The recent buzz surrounding Choke Canyon State Park is but a taste of the spectacular birding that comes with spring in the Bend. Therefore it is no surprise that the American Birding Association (ABA) will convene its continental convention in Corpus Christi 27 April through 3 May 2009. There will be field trips to all of the area's hotspots (such as Choke Canyon), and a myriad of speakers (such as Kenn Kaufmann) and workshops about bird, birding, and the tools of the trade.
This year marks the ABA's 40th anniversary (founded in Texas, by the way), and what better a way to celebrate than to come home! Corpus Christi has been named "America's Birdiest City" many times over, and even the convention hotel, the Omni Corpus Christi Bayfront Tower, is within walking distance of one of America's best known migrant traps - Blucher Park. There will be daily fields trips to the breathtaking variety of sites (such as the Port Aransas Turnbull Birding Center) and habitats accessible in the Coastal Bend (coastal bays and marshes, thorn-scrub brushland, eastern woodlands, coastal prairies and mottes, to name a few). Conventioneers will likely see more species of birds at this event than any in ABA's storied past.
The ways in which birders can participate are flexible. The convention offers a full package (all field trips and events), a partial package for nonbirding companions, and even an ala carte package for those wanting to attend a single event. In other words, there is simply no excuse for not attending! Corpus Christi is within a few hour's drive of San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, and Houston. What a fantastic opportunity for Texas birders to gather and celebrate the remarkable birdlife of the great state!
To find out more about the convention, as well as to register, go to the ABA website. We at Bird the Bend look forward to seeing you this spring!