7am - 1pm  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:30 am - PHOTO RODEO:  PHOTOGRAPHING BIRDS OF THE SHORE

    Fee $50/ 7:30am – 12pm (PhotoTrack) Read more.

  • 7:30 am - POINT-AND-SHOOT:  FIELD WORKSHOP

    Fee $50/ 7:30am – 12:30pm (PhotoTrack) Read more.

  • 8:00 am - BIG EASY BIRDING

    Fee $80 / Friday 8am - 12pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 9:00 am - BUTTERFLIES – RGV JEWELS

    Fee $80 / 9am – 2pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 1:30 pm - PHOTO RODEO: CLASSROOM WORKSHOP – Advanced Bird Photography Processing

    Fee $20/ 1:30pm – 3:30pm (PhotoTrack) Read more.

  • 1:00 pm - The RAPTOR PROJECT with Jonathan Wood

    Flight Shows 1pm & 3pm Free (Trade Show) Read more.

  • 2:00 pm - BIRDING THE WORLD, PART 2

    Free with Kiskadee Pass / 2:00pm – 5:00pm (Seminar) Read more.

  • 4:00 pm - PARROTS OF THE AREA

    Fee $40 / 4pm – 6pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 5:00 pm - KISKADEE KORDIAL

    5pm – 6pm (Special Event) Read more.

  • 6:15 pm - KEYNOTE: BIRD IDENTIFICATION SIMPLIFIED– IN 12 STEPS with Steve N.G. Howell

    Free with Kiskadee Pass / 6:15pm (Seminar) Read more.

Day 4 - Saturday
  • 5:00 am - SANTA MARGARITA BLUFFS

    Fee $110 / 5am – 2pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 5:00 am - UPPER RIO GRANDE

    Fee $100 / 5am – 2pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 5:00 am - YOUNG BIRDERS

    Fee $115 / 5am – 2pm lunch Included  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - BIG SIT!

    Sat / 6am - 6pm  (Special Event) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - BIG DAY VANS

    Fee $125 / 6am – 4:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - COLLEY'S "PRIVATE" ISLAND

    Fee $125 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - RIVER PONTOON and ANZALDUAS

    Fee $95 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - SHOREBIRD ID FIELD WORKSHOP

    Fee $95 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - SOUTH PADRE ISLAND AND BAY CRUISE

    Fee $100 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - BOCA CHICA ROAD

    Fee $80 / 6:30am – 12noon  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - eBIRD TIPS AND TRICKS with Ian Davies

    Fee $75 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - ESTERO LLANO GRANDE GRAND TOUR

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - LAGUNA ATASCOSA LAKESIDE DRIVE

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - SABAL PALM SANCTUARY

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - SANTA ANA NWR

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - SOUTH PADRE ISLAND BIRDING AND NATURE CENTER

    Fee $70 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - WHERE THE LOCALS BIRD - Hidalgo County

    Fee $100 / 6:30am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - BIRD ID SIMPLIFIED—IN 12 STEPS with Steve N.G. Howell

    Fee $110 / 7am - 1pm  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - BIKING for BIRDS - Southmost Preserve with Dorian Anderson

    Fee $90 / 7am – 1pm  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - EASY (BUT NOT LESS!) BIRDING TOUR

    Fee $80 / 7am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - WESLACO’S URBAN OASES

    Fee $85 / 7am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:30 am - PHOTO RODEO:PHOTOGRAPHING BIRDS IN FLIGHT - GULLS AND HAWKS

    Fee $75/ 7:30am – 12:30pm (PhotoTrack) Read more.

  • 8:00 am - BIG EASY BIRDING

    Fee $50 / Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday 8am - 12pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 8:00 am - PHOTO RODEO: PHOTOGRAPHING VALLEY BIRDS - EDINBURG

    Fee $50/ 8am – 12pm (PhotoTrack) Read more.

  • 12:00 pm - TRADE SHOW, SILENT AUCTION & RAPTOR PROJECT

    Trade Show 12noon - 6pm  Read more.

  • 1:00 pm - POINT-AND-SHOOT: CLASSROOM WORKSHOP – Basic Post-processing for Point-and- Shoot Photography

    Fee $20/ 1pm – 2:30pm (PhotoTrack) Read more.

  • 1:00 pm - The RAPTOR PROJECT with Jonathan Wood

    Flight Shows 1pm & 3pm Free (Trade Show) Read more.

  • 2:00 pm - DIGISCOPING FROM THE DECK with Clay Taylor

    Fee $20 / 2pm – 5pm  (PhotoTrack) Read more.

  • 2:00 pm - A FEATHERED DYNASTY! BLACK-CRESTED TITMICE with Rebekah Rylander

    Free with Kiskadee Pass / 2pm – 3:15pm (Seminar) Read more.

  • 3:30 pm - LAGUNA ATASCOSA: A SOUTH TEXAS TREASURE with Richard Moore

    Free with Kiskadee Pass / 3:30pm – 5:00pm (Seminar) Read more.

  • 4:00 pm - PARROTS OF THE AREA

    Fee $40 / 4pm – 6pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:15 pm - BAILE FOLKLÓRICO

    6:15pm – 7:30pm (Special Event) Read more.

