The Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council is wild about Galveston, and with good reason! Our historic beach town on the Gulf of Mexico offers engaging natural wonders in every sector of the island and its surrounding areas, every month of the year. We know, because we help connect people with nature experiences and outdoor adventures. We invite you to explore this website and learn about our nature-related events and programs, and how we promote the value of natural habitats and resources in the Galveston area.
One of the last times anyone saw an Eskimo Curlew anywhere in the world was right here on Galveston Island more than 50 years ago. The Eskimo Curlew Memorial belongs in Galveston, and we are grateful to all of you who have joined us in making that a reality.
The Lost Bird Project is led by sculptor Todd McGrain. His impressive sculptures of extinct North American birds are permanently installed near the last sightings of each bird. Five sculptures have been placed: Great Auk in Newfoundland, Passenger Pigeon in Ohio, Labrador Duck in New York, Carolina Parakeet in Florida, and Heath Hen in Martha’s Vineyard.
The Eskimo Curlew was last seen on Galveston Island in the early 1960s. We are bringing the Eskimo Curlew sculpture – an evocative and beautiful public art piece – home to Galveston where it will raise awareness of declining species, promote action, inspire us artistically, and remind us of our duty to protect natural resources. We invite you to read Forgetting is easy from Coast Monthly, compliments of the Galveston County Daily News, for more information and photos of earlier sculptures.
The total cost of the project is $100,000, and we are happy to report that we have reached our goal! Sincere thanks to the individuals, families, foundations and the SAVYs at Moody Gardens for generously helping us bring this historic landmark to Galveston Island!
Where will it land? Thanks for your suggestions for the perfect home for Galveston’s Eskimo Curlew sculpture. Artist Todd McGrain was enthusiastic about the sites he surveyed – we’ll let you know when plans are confirmed!
FeatherFest 2018 is in the books and was the best yet! Over 700 attendees from 31 states and four countries participated in this year’s birding and nature photography festival. 246 species of birds were identified! You can check out the list here. During the six day period, we offered 102 activities including birding and photography field trips and workshops, sea turtle activities, butterfly & dragonfly workshops and field trips, evening social events, and free birds of prey raptor shows.
Mark your calendar now to attend next year’s FeatherFest, the largest birding and nature photography festival on the Upper Texas Coast! The 17th Annual Galveston FeatherFest Birding & Nature Photo Festival will be held April 11 – 14, 2019.
GINTC has partnered with Birding for Fun to offer regularly scheduled guided birding tours of Galveston and other nearby areas. The tours are led by Kristine Rivers, who has been an avid birder for more than 35 years. You may recognize her as one of the field trip leaders from FeatherFest, or from her years as an area leader on the Brazoria Columbia Bottomlands Christmas Bird Count. She is also the President of the Cradle of Texas Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists.
Kristine’s enjoyment of birding spills over to those who join her tours, as she still gets excited to see our beautiful Texas Gulf Coast specialty birds such as White-tailed Kites and Reddish Egrets, sharing her enthusiasm and delight as she explains their unique behavioral traits while watching them in action. Participants have described the experience as therapeutic – much different than other guided tours, because of Kristine’s patience in pointing out the birds and answering questions, ensuring that everyone has had a chance to see the birds before moving on to the next area.
The 2018 tours will be scheduled every other week on Fridays, sometimes more frequently, and destinations vary each time so that participants have the opportunity to see as many different species as possible. Destinations include Galveston’s West End; Galveston’s East End and Bolivar Peninsula; San Luis Pass; Texas City Dike; and Surfside/Quintana.
Participants ride in air conditioned comfort in summer months, and heated comfort in winter months, enjoying seeing birds up close without doing a lot of hiking. This makes these tours the perfect birding experience for those who are not sure about spending a lot of time outdoors, or for those who have physical limitations. You are sure to enjoy yourself whether you are a new or experienced birder, a nature lover, or a photographer looking for new photo opportunities! GINTC members get a discount.
Check here for the Birding for Fun field trip schedule.
Photo by Vadim Troshkin
We offer a wide array of unique and fun nature activities throughout the year. Annual events include Sea Turtle Saturday in February, Galveston FeatherFest in April, and Holiday with the Cranes in December. Our Winter Texan activities are designed for visitors and residents who love to explore nature during the winter months of January and February and include indoor and outdoor activities such as birding, sea turtle talks & turtle barn tours, nature seminars, behind the scenes peeks at Moody Gardens and more. To see last year’s Winter Texan schedule, click here.
Through our partnership with the Galveston County Audubon Group, we offer free birding outings once a month from September – May and quarterly birding presentations at Rosenberg Library.
The Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council thanks our members and volunteers, the City of Galveston, Galveston Park Board of Trustees, Galveston.com, and corporate members Affaire d’Art International Fine Art Gallery, Casa del Mar Beachfront Suite, Coronado Palms Coastal Cottage, IPM Asset Solutions, McMac Commissioning Services, LLC., Moody Gardens, Sand ‘N Sea Properties, Tom Schwenk, Realtor, and SOAR Vacation Rental Services, for supporting our efforts throughout the year. Special applause also goes to David Alaniz, Hector Astorga, Stephen Bontempo, Stan Bravenec, Anja Borski, Trudy LeDoux, Scott Meyer, Lisa Nelson, Barbara Rabek, Vadim Troshkin, Patrick Welsh, Bonnie White, Ron Wooten, and others for generously sharing their beautiful photography with us.