Special Events / Trade Show



Free with Registration/Tuesday 5:00pm – 7:00 pm
After you have picked up your credentials at the new Harlingen Convention Center (12 – 5), come to the Harlingen Arts & Heritage Museum at 2425 Boxwood Street (on Loop 499, across from the airport) for some camaraderie, music, refreshments and hors d’oeuvres.  Enjoy the exhibits, mingle with your friends, meet some new ones!


Free with Registration/Thursday, Friday, Saturday 5:00pm -6:00pm
You are “kordially” invited to join us at the Birders Bazaar for refreshments during the last hour of the trade show.  Kordials offered to anyone over 21 with Festival ID badge, with some light snacks to hold you over until dinner.


Free! Open to the Public/Thursday-Sunday (12:00 pm- 6:00 pm, Sunday until 4:00 pm)
Kiskadee Ballrooms/Harlingen Convention Center
Enjoy all things birds and birdy as you wander through rows of vendors’ booths at the Harlingen Convention Center.  With over 70 vendors, there are ideas, information and items to buy, all under one roof.  Visit booths from tour companies, local refuges and wildlife areas, tourist attractions, artists, birding optics and other gear, local nature organizations, and much more.


Free! Open to the Public/Saturday 6am – 6pm
Birds only count if you see them from inside the 17’ circle – want to join in?  Spend a little time or all day, just bring your binoculars to scan the skies around the Convention Center.  The circle is hosted by the Bay Area Birders, a local birding group, and will keep a running list of the birds seen that day.  It’s fun, it can be silly, but always looking for that next new bird.  Look for the banner on the south side of the Convention Center.


During Kiskadee Kordials and after Speaker Presentations
With the array of talented birders in our midst, it is no surprise that many of them have authored books – books that you might need for your library.  From where-to-bird guides to identification field guides, adventures to scientific papers, or techniques and tools, these books continue to stir us.  Meet the authors who are part of this year’s Festival family, buy a book or have them autograph a label you can put in your trusty book at home.  Book sales in the Birders Bazaar all week.


Thursday-Saturday, Trade Show hours/Bidding closes 4:30pm on Saturday
One of the most fun satellite events for the Festival is the Silent Auction.  With most of our vendors contributing items (from artwork to books, novelties to travel packages), and local merchants contributing to the inventory, it makes an exciting (and sometimes competitive) exercise in shopping.


Free! Open to the Public/On Display During Birders Bazaar Hours
Free Educational Shows Thursday – Sunday at 1pm and 3 pm
Flight Show in the Speakers Ballroom on Saturday 11am-12pm
Jonathan Wood brings his collection of education raptors (a previous injury has prevented their release into the wild after they have been rehabilitated) to delight and teach us about these amazing creatures.  Jon is a Master Falconer, a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator and, along with his wife Susan, an integral part of our Festival family.  See owls, hawks, falcons and maybe an eagle, as they join in the education component of our Festival.  So close you can see every feather!


Free! Open to the Public/Sunday 1:00pm-3:00pm
Host and creator of KVEO’s Outdoor Report, Richard Moore will be emceeing this awards ceremony, recognizing the students who have drawn, painted and written about the birds of the Rio Grande Valley.  All students, their families and friends are invited to attend the ceremony, take pictures during the presentations, and enjoy the recognition being bestowed upon the students who entered the Art and Writing Contest.  This will take place in a ballroom at the Harlingen Convention Center.


Fee $10 / Wednesday 6:30pm-9:00pm
Living in an area without a lot of city lights has its benefits – and the stars do shine in South Texas!  The headliners of the show will be Saturn and the Orion Nebula, as seen through the lens of the Takahashi Mewlon 210 telescope.  View fine details on the surface of the moon. And, if we are very lucky, we will spot meteors from the Taurid Meteor Shower. Bring your binoculars, too, for wonderful lunar and planetary views! Vans provided to the site, so enjoy a good dinner in town before we depart.  Be sure to sign up for this special event.

ABA ANNIVERSARY BASH featuring The American Birding Podcast LIVE

Free! Open to the Public! Saturday 6:15pm-8:00pm
Join us for a wonderful evening of celebrating the joy of birding!

The American Birding Association has had a 50-year love affair with South Texas—its birds, its birders, and the countless thrilling, even life-changing experiences that we have all shared in the field here! Thus it is fitting that the ABA celebrate its Golden Anniversary with an evening of fun and games, classic stories, and hopes and dreams for the future right here at the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival. Expect a bunch of great guests, some laughs, and maybe even a happy tear or two as we celebrate the ABA’s 50th with a distinct South Texas accent!

The evening’s program will be recorded and featured on an upcoming episode of the American Birding Podcast. Be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to see it all happen LIVE on stage!

For more information on the line up and how you can participate, go to aba.org/50th.