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Corpus Christi adds to Birdiest Festival in America

A northern cardinal, just one of the many birds you could encounter at the Birdiest Festival in America at the South Texas Botanical Gardens in Corpus Christi. Courtesy photo

By Jane Kathleen Gregorio

The Birdiest Festival in America once again takes flight at the South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center in Corpus Christi. Dates are April 21-25.

Despite having to cancel last year because of COVID-19 concerns, this year's event has grown.

The larger and longer event was planned to encourage birders to visit the Coastal Bend and witness the one-of-a-kind spring migration over what might be the busiest flyway in the country.

The festival will showcase 15 different field trips to a well-known South Texas ranch and other coastal hotspots, including three new trips.

Birders can also enjoy eight different presentations and workshops, three bird walks and nine Jonathan Wood Raptor Project shows.

“The additional trips are to intrigue participants to enjoy the birds of the Coastal Bend and all that Corpus Christi has to offer by visiting several locales,” said Denise Housler, board president for the South Texas Botanical Gardens and head festival chair.

This event kicks off with an opening reception that includes a happy hour cash bar and barbecue dinner, a vendor trade show, arts and crafts booths, a Saturday family fun day, and a new four-day Rio Grande Valley pre-trip, April 17-20, limited to eight participants.

“Many participants are super-excited but cautious,” Housler said. “Corpus Christi has been the Birdiest City for over a decade so people are anxious to see why. They are looking forward to our beautiful weather, and many are excited to get ‘Lifers’ on their Bird List.”

Despite the impact of the pandemic, Housler remains optimistic for the this year's turnout.

“While we have no real expectations because COVID has made it too much of an unknown, we are hopeful for enough people to allow it to happen,” she said. “An event like the BFIA aims to raise awareness for conservation of nature and bird species, educate the public, and shine a light on Corpus Christi and all its beauty. We want to introduce Corpus Christi as the Sparkling City by the Sea and show both locals and tourists all that we have to offer.”

Festival registraton is $25. Details at birdiestfestival.org.

South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center is located at 8545 S. Staples St. in Corpus Christi. For more information on festival details, schedules, and online registration, visit the website or contact Festival Chair Denise Housler at 361-563-5968.

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