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Welcome to Friends of

National Wildlife Refuge


Board Meetings are normally at 5:30pm the 3rd Wednesday of every Month, at the Refuge Headquarters. If you would like to attend, please send an email to friends(at) for current information.

NEW!  Want to about volunteer opportunities or what's happening at the Refuge this fall?  click here

See our Event Blog for post-event information!

Paid Memberships can now share photos. Login and upload them to your very own Photo Album!

Looking for Lodging?  click here.....

Looking for Balcones Songbird Festival Events? click here.......

Upcoming events

    • Sunday, October 11, 2015
    • Balcones Canyonlands NWR

    The Big Sit! is an annual, international birding event hosted by Bird Watcher’s Digest and sponsored by Swarovski Optik and Eagle Optics. It is more informally known as a “tailgate party for birders.” The object is to see how many species you can count in a 17-foot diameter circle within a 24-hour period. This is usually done while sitting, visiting with fellow birders, eating, drinking, and relaxing!

    This will be the sixth year for The Big Sit! circle at the Balcones Canyonlands NWR on the Doeskin Ranch tract. The count will officially start around 6:30 a.m. and will likely end around 5:00 p.m. or so, but feel free to join us at any time during the day. It is a great way to spend the day in a beautiful place with good friends watching the birds. So bring a comfortable chair and join us! The count location is also wheelchair accessible.

    Reserve your spot by registering online or just show up. If you have questions, contact Shelia Hargis at or 512-294-0272.

    Please register here.


    • Saturday, October 17, 2015
    • Doeskin Ranch Balcones Canyonlands NWR

    This year we are celebrating the fast disappearing Monarch butterfly.  Learn about Monarch habitat, photography, drawing in nature and (if we are lucky) we'll tag and release some butterflies.

    Kids enjoy learning about the Monarch with fun activities Unplug and get outdoors, it's good for you!

    • Sunday, November 08, 2015
    • Flying X Ranch, 8936 S FM 1174, Bertram, TX 78605

    Awards Luncheon & FOB Annual Meeting

    Volunteers are the backbone of the Refuge system and we at Balcones Canyonlands NWR want to honor those who help us so much.

    Please join us Sunday, November 8 at the Flying X Ranch.  We will start the day with a 9 am hike.

    After reconvening David Maple, Acting Refuge Manager,  will update us on the state of the Refuge and Dub Lyon, Friends of Balcones President, will talk about the Friends group. 

    Lunch will follow the Volunteer Awards presentation after which we will hold the FOB annual meeting with the election of the Board of Directors.


    • Monday, December 14, 2015
    • The Balcones NWR Circle

    Seaon GreetingsThe Balcones
    Christmas Bird Count

    Monday December 14th, 2015

    Join us on Monday, December 14th, for the annual Balcones Christmas Bird Count (CBC). This count has enjoyed steady growