SOUTH PADRE ISLAND | MONDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2018 | ADDITIONAL FEE: $75 Spend the day visiting some of the best wildlife viewing sites in Texas! The field trip will leave from the host hotel in McAllen to visit nature tourism destinations on South Padre Island, including opportunities to learn more about and see the native sea turtles, birds, and marine mammals of the area.
We will tour three areas of the island to learn about and see the native sea turtles, birds, marine mammals, and more that call this part of the state home. Tour includes visits to:
Sea Turtle, Inc. to learn more about their sea turtle rehabilitation and releases as well as summer hatchling releases (www.seaturtleinc.org)
South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center (one of the 9 World Birding Center network of sites) to tour the boardwalks and enjoy some great bayside birding (www.spibirding.com)
A private dolphin watching cruise with the South Padre Island Dolphin Research and Sealife Nature Center (http://spinaturecenter.com)
We’ll have breakfast and lunch on the island to enjoy the full Texas coast experience. Transportation, meals, and snacks and waters on the bus included in price of this field trip. Partners and spouses are invited to register for the pre-Academy field trip.
Optional Evening Field Trip
BENSTEN-RIO GRANDE VALLEY STATE PARK | WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2018 Enjoy nighttime wildlife viewing at the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park and World Birding Center. This trip is included with Academy registration, but you must sign up to reserve your spot and transportation.
Post-Academy Field Trip
WILDLIFE VIEWING AND NATURE TOURISM OPPORTUNITY ON YOUR OWN | FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2018 Immediately following the Wildlife Viewing and Nature Tourism Academy, there is a wonderful opportunity to travel up the coast to Port Aransas to enjoy the 22nd Annual Whooping Crane Festival. This is a fantastic opportunity to easily see Whooping Cranes on their winter grounds as well as check off several other coastal species. Port Aransas is approximately a 3-hour drive from McAllen, Texas.
Those interested will need to provide their own transportation and register with the festival directly (www.whoopingcranefestival.org). In addition to Whooping Crane boat tours, there are opportunities for workshops, field trips, presentations, wine and art events, and book signings throughout the weekend. While on the island, be sure to visit the festival trade show with Whooping Crane and other bird- and nature-related art, books, equipment, information, and more!