Birding enthusiasts are flocking to participate in virtual and in-person classes
League City—in partnership with the cities of Bay Area Houston including Kemah, Nassau Bay, and Seabrook—has kicked off eight weeks of birding classes and events in celebration of spring bird migration. The first in a series of eight free virtual birding classes was held on March 22 with a whopping 362 registrants from across Texas and as far away as Tennessee. The series is designed to teach the basics of birding to anyone who wants to learn. The classes are held on Mondays in March, April, and May from 7 to 8 p.m.
“Birding is one of the most popular hobbies world-wide, so it’s not surprising to see how many people signed up for these classes,” said Stephanie Polk, League City’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Manager. “Texas is an ideal place for birding because we actually have the most bird species of any state in the U.S. League City is part of the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail and we have a variety of habitats that make for fun birding excursions,” said Polk. “We are also part of two large migratory paths, so we get a massive number of migrating birds during spring and fall migration.”
The virtual classes are taught by Kristine Rivers, a Texas Master Naturalist and founder of Birding For Fun. Each class focuses on a different topic, ranging from how to use a field guide to understanding habitats and plumage variations. The remaining six classes are still open for registration at LeagueCity.com/birdingclasses. Participants can register for as many classes as they want for free. After each class, registrants will receive an email with a link to a recording of the class.
League City is also hosting an in-person birding class series, but to accommodate for social distancing and field trips, the class was capped at 20 people and filled up almost immediately. Due to the popularity of these classes, the City is looking to expand in-person classes in the fall.
Weekend birding events and exclusive hotel packages in April & May
Birders who want to experience spring migration in League City can take advantage of exclusive hotel packages and rates designed specifically for them. Visitors who book an overnight stay at participating hotels will receive a free League City birding swag bag and local birding guide. On select weekends, they can also attend a free two-hour birding field trip led by Kristine Rivers. The field trip dates are April 24, May 1, and May 8. There will be four classes offered each day, with a limit of 10 people per class. Additional hotels are also offering exclusive rates for a limited time for birders who want to explore League City and enjoy a full weekend of birding and nature activities. Look for these deals at VisitLeagueCity.com/springmigration.
Bay Area Houston’s celebration of spring migration will culminate with a Big Sit event in League City on May 15. “A Big Sit is a competitive birdwatching event hosted by Texas Parks and Wildlife as part of the Great Texas Birding Classic. A team of birders spot as many different kinds of birds as they can from within a 50-foot circle,” said Polk. “It’s a wonderful way to take part in birding and learn from experienced birders on location.”
The Big Sit festivities begin on Friday, May 14 with a screening of “The Big Year”—a birding movie starring Jack Black and Steve Martin—food trucks, kayak rentals, yard games, and more at Heritage Park from 4 to 10 p.m. The Big Sit will run from midnight to midnight on May 15, and everyone is invited to enjoy an afternoon of live music, food, and fun at “Sundays in the Park” from 12 to 4 p.m. at League Park on May 16.
Rundown of League City Birding Classes and Events March–May
Virtual birding classes (free)
April 5, 12, 19; May 3, 10, 17
In-person birding classes
Vacation package birding classes (free with hotel stay at participating hotel)
Dates: April 24, May 1, May 8
Times: 8–10 a.m., 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., 1:30–3:30 p.m., 4–6 p.m.
Limit 10 people per class
Big Sit weekend events (free)
May 14 | 4–10 p.m. | Heritage Park | Outdoor screening of the “Big Year” featuring food trucks, kayak rentals, and more. Movie starts at sunset.
May 15 | midnight to midnight | Location TBD | The Big Sit. Participants can choose the times they wish to attend and are not required to stay the whole time.
May 16 | 12–4 p.m. | League Park | “Sundays in the Park” featuring live music, food, and more.