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2017 Festival Schedule

The RGVBF has long been known for its low ratio of participants to guides and for the quality of its leaders. Check out the Trip Leaders section for a summary of this year’s guides, including returning favorites Jon Dunn, Kevin Karlson, Michael O’Brien, and Louise Zemaitis, plus many more familiar names in the professional birding community.  New guides for 2017 include our two keynote speakers, Noah Strycker and Nathan Pieplow.  We have an outstanding group of talent this year to guide our field trips!

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 on Schedule for a simple overview of the daily trips.  Below is a more detailed daily description of the activities offered, with access to the specific information in each box.

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

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

  • 5:00 am - SEEDEATER SOJOURN

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

  • 5:30 am - RANCHO LOMITAS AND LAS ESTRELLAS

    Fee $95 / 5:30am – 4pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - COLLEY'S "PRIVATE" ISLAND w/ Scarlet & George Colley

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

  • 6:00 am - KING RANCH NORIAS

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

  • 6:30 am - ARROYO COLORADO UNIT

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

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

    Fee $95 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - BAHIA GRANDE UNIT

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

  • 6:30 am - BENTSEN – RIO GRANDE STATE PARK

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

  • 6:30 am - BOCA CHICA

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

  • 6:30 am - CACTUS CREEK RANCH

    Fee $85 / 6:30am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - eBIRD TIPS AND TRICKS

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

  • 6:30 am - EDINBURG AND QUINTA MAZATLAN

    Fee $70 / 6:30am – 1pm (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 NWR

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

  • 6:30 am - PORT MANSFIELD

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

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

    Fee $80/ 6:30am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

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

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

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

    Fee $65 / 7am - 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - PHOTOGRAPHING VALLEY SPECIALTIES with Larry Ditto and Bill Supulski

    Fee $155 / 7am – 2pm (PhotoTrack) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - WESLACO’S URBAN OASES

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

  • 8:00 am - SCOOTER BIRDING

    Fee $50 / 8am – 12noon (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 2:00 pm - BECOMING AN EXPERT LISTENER with Nathan Pieplow

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

  • 5:00 pm - WELCOME KICK-OFF RECEPTION

    5pm – 7pm  (Special Event) Read more.  Map

Day 2 - Thursday
  • 5:00 am - SEEDEATER SOJOURN

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

  • 5:00 am - UPPER RIO GRANDE

    Fee $90 / 5am – 2pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - COLLEY'S "PRIVATE" ISLAND w/ Scarlet & George Colley

    Fee $95 / 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 WETLANDS

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

  • 6:00 am - RIVER PONTOON and ANZALDUAS

    Fee $90 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - SHOREBIRD ID with Kevin Karlson

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

  • 6:00 am - SOUTHMOST PRESERVE

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

  • 6:00 am - PHOTOGRAPHING BIRDS IN ACTION

    on SPI with Larry Ditto Fee $185 / 6am – 3pm (PhotoTrack) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - ARROYO COLORADO UNIT

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

  • 6:30 am - BAHIA GRANDE UNIT

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

  • 6:30 am - BOCA CHICA

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

  • 6:30 am - CACTUS CREEK RANCH

    Fee $85 / 6:30am – 1pm (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 $80 / 6:30am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - YOUNG BIRDERS

    Fee $80 / 6:30am – 2pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - BIKING for BIRDS

    with Dorian Anderson - Bentsen-RGV Fee $80 / 7am – 1pm  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - BIRDING 101 WORKSHOP

    Fee $70 / 7am - 3pm (Field Trip) Read more.

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

    Fee $70 / 7am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

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

    Fee $65 / 7am - 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - ORNITHOLOGY AND MORE WITH JON DUNN

    Fee $95 / 7am - 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

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

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

  • 8:00 am - SCOOTER BIRDING

    Fee $50 / 8am – 12noon  (Field Trip) Read more.

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

    Trade Show 12noon - 6pm  Read more.

  • 2:00 pm - RED-CROWNED PARROTS

    with Caleb Arellano and Simon Kiacz Free with Kiskadee Pass / 2pm – 3:15pm (Seminar) Read more.

  • 2:00 pm - SUNSETS, BIRDS and BEERS

    Fee $150 / 2pm – 8pm (PhotoTrack) 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 Sounds Decoded with Nathan Pieplow

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

Day 3 - Friday
  • 5:00 am - UPPER RIO GRANDE

    Fee $90 / 5am – 2pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 5:30 am - RANCHO LOMITAS AND LAS ESTRELLAS

    Fee $95 / 5:30am – 4pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - COLLEY'S "PRIVATE" ISLAND w/ Scarlet & George Colley

    Fee $95 / 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 - PHOTO OPS RANCH STYLE with Ruth Hoyt

    Fee $215 / Friday, Saturday 6am - 2pm  (PhotoTrack) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - RIVER PONTOON and ANZALDUAS

    Fee $90 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - SHOREBIRD ID with Michael O'Brien and Louise Zemaitis

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

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

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

  • 6:00 am - SOUTHMOST PRESERVE

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

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

    Fee $95 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - BENTSEN – RIO GRANDE STATE PARK

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

  • 6:30 am - BIRD SOUNDS DECODED with Nathan Pieplow

    Fee $95 / 6:30am - 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - LAGUNA ATASCOSA NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

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

  • 6:30 am - PORT MANSFIELD

    Fee $95 / 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 - YOUNG BIRDERS

    Fee $80 / 6:30am – 2pm (Field Trip) Read more.

