Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Balcones Canyonlands Refuge Songbird Festival is a Successful Event
Southwest Region, April 30, 2007
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The seventh Songbird Festival was held for the second year on the refuge.  It was a huge success with over 450 visitors attending during the three day event.  The event was held April 27-30, beginning with a "Wine and Star Shine" mixer at a local winery.  More than 100 people attended the dinner.  During the remaining three days, 15 totally booked tours visited various places on the refuge.  Most of the tours were bird tours.  A total of 105 birds were spotted during the four day event including 12 new bird species not seen before during previous festivals.  Tours included Black-capped Vireo and Golden-cheeked Warbler Habitat, general nature, photography, and one night tour.  An additional tour was offered at a local nursery where participants could learn about native plant landscaping.  This year the tours sold out several weeks earlier than in the past.

Saturday evening featured a BBQ dinner with a cowboy and chuck wagon program presented by LBJ National Historic Park.  Approximately 75 people attended the dinner program.  Sunday’s events included an afternoon filled with special programs and activities for families.  The highlight was a live raptor show including birds flying near and through the crowd.  Lucas Miller followed with a music and storytelling program to teach families about birds, wetlands, and other wildlife.  Spider Joe led a Spider Walk and other volunteers displayed creatures from Turtle Pond and Post Oak Creek.

Eight children’s’ activities were offered including bird box building (37 kits were donated by Lions Club and sold for $5 each), bird seed ball making, rope making, animal tracks, animal skulls and skins demonstration, insect stamping, and two Flying Wild activities.  The day ended with an animal and magic show performed by Miss Poppy the Clown.

Partners for the event with the Refuge included The Friends of Balcones NWR, Travis Audubon, Texas American Title Company, Flat Creek Estate (Winery), Z Tejas Restaurant, Charri’s Jubilee Web Design, and Little Bend Nursery.  The Friends group did amazing job instituting and managing an on-line registration and payment system for all tours and events.

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