Writer: Paul Schattenberg, 210-859-5752, email@example.com
Contact: Emily Grant, 830-563-2442, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Maureen Frank, 830-278-9151, email@example.com
BRACKETTVILLE — The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Kinney County will present the Birding in Brackettville program April 8-9 at Fort Clark Springs in Brackettville.
The program will be presented by Dr. Maureen Frank, AgriLife Extension wildlife specialist, Uvalde.
“Across the U.S., birders spend nearly $41 billion on travel and equipment every year,” Frank said. “South Texas is a popular destination for many birders and offers many hot spots where visitors get a chance to glimpse rare tropical species without traveling internationally. Some birders visit ranches and other private properties managed specifically for birding, so interest in land management for birding tourism has grown in recent years as an alternative or supplemental revenue source for landowners.”
The program cost is $20 and includes lunch on the first day.
On April 8, attendees meet at the Las Moras Creekside Deli, 550 Pecan Road in Brackettville. The day’s program begins with registration from 8:30-9 a.m. The times and presentation topics or activities for the rest of the day will be:
— 9-9:30 a.m., Basics of Birding and Binoculars
— 9:30-10 a.m., Birding and Binoculars Practice Session
— 10-10:30 a.m., Bird Identification
— 10:30 a.m.-noon, Birding Tour
— Noon-1 p.m., Lunch
— 1-2 p.m., Birds in Your Backyard: How to manage Your Land for Songbirds
“Attendees need to bring their own binoculars and all activities will take place at or near the Las Moras Creekside Deli, except for the birding tour, which will involve some driving and walking in that general vicinity,” said Emily Grant, AgriLife Extension agent, Kinney County.
Participants are encouraged to also attend the early morning bird walk from 7:30-9 a.m. on April 9. Attendees will meet at the Service Club – the noncommissioned officers club at Fort Clark – then drive to the Pedestrian Bridge at the Dirt Bridge trailhead. The guided walk will conclude the program, although attendees are welcome to stay for self-guided hikes or walks if they desire.
A group rate of $70 per night plus tax for those in the program is available from Fort Clark Springs Hotel at 830-563-2493.
Program coordinators noted the hotel is near the Post Theater and a pool day pass for the hotel can be obtained for an additional $3.
Attendees should RSVP for the program by March 31 to the AgriLife Extension office in Kinney County at 830-563-2442.
“While some people may travel far and wide to add species of birds to their life lists, others just enjoy peaceful mornings observing birds at a feeder or creek,” Frank said. “Birding is an activity that can be adapted to a wide range of interest levels and abilities. Our event will provide an opportunity for anyone, especially new birders, to learn more about the birds in historic Brackettville.”
To learn more about Fort Clark Springs, go to: http://www.fortclark.com/.