As nature begins to blossom with the sights and sounds of spring, take the time to explore some of the area’s terrific activities from birding festivals to nature walks, and even live sports.
With its spectacular locale and bay front boardwalks, South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center is certainly a mecca for nature lovers, offering some of the Rio Grande Valley’s most amazing nature viewing opportunities. Bird watchers are in luck, as the center presents three full days of everything avian during their Tip o’ Texas Birding Weekend, held April 8 through 10, 2011. You’ll have a chance to learn about bird identification from professionals during guided walks and workshops. Warblers and shorebirds will fill your mornings while Friday and Saturday evenings will include a rich presentation of photographs depicting birds around the globe, taken by guides and nature photographers. If you can’t make it to this wonderful event, bird walks are also offered regularly on Saturdays and Sundays; reservations are required for both events. For more information, visit www.spibirding.com.
When it comes to birding, you can really spread your wings at the 9th Annual Galveston FeatherFest, April 7 through 10, 2011 on Galveston Island. Held during the avian spring migration, the festival offers optimal opportunities to spot an array of beautiful birds in what is considered to be among the best bird watching locations in the country, thanks to its diverse habitats of bays, grasslands, wood mottes, wetlands and beaches. The festival features several excursion options for exploring the various habitats including boat and kayaking trips. For more information, visit www.galvestonfeatherfest.com.
If you want to witness spring sports in action, the Junior Olympic Boxing Tournament
returns to Kingsville April 8 through 10, 2011. This event brings you three days of boxing matches at the J.K. Northway Exposition Center; competitors between the ages of nine and 18 from all over the state compete for a chance to move on to the national level. Organized by the South Texas Amateur Boxing Association, this event is open to the public for a small admission fee. Last year’s tournament featured nearly 130 participants. Come cheer on these talented young athletes. For more information, visit www.kingsvilletexas.com or call 361-592- 8516.
Take a Walk on the Wild Side in Martin Dies, Jr. State Park in Jasper.
Stroll along on an hour-long morning excursion led by a knowledgeable naturalist who will discuss nature-related subjects such as conservation, ecology, flora and fauna. Upcoming walk dates include March 26 and April 9, 2011. For more information on this and other state park walks, visit http://beta-www.tpwd.state.tx.us/calendar/hiking/hikes-walks.
However you celebrate, enjoy a terrific start to the spring season.