Texas hosts the nation’s largest, longest and wildest birding tournament

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AUSTIN—Celebrated for being the biggest, longest and wildest birding tournament in the country this year Great Texas Birding Classic raised $45,000 for projects to benefit birds and other wildlife. Celebrating its 26th year, the tournament has raised $1.1 million for on-the-ground conservation work to acquire, restore and enhance wildlife habitat.

More than 1,000 Texans from across the state participated in the competition for all ages to see and listen to as many bird species as possible.

“The Great Texas Birding Classic takes place during the spectacular spring migration and this year did not disappoint,” said Shelly Plante, natural tourism manager for the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife. “Participants spotted a record 425 bird species. The tournament offers people a fun way to spend time outdoors while raising money for a good cause.

Nicole Biggerstaff, youth team mentor, said: “We were so impressed with the children’s ability to focus and identify the birds. They completely loved him. I really feel like we’ve sparked a love for nature, the outdoors, and birdwatching in these young children’s lives!

To watch a video about the tournament, click on the link below:

https://youtu.be/AQFHm5zum4o

Birding Classic winning teams can select projects to fund. Here is a list of this year’s conservation grants awarded across Texas:

CENTRAL TEXAS

$5,000 Intact Flock Grant for Lower Texas Coast Conservation – Selected by bird watchers in the car park

Project: Kerrville Bird Observatory Network – submitted by Schreiner University, City of Kerrville, Riverside Nature Center, Nobilitea, Texan by Nature

Project location: Kerrville, Kerr County

$5,000 State Park Conservation Grant – Selected by Armadillo by Morning

Project: Prairie Preservation, submitted by Mother Neff State Park Association

Project location: Mother Neff State Park, west of Moody, Coryell County

$1,000 Heart of Texas East Big Sit! Conservation grant – Selected by Birding on Broadmeade

Project: Enhancing Circle Acres Nature Preserve Grassland and Wetland Habitats – submitted by Ecology Action of Texas

Project location: Austin, Travis County

DALLAS/FORT WORTH AND EASTERN TEXAS

$5,000 Lone Star Bird Award Conservation Grant – Selected by Shore I Saw It

Project: Birding platform at Gazebo Nature Preserve (at Lake Livingston Dam), submitted by Piney Woods Lakes Chapter, Texas Master Naturalist

Project location: Livingston, Polk County

$1,000 Prairies and Pineywoods West Big Sit! Conservation grant – Selected by Shore I Saw It

Project: Trinity River Audubon Center-Prairie Restoration – submitted by Trinity River Audubon Center

Project location: Dallas, Dallas County

GULF COAST

$10,000 Big Day Conservation Grant for Scattered Herd Across the State – Selected by Two Eagles & a Chick, sponsored by Deep South Marine, LLC

Project: Indiangrass Preserve Bird Blind and Wetland Restoration Project – submitted by Coastal Prairie Conservancy

Project location: northwest of Houston (near Waller), Waller County

$5,000 Intact Flock Grant for Texas Central Coast Conservation – Selected by Party Fowl

Project: Packery Channel Oak Motte Sanctuary – submitted by Audubon Outdoor Club of Corpus Christi

Project location: Corpus Christi, Nueces County

Total grants of $6,000:

$5,000 Dawn Till Noon Conservation Grant Selected by Swarovski Wandering Hawks, sponsored by Swarovski Optik, North America

$1,000 Big Sit on the Central Texas Coast! Conservation grant Selected by Swarovski Optik Sitting Hawks, sponsored by Swarovski Optik, North America

Project: Polliwog Pond – submitted by Audubon Outdoor Club of Corpus Christi

Project location: Corpus Christi, Nueces County

$1,000 Adult Scattered Herd Conservation Grant – Selected by Swarovski Optik Scattered Hawks, sponsored by Swarovski Optik, North America

Project: Seabourne Creek Nature Park-Wetland Enhancements – submitted by Coastal Prairie Chapter, Texas Master Naturalist

Project location: Rosenberg, Fort Bend County

$1,000 Big Sit on the Upper Texas Coast! Conservation grant – Selected by Centerpoint Wirebirds, sponsored by Centerpoint Energy

Project: Creating a Birding Area with Birdbath/Water Feature in Bayside Regional Park – Submitted by Galveston Bay Area Chapter, Texas Master Naturalist

Project location: Bacliff, Galveston County

WEST TEXAS

$5,000 Upper Texas Coast Conservation Grant from Intact Flock Toyota – Selected by Free Falling Falcons

Project: BJ Bishop Wetlands: Creating space for birds and people – submitted by Big Bend Conservation Alliance

Project location: Presidio, Presidio County

This event is made possible through team sponsorships and entry fees, donations from event sponsors Toyota and the Texas Ornithological Society, and awards ceremony sponsor, Audubon Texas. For more information, visit the Great Texas Birding Classic TPWD Page.

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