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San Bernard NWR hosts 13th annual Migration Celebration
Southwest Region, April 15, 2007
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Migration Celebration was hosted by the Friends of Brazoria Wildlife Refuges, at San Bernard NWR on April 13,14, & 15.  This years event featured the 3 B's; bats, bears and birds.  Despite poor weather on Friday, the weekend event was well attended and over 1,100 people participated in events over the three day period.  In addition, The Friend’s took the Earthquest Birds of Prey show to local schools and presented the program to over 7,200 students and teachers. 

Friday’s kickoff dinner was a great success, feeding over 180 guests prior to presentations.  The USFWS dedicated the Betty Brown Unit and birding trail through a photo essay presentation.   Project Leader Jennifer Sanchez presented a photograph of a coral vine flowers, taken at the unit, to Lolita Muhm; whose 10 acre donation established the Unit along the San Bernard NWR.  Meg Goodman with Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. non-game program, gave the evenings keynote presentation, "Bats: Facts & Fiction". 

Saturday activities included bird mist netting and banding, van tours around Moccasin Pond, marsh buggy tours of Wolfweed Wetlands, horse-drawn wagon rides, exhibitor and vendor displays, bake sale and food booth.  Discovery activities for the children included crabbing at Wolfweed, fish casting, track casting, pond life bug sweeping, animal pelts and live reptiles.  Earthquest® presented their Birds of Prey and Black Bear programs.  Nathan Garner, with Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept., gave the afternoons program on the return of the black bear in Texas.  Over 700 people attended the day’s event despite windy and cool conditions.  These conditions aided the Forest Bird Study Group who conduct the bird banding station.  Sixty-two birds were caught and banded including painted buntings, indigo buntings and scarlet tanagers.  The Station was kept busy for five hours as banders  showed off the birds and answered numerous questions. 

Sunday’s events provided guided hands-on adventures that covered an array of topics including, birding by ear, rail banding using a bottleline, neotropic bird sanctuary, photography, bottomland forests, herptiles, the micro-world, and fire management on San Bernard NWR.  The adventures provided an opportunity for visitors to explore areas of the refuge and examine natural processes.  The tours were led by USFWS and Texas Parks and Wildlife Staff, or Texas Master Naturalists.  About 200 people attended Sunday’s event. 

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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