The Balcones Songbird Festival in Texas

Bird lovers will often tell you that the first thing that attracted them to these often delicate, pretty little creatures was their delightful songs. For centuries this caused man to catch and cage these little bards so that they could hear their delightful music both day and night. Fortunately today we no longer seek to put wild birds in cages, but we still enjoy the sweet melodies that they utter.

If you’re a lover of birds, why not think about attending the Balcones Songbird Festival? This lovely celebration of nature will be taking place at the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge between the 25 and 28th of April 2008, and visitors will be able to enjoy birds, butterflies and wildflowers, as well as the company of many like-minded individuals. The entire concept of the festival is to encourage interest in the preservation of the Refuge’s critical habitat. This means that there is a very large educational aspect to the festival and participants are able to experience animals, plants and habitats as they make their way around the wildlife refuge. But this does not mean that the experience is drab and boring – it is quite the opposite in fact. Something special has been prepared for each day to enable visitors to make the most of their time spent living amidst nature.

So what can you expect to find at the Balcones Songbird Festival in Texas? The festival kicks off with a bit of wining and dining as visitors are treated to delicious cuisine, fine wine and a bit of nature-orientated entertainment. The following morning starts early with a birding tour that is designed specifically to enable participants to see as many of the focus species as possible. This is followed by a more generalized bird-watching tour where you might spot Painted Bunting, Canyon Wren, Vermilion Flycatcher and Grasshopper Sparrows as well as many other species. After a light lunch, visitors can again head out on a moderately easy hike to see the focus species of the event. After this you can head out and simply explore the countryside and discover its many intricacies with the help of your guides Jean and Seay Nance.

The next day of the event features more of the same bird-watching and hiking but it also has a few interesting lectures about other facets of looking after nature. One of these is a lecture about how fire can be used to create and enhance a songbird habitat. Another is a lecture and course on photographing songbirds. You can also take a tour of the Bamberger ranch on this day.

The last day is truly a day for the family and everyone can participate in events such as spider hunts, building birdhouses, building fanciful stained glass windows and more. It is also an opportunity to watch a snake show and a raptor show and learn more about the little bugs and beetles that all form a part of the local ecology. So book your place at the Balcones Songbird Festival now and enjoy this fantastic weekend of nature and birds with your family.