League City embarked on bird madness in 2021

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Turns out League City is for the birds, but that’s actually a good thing.

This year, the city has made a concerted effort to attract bird watchers, which has been a huge success, said Stephanie Polk, director of the center. congress and visitors office.

“(It was) amazing,” she said. “I was really blown away by the response we got. It was our first year, and during the spring migration we had a whole series of events and the response was really good.

Like everything else, birding is important in Texas. There are around 650 types of birds here and that’s more than any other state.

League City is particularly well suited to attract bird watchers as it is located on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. In addition, it has eight municipal parks, a county park, a prairie reserve, a nature center and several hiking and cycling trails.

The city sees birding as a way to boost local tourism, with the roughly 80 million bird watchers contributing more than $ 40 billion to the US economy.

So the city, which is over 50 square miles with vast tracts of undeveloped land, has gone all out, offering birding lessons, both virtual and in person, and other events.

Thousands of people register for city courses

“The classes we did last year were amazing,” said Polk. “I don’t know if it was because of COVID and everyone was turned away and wanted something to do, but we had over 4,000 people enrolled in our class from all over. We had people from League City, Houston, and out of state.

One of the events on offer was the Big Sit, where bird watchers gather in droves and count the birds they see.

“We did a Big Sit for the first time this year and it went really well,” said Polk. “We have identified more than 155 species of birds. We have to do it again next year. “

The members of the Houston Audubon Society came for the Big Sit and they liked what they saw.

“They were very encouraging and positive about what they saw here,” Polk said.

Field trips were also offered and attracted 80 participants.

“We planned them again for spring and expanded them to more Bay Area locations,” Polk said. “We will also be doing monthly walks and chats with our local birding guide, Kristine Rivers.”

The city has also published a bird watching guide which has proved particularly popular.

“We ran out of them so we had to reprint them,” Polk said.

The initial circulation of the birding guide was 2,500 copies.

To learn more about birding in League City and to access the downloadable birding guide, visit www.leaguecitycvb.com/birding.

John DeLapp is a freelance writer. He can be contacted at texdelapp@gmail.com.

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