Blessed with a rich and diverse river eco-system with its location nestled along the Rio Grande, Laredo, Texas is home to hundreds of species of both local and migratory birds and is considered part of the “birdiest” corridor in North America. Laredo offers birders unprecedented access to view many rare avian beauties and is described by birding enthusiasts as the only place in the U.S. to have boasted four different species of Kingfisher: Ringed, Belted, Green and Amazon.
The Laredo Birding Festival is a three-day event that offers birders a variety of full-day scenic trips to take part in. Planned by The Rio Grande International Study Center and escorted by professional field guides and members of the local Monte Mucho Audubon Society, bird watchers will have the opportunity to deepen their avian knowledge of South Texas and explore areas along Laredo’s river front, creek systems and nature trails. Carefully selected public green spaces and private ranchland will provide visitors the chance to visit sites that have never been birded before, while an afternoon trip to St. Peter’s Plaza is where birders will have the chance to catch Laredo’ local green parakeets in action.
There will be 13 full-day trips to choose from, including festival favorites such as “Bird ’til you Drop” and “Floating Under Flyways I & II: Birding on the Rio Grande,” as well as five specialty birding trips. A complete list of trips is available at www.laredobirdingfestival.org/trip-descriptions/.
Romey Swanson, Director of Conservation for Audubon Texas, will be the guest speaker for the festival and deliver a presentation on “Celebrating Texas’ Bird Diversity and the Role of Stewardship in Bird Conservation.” With over 650 species, Texas supports an incredible amount of bird diversity and although there is an abundance of stressors to many bird populations, there are an equal number of people and organizations taking on these challenges. Romey’s presentation will highlight the role of habitat stewardship in affecting meaningful conservation while also providing an overview of the unique combination of conditions that make Texas such a special place for bird enthusiasts.