Whether a serious or casual bird-watcher or nature photographer, an experienced or new outdoor enthusiast, or someone who wants some exercise, fresh air, and sunshine and something different to do, then FeatherFest is an amazing opportunity for you!

FeatherFest Birding and Nature Photography Festival takes place on Galveston Island each year to welcome birders to explore the area during Spring Migration. The Beaumont area makes a great birding host spot to see all sorts of birds because as the birds migrate northward, their first stop is to land in Southeast Texas after crossing the Gulf waters from Central and South America.

Group bird watching on walkway in Beaumont

The Beaumont CVB is not only proud to be a sponsor of Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council’s FeatherFest 2023 which takes place from April 20-23, 2023 in Galveston, Texas; but is also delighted to host the pre-festival two-day birding tour Monday through Wednesday, April 17-19, 2023.

Led by Glenn Olson, owner of GO Birding, Nature and Photography Tours, the tour will start at Cattail Marsh Wetlands, giving birders a chance to discover the hidden nature oasis. Of the 500+ bird species in Texas, over 280 have been seen at Cattail Marsh. Spot American and Fish Crow, Cinnamon Teal, King Rail, Pileated Woodpecker, and Bald Eagles. As a special treat, the Cattail Marsh Wetlands Education Center will be open just for our FeatherFest birding tour attendees.

Next, attendees will move to the renowned Texas Ornithological Society (TOS) Sabine Woods where onlookers can experience the diverse ecosystem of our area. With marsh surrounding the oak, hackberry, mulberry, lantana, and so much more, birders will get a chance to see everything from Golden-Winged Warblers to White-Tailed Kites, and Indigo Buntings.

After leaving Sabine Woods, Sea Rim State Park will be the next stop. Where visitors can see Long-billed Curlews, Ruddy Turnstones, Clapper Rails, and Blue Grosbeaks. Part of the park opens to the Gulf of Mexico with a sandy beachfront where we will search for gulls, terns, pelicans, sandpipers, plovers, and a variety of other shorebirds.

The McFaddin Wildlife Refuge is next where the salty marsh and bayous is home to rails, egrets, herons, gulls, terns, Common Yellowthroat, migrating swallows, and hawks. Heading back to Galveston, visitors will stop at  Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge where birders look for King, Sora, and Clapper Rails, Long-billed Dowitcher, Black Necked Stilts, Marsh Wren, several species of migrating Sandpipers, Fulvous and Black-bellied Whistling ducks, Common and Purple Gallinule, Boat-tailed Grackle, and any lingering ducks that wintered here. Next is Houston Audubon's High Island sanctuaries: both the world-famous Boy Scout Woods and Smith Oaks for warblers, vireos, and songbirds. We will spend some time being dazzled by the continuous activity at the Rookery. This is a great photo opportunity for Roseate Spoonbills, egrets, and other colonial nesting birds. At these sanctuaries, 15+ species of warblers are possible, with vireos, grosbeaks, thrushes, painted and indigo buntings, Belted Kingfisher, sparrows, Northern and Orchard orioles, and so many other migrants and always the possibility of a rare bird being found. Then, onto the tip of the Bolivar Peninsula at Bolivar Flats and nearby areas for some coastal birding. 

Beaumont has so many opportunities for birding, we can help you customize your own group field trip. Whether a serious or casual birdwatcher or nature photographer, an experienced or new outdoor enthusiast, or someone who wants some exercise, fresh air, and sunshine with something different to do, then reach out to our team at the Beaumont CVB to help you plan your private overnight birding field trip to Beaumont.

Click here for more information about birding in Beaumont and here for hosting your birding group in Beaumont.