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Balcones Songbird Festival

Friday, Apr 26, 2019 at 7:00am

Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge
24518 FM 1431, Box 1
Marble Falls, TX 78654

For tourists and residents, the Texas Hill Country has long been one of the most beautiful spots in Texas – a place to wile away the hours on the shores of Lake Travis, catch a few bass in the coves, or travel the farm roads enjoying the wildflowers. 

Migrating birds, on the other hand, consider the Hill Country a sort of freeway rest stop – a way station where they can relax, catch a good meal and gather strength for the rest of their journey.  Nestled in the hill country is a 25,000-acre Wildlife Refuge that provides critical habitat for an endangered songbird migrant - the Golden-cheeked Warbler.  It not only stops to rest... it stays to nest. 

The Balcones Songbird Festival is a celebration of nature through a collection of interpretive events to experience both birds and their habitat.

Schedule:

7:00am - 12:30pm:  Chasing Rare & Endangered Ones with John Harrington & Coco Brennan

This tour will span the refuge in search of the rare and endangered ones. Experts on the species will take you to shady, relatively moist woodlands of oak and juniper to listen and look for Golden-cheeked Warblers. At the other end of the refuge, we will listen for the raspy songs of Black-capped Vireos in and around thickets of scrubby oaks, sumacs, and greenbriars. Along the way we hope to spot other Hill Country birds.

7:00am - 12:30pm: Chasing Rare & Endangered Ones with Jim Giocomo & Martin Byhower

This tour will span the refuge in search of its rare and endangered songbirds. Experts on the species will take you to shady, relatively moist woodlands of oak and juniper to listen and look for Golden-cheeked Warblers. At the other end of the refuge, we will listen for the raspy songs of Black-capped Vireos in and around thickets of scrubby oaks, sumacs, and greenbriars. Along the way we hope to spot other Hill Country birds.

7:00am - 12:30pm: Hill Country Birding with Jane Tillman & Jeffrey Jackson

Join top Texas birders to look for special Hill Country birds that nest on the Refuge. This tour makes multiple stops along one of the quietest, birdiest country roads in western Travis County, and then brief stops at Doeskin, Flying X and Simons Tract, affording participants the opportunity to see and hear many of the breeding and spring migrant birds of the eastern edge of the Edwards Plateau. The trip leader is intimately familiar with these birds and their vocalizations, and will strive to get scope views for all participants of most of the target birds on the route. We do not specifically target Golden-cheeked Warbler, but occasionally encounter them on this route. In addition to the targets mentioned below, we also often see spring migrants including raptors, flycatchers, and various smaller birds.

7:00am - 12:30pm: Birding Springs & Plateau's withamy Sugeno & Celeste Treadway

Join us as we bird the springs and plateau's of the Hill Country. With a variety of habitats and breeding Golden-cheeked Warblers and Black-capped Vireos on the property, we expect a great list of birds! In addition to the two endangered songbirds, Northern Bobwhite, Cooper's Hawk, Greater Roadrunner, Crested Caracara, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Loggerhead Shrike, Western Scrub-Jay, Verdin, Canyon Wren, migrating warblers, a variety of sparrows, Blue Grosbeak and Painted Bunting are possible. The field trip will include walking on uneven, rocky roads and trails.

7:00am - 12:30pm: Avian Photo Capture, Getting Started with Mark Holtz, assistant Lynette Holtz

This birding photography course is all about having fun while in nature, looking for an intimate experience with birds acting natural, and capturing it as an image for lasting memories. As a introductory course we will start on the technical side, having a discussion on the 3 controlling elements of light capture along with other camera settings, and ancillary equipment. We will move on to discussing kinds of birding shots and think about anticipating a bird’s actions to obtain a desired pic. We will then finish up, with a focus on composition and photographing perspective to capture best aesthetic shot.

12:30pm - 1:30pm: Friday Talk- Local Birding - with Jane Tillman

Learn the secrets from an expert. Jane is the Field Trip Committee Chair for the Travis Audubon Society so she knows his way around the local birding sites.

1:30pm - 3:00pm: MEET & GREET at Quetzal Tex-Mex

Join us for a Meet & Greet at Quetzal Tex-Mex after the events at the Refuge.

Images provided by AmericanTowns.com, Ticketmaster

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