World's largest bird watching tournament returns to Texas


by Texas Parks and Wildlife

Posted on February 14, 2013 at 3:23 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 14 at 3:37 PM

AUSTIN -- The largest bird watching tournament in the world is coming back this spring.

This year’s event will feature a number of firsts that will make it the biggest and longest birdwatching tournament in the nation.

The Texas birding tournament, which has been a week-long event for 16 years along the Texas Gulf Coast, is going statewide and will last an entire month – from April 15 to May 15.

The new format will allow participants to compete in more than one of the 42 categories and choose what days they wish to participate based on weather and personal schedules.

“You’ll now be able to participate from anywhere in Texas, including your own backyard,” said Tournament Director Shelly Plante. “Any birdwatcher from the backyard birder to those who may be more competitive is welcome to join the event. There’s a tournament category for everyone.

Click the player below to watch a report from Texas Parks and Wildlife. Texas Parks and Wildlife takes a trip back to 1997, when a group of teenagers won their competition category. The Thrashers, now in their mid-30s, are still friends and avid birders.

The 17th annual Great Texas Birding Classic kicks off April 15 with chances of competing in numerous categories throughout the month.

Habitat conservation grants, which this year will be awarded to projects anywhere in Texas, are funded through event sponsorship and registration fees. Winning teams help select which projects are funded.

Since the inception of the Great Texas Birding Classic in 1997, adult teams that recorded the most bird species in various categories have contributed more than $789,500 for avian habitat conservation.

Team registration deadline is April 1st. Click here for more information or call (512) 389-4500.