The Laredo Birding Festival is inviting participants to bird the border virtually on Saturday, February 13 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The event will feature virtual birding videos, an online bird art gallery and interactive workshops.
Blessed with a rich and diverse river eco-system, Laredo is home to hundreds of species of local and migratory birds. It’s no wonder that Laredo is considered part of the “birdiest” corridors in the North America.
Laredo’s prized birds include the Morelet’s Seedeater, Scaled Quail, Gray Hawk, Audubon’s and Altamira Orioles, Green Parakeets, Muscovy Duck, Red-billed Pigeon and Clay-colored Thrush, among many others. Birding enthusiasts describe Laredo as the only place in the United States to have boasted four species of Kingfisher: the Ringed, Belted, Green and Amazon.
In 2010, and again in 2016, a particular celebrity of note that caused quite a stir was the female Amazon Kingfisher, a real rare beauty and a first sighting in the United States. Both appearances were at Zacate Creek’s intersection with the Rio Grande, at Las Palmas Nature Trail, attracting birding paparazzi from across the United States and beyond. The news of their presence spread fast.
During the Audubon Society’s 119th national Christmas Bird Count, a Blue Mockingbird was spotted at the river bend of the Rio Grande. There have only been a few sightings of this dazzling bird in the United States. Visitors hope this extraordinary visitor will make its appearance again.
While COVID-19 may have prevented getting together for in-person events, nothing can stop participants from celebrating the talents of local artists and the incredible biodiversity of the local “Birds of the Brush.” The 9th annual art event is designed to showcase how vibrant our Rio Grande ecosystem attracts hundreds of species of dazzling birds, some of which migrate from as far away as Canada and the Central America tropics.
Student artwork will be featured on the Laredo Birding Festival’s online art gallery. Amateur and professional artwork will be on display in the online art gallery. Deadline for submission is Friday, February 5. Visit https://laredobirdingfestival.org/birdsofthebrush/, for full guidelines and bird list.
If you have a chance to get out and visit Laredo, do so safely, and look for the birds that visit the area. Unfortunately, this year will not see any of the usual tours, but that does not mean you cannot get out and enjoy the nature in Laredo.
To register for this year’s birding festival, visit https://laredobirdingfestival.org/.