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.

Learning the Sparrows, Not Knowing the Sparrows

with Rick Wright
Free with Kiskadee Pass / Wednesday, 3:00-4:30 PM

Everything we think we know somebody else had to learn. Ours is a birding world where all we need is a field guide and a good look to identify even the smallest, brownest, dingiest of birds (Little Brown Jobs). But how did we reach that point? How did our ornithological forebears figure out the sparrows, a group that still challenges many of us? And how can their experiences over the centuries contribute to our experience today?

Sometimes it Takes a Village: Nesting Harris’s Hawks in South Texas

with Andrea Gibbons
Free with Kiskadee Pass / Thursday, 2:30 – 3:30 PM

Few birds defer their own reproduction to assist other breeding adults with the raising of their young, but the Harris’s Hawks of the Lower Rio Grande Valley are doing just that. Most nests in south Texas include at least one adult helping the primary breeders to rear offspring. Why do some hawks help? Let’s explore Andrea’s initial findings.

Sharp-shinned or Cooper’s, a Perplexing Raptor Field ID Problem

with Bill Clark
Free with Kiskadee Pass / Thursday, 3:45-4:45 PM

One of the most difficult raptor identification problems in North America is figuring out whether an accipiter is a Sharp-shinned Hawk or a Cooper’s Hawk, whether perched or in flight. Bill’s talk will point out the many differences between these hawks in flight and perched. Dazzle your friends and up your game in the field!

Thoughts on Birding and Nature Study in the Digital Era

with Ted Floyd
Free with Kiskadee Pass / Thursday, 6:15-7:30 PM
Many birds are colorful, and some are brilliant. Their songs can be enchanting. Their migrations are often stirring. And they can FLY, for crying out loud. Those are all amazing avian attributes, but are they really what attract us to birdwatching? While all of those may be part of the appeal, Ted Floyd thinks there’s something grander, deeper, and more beautiful about birdwatching.


Free! Open to the Public / Friday 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm (20 minute sessions)
Want to get your heart pumping? Tickle your wanderlust? This is a great opportunity to hear guides from other countries dazzle you with the birds and vistas of their native countries to entice your visit. Each guide will have 20 minutes to share their passion and PowerPoint views of the birds of their homeland. If you are thinking of traveling, be sure to check the schedule of speakers to find the destinations of your choice. If you want to increase your bucket list, these are the presentations for you! You can follow up their presentation with a visit to their booth for more information.


The World Series of Birding – Stories Behind the Story, Now It Can Be Told

with Pete Dunne
Free with Kiskadee Pass / Friday, 6:15-7:30 PM
May 29, 1984 started it all.  After thirty-five years, four car makers and hundreds of misadventures, the hilarious back stories behind the planet’s greatest natural treasure hunt can finally be told.  Come prepared for an evening of entertainment as Pete recounts one incriminating story after another.


with Jonathan Wood
Free! Open to the Public / Saturday 11am

Jonathan is a Master Falconer, a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator, and along with his wife Susan, an integral and fascinating part of the Festival. Their free-flying hawks, owls, eagles, and falcons are always thrilling to watch. The flight show in the auditorium is a prelude to seeing the birds up close in their booth at the Birder’s Bazaar.

Parrots in the lower Rio Grande Valley: Who, Where, When and Why.

with Simon Kiacz
Free with Kiskadee Pass /  Saturday, 2:30-3:30 PM

The Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas isn’t just a subtropical paradise for bird watchers. Parrots – six species to be exact – also take advantage of the resources the Valley has to offer. We will talk about each species and their status here in Texas along with how they use their surprisingly urbanized surroundings, with a focus on the endangered, and recently declared native, Red-crowned Parrot.

Green Jays of Urban Rio Grande Valley

with Tony Henehan
Free with Kiskadee Pass / Saturday, 3:45-4:45 PM
Some of the 529 species of birds seen in the RGV are found nowhere else in the United States, such as our Green Jay. This jay has become an integral part of the local economy, drawing in bird watchers from all over the world. The RGV is the 3rd fastest growing urban area in the United States, putting stress on precious habitat.  Texas Parks & Wildlife Dept. has started a project to study habitat use and home range size of Green Jays in the RGV to help municipalities create better habitat management plans.

Student Awards Ceremony

Join the winners of the Art & Writing Contests and their families in recognizing the next generation of artists from the surrounding schools. Students’ work will be on display in the Kiskadee Korner area during the Festival, as well as featured at House of Frames for Harlingen’s Art Walk on Friday, Nov. 1. Emceed by local celebrity Richard Moore, creator and host of the KVEO Outdoor Report.