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

    Fee $70 / 7am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

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

    Fee $65 / 7am - 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - ORNITHOLOGY AND MORE WITH JON DUNN

    Fee $95 / 7am - 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:30 am - BIKING for BIRDS with Dorian Anderson - Resaca de la Palma SP

    Fee $80 /  7:30am – 12:30pm  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 8:00 am - SCOOTER BIRDING

    Fee $50 / 8am – 12noon (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 9:00 am - BUTTERFLIES – RGV JEWELS

    Fee $75 / 9am – 2pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 12:00 pm - TRADE SHOW AND SILENT AUCTION

    Free! Open to the public Silent auction bidding: 12noon - 6pm. Bidding Closes 5pm Saturday 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

    Free! Open to the Public / 2pm – 5pm (20 minute sessions) (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: An Epic World Big Year with Noah Strycker

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

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

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

  • 6:00 am - BIG DAY VANS

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

  • 6:00 am - BIG SIT!

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

  • 6:00 am - COLLEY'S "PRIVATE" ISLAND w/ Scarlet & George Colley

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

  • 6:00 am - KLEBERG WETLANDS

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

  • 6:00 am - PHOTO OPS RANCH STYLE with Ruth Hoyt

    Fee $215 / Friday, Saturday 6am - 2pm  (PhotoTrack) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - RIVER PONTOON and ANZALDUAS

    Fee $90 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - SHOREBIRD ID with Michael O'Brien and Louise Zemaitis

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

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

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

  • 6:30 am - BIRD SOUNDS DECODED with Nathan Pieplow

    Fee $95 / 6:30am - 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - EDINBURG AND QUINTA MAZATLAN

    Fee $70 / 6:30am – 1pm (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 NWR

    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 - WHERE THE LOCALS BIRD - Hidalgo County

    Fee $80 / 6:30am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - YOUNG BIRDERS

    Fee $80 / 6:30am – 2pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - BIKING for BIRDS with Dorian Anderson - Southmost Preserve of The Nature Conservancy

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

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

    Fee $70 / 7am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - IDEA CAMP RIO

    Fee $70 / 7am – 12noon  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - WESLACO’S URBAN OASES

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

  • 8:00 am - SCOOTER BIRDING

    Fee $50 / 8am – 12noon (Field Trip) Read more.

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

    Trade Show 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 - MOM'S BIG YEAR by Nancy McAllister

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

  • 3:00 pm - DIGISCOPING FROM THE DECK with Clay Taylor

    Fee $30 / 3pm – 6pm (PhotoTrack) Read more.

  • 3:30 pm - ROUND TABLE: PLANNING FOR A BIG YEAR

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

  • 4:00 pm - PARROTS OF THE AREA

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

  • 5:00 pm - THE TEXAS TWO-STEP, BBQ & DANCE

    Open to the Public / 5pm – 9pm (Special Event) Read more.

Day 5 - Sunday
  • 6:00 am - COLLEY'S "PRIVATE" ISLAND w/ Scarlet & George Colley

    Fee $95 / 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 $90 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - SHOREBIRD ID with Kevin Karlson

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

  • 6:30 am - BENTSEN – RIO GRANDE STATE PARK

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

  • 6:30 am - BOCA CHICA

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

  • 6:30 am - eBIRD TIPS AND TRICKS

    Fee $65 / 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 - WHERE THE LOCALS BIRD - Cameron County

    Fee $80/ 6:30am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - YOUNG BIRDERS

    Fee $80 / 6:30am – 2pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - BIKING for BIRDS with Dorian Anderson - Laguna Atascosa NWR

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

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

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

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

    Fee $70 / 7am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - IDEA CAMP RIO

    Fee $70 / 7am – 12noon  (Field Trip) Read more.

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

    Fee $65 / 7am - 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:30 am - BIRD BANDING with Mark Conway

    Fee $75 / 7:30am – 12noon (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 8:00 am - SCOOTER BIRDING

    Fee $50 / 8am – 12noon (Field Trip) 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.

  • 1:30 pm - ART & WRITING AWARDS

    Free with Kiskadee Pass / 1:30pm – (Seminar) Read more.