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.
Mark your calendar now to attend the largest birding and nature photography festival on the Upper Texas Coast! The 16th Annual Galveston FeatherFest Birding & Nature Photo Festival will be held April 17 – 22, 2018.
Unique outdoor adventures amid 200+ species of birds are in store for all ages. What’s more, you’ll find Galveston Island and its surrounding areas steeped in Texas charm, history and hospitality. Galveston is one of the top locations for birding in the nation, and this family-friendly festival is held smack dab in the middle of spring migration – the best time to visit world-renowned birding hot spots like Bolivar Flats and High Island. To celebrate our milestone anniversary, we have designed a new FeatherFest website and enhanced our birding and photography programs with some nationally known leaders! Stay tuned for the details at:
“I think about the Eskimo curlew this time of year,
not because I expect to find one but because I know
never to take for granted even the most
abundant of migratory birds. “ ~ Gary Clark
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. For our 2018 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 Casa del Mar Beachfront Suite, Coronado Palms Coastal Cottage, Evansdesign, Inc., IPM Asset Solutions, Moody Gardens, Sand ‘N Sea Properties, and Tom Schwenk of The House Company 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.