Day 5 - Sunday
  • 6:00 am - COLLEY'S "PRIVATE" ISLAND

    Fee $125 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - KING RANCH NORIAS with Tom Langschied

    Fee $110 / 6am – 1pm  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - MARTIN REFUGE

    Fee $200/ 6am – 1:45pm (PhotoTrack) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - RIVER PONTOON and ANZALDUAS

    Fee $95 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - SHOREBIRD ID FIELD WORKSHOP

    Fee $95 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - BENTSEN – RG STATE PARK

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - BOCA CHICA ROAD

    Fee $80 / 6:30am – 12noon  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - eBIRD TIPS AND TRICKS with Ian Davies

    Fee $75 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - ESTERO LLANO GRANDE GRAND TOUR

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - LAGUNA ATASCOSA LAKESIDE DRIVE

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - SANTA ANA NWR

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - WHERE THE LOCALS BIRD - Cameron County

    Fee $100/ 6:30am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - YOUNG BIRDERS

    Fee $80 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - BIRD ID SIMPLIFIED—IN 12 STEPS with Steve N.G. Howell

    Fee $110 / 7am - 1pm  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - BREAKFAST WITH THE BIRDS AT THE INN AT CHACHALACA BEND

    Fee $85 / 7am – 12noon (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - EASY (BUT NOT LESS!) BIRDING TOUR

    Fee $80 / 7am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

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

    Fee $75 / 7am - 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:30 am - BIRD BANDING

    Fee $90 / 7:30am – 12noon (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:30 am - POINT-AND-SHOOT:  ADVANCED FIELD TECHNIQUES

    Fee $50/ 7:30am – 12pm (PhotoTrack) Read more.

  • 12:00 pm - TRADE SHOW

    Free! Open to the public Sunday 12noon – 4pm (Trade Show) Read more.

  • 1:00 pm - The RAPTOR PROJECT with Jonathan Wood

    Flight Shows 1pm & 3pm Free (Trade Show) Read more.

Info

Information About The Festival

This year’s festival is scheduled for Nov 7th -11th, 2018. The registration desk at Harlingen Municipal Auditorium will open on Tuesday, Nov 6th from noon to 5 PM. Plan to pick-up your registration materials at that time. Daylight Savings Time ends the weekend before the Festival, so perhaps you will have time to adjust your biological clocks by your first field trip.
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 Municipal Auditorium.
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.
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 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.

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.
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!


++ 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
Bird Banding
Birding 101
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
Resaca de la Palma SP
River Pontoon & Anzalduas
Santa Ana NWR
Weslaco’s Urban Oases
EASIER (For those who prefer less walking)
Big Easy Birding (Handicap accessible only)
Bird Banding
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
River Pontoon & Anzalduas
South Padre Island & Bay Cruise
Weslaco’s Urban Oases
FAMILY (Families are welcome on any trip, and the following would be a special experience)
Bird Banding
Birding 101
Butterflies
Colley’s “Private” Island
Edinburg & Quinta Mazatlán
McAllen Nature Center & San Juan Wetlands
Parrots of the Area
Resaca de la Palma SP
River Pontoon & Anzalduas
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
Bird ID Simplified with Steve NG Howell
Boca Chica Road++
Breakfast with the Birds at Chachalaca Bend
Butterflies
Colley’s “Private” Island
Duck, Duck, Goose with Richard Crossley
eBird Tips and Tricks
Kleberg County Romp ++
Old Port Isabel Road
Ornithology & More with Jon Dunn
Port Mansfield
River Pontoon & Anzalduas
Santa Margarita Bluffs
Shorebird ID Field Workshop
Southmost Preserve
Valley Raptors
Where the Locals Bird
The Birders Bazaar runs Thursday through Sunday (Nov. 8– 11, 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 2017 Festival in the spring of 2018, 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.

  • Booth Fees (2018)
    • Standard Booth (8’x10’) – Each booth includes pipe & drape, 1-6’ skirted table, electrical access (BYO cords), and WiFi
    • Standard Booth (8’x10’) –  Commercial vendors $200
    • Non-profit organizations $125
    • Extra 6’ skirted table – $30 per extra table
    • Endcap Booths (8’x16’) – limited number, included with certain levels of sponsorship
    • Each vendor receives name badges for attending staff, which allows them into all presentations and keynote speakers. Registration fee is waived for any field trips.

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*
    • Great Kiskadee $5,000+
    • Red-crowned Parrot $2,500+
    • Ringed Kingfisher $1,000+
    • Chachalaca $ 250+
    • Feathered Friends $ 50+

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

Contact Irma Gavito at [email protected] for additional information and a sponsorship packet.  Documents are available for the Sponsor Newsletter and Pledge Form – click on the Downloads tab at the top of our home page. Many thanks to our current sponsors!

We hope you have benefitted from the thousands of birders that visit our website, see our brochure, are our Facebook friends, visited the Birders Bazaar, and/or have attended at least one of our 24 previous Birding Festivals!

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!

Contact Tamie Bulow at [email protected] or 956-423-5565 to offer your services. Shifts range from 3 hours to as long as you can last. Only happy people need apply!

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    1204 Fair Park Blvd.
    Harlingen, TX

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    (209) 227-4823 or (956) 423-5565
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    [email protected]

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