Great Texas Birding Classic Prepares For 20th Tournament


The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation is hosting North America’s largest bird watching tournament, the Great Texas Birding Classic, for the 20th year.

There are many different tournaments for all ages and ranges of skill, and plenty of birds to view. East Texas is renowned for its avid birdwatching crowd and variety of birds.

Texas is part of three different flyways. West and part of Central Texas are a in the Pacific Flyway. Central and part of East Texas are in the Central Flyway. East and Southeast Texas are in the Mississippi Flyway.

This brings a very broad range of birds to Texas. There are more than 630 different bird types located in Texas; that is one of the top counts for the entire United States.

Individuals and teams can sign up to participate in the tournament on any day from April 15-May 15.

Registration is due April 1.

Here are the various tournaments described by Texas Parks and Wildlife

  • Visit two sites only in a 48-hour period for this new category. Pick two sites nearby and see how many you can tally or strategize which two sites will help you maximize your habitat diversity and species count. Either way, this is a fun new 2-day adventure!
  • Bird from a 17-foot diameter circle with your friends, family, or colleagues! This category is great for teams that have one or two “ringer” birders or if you have lots of people wanting to be on one team together.
  • Ideal for teams seeking a more laid-back day without too much traveling around and for teams composed of mixed ages, so kids, teens and adults can be on a team together.
  • Perfect for those who want to test their skills against others in your part of the state, while birding for most or all of a 24-hour period. Categories are separated by age groups: Roughwings (13&younger), Gliders (age 14-18), or Adults (19&up).
  • Take on birders throughout Texas for either the Statewide Big Day Tournament or enter the Statewide Weeklong Tournament for six consecutive days of birding anywhere and everywhere in Texas.
  • Go birding by canoe, bike, walking, or any other non-motorized transportation and see how many birds you can count in a day!

Registration fees raise money for Texas bird and birding conservation project grants. The Classic has been going from 1997-2016.

Go to the website for more info.

Grace Baldwin
(Bethany) Grace Baldwin has an Associate Degree in Journalism from Angelina College and is working on a double major of English and Journalism at Stephen F. Austin State University. She thoroughly enjoys reading, writing, and has an indelible passion for words.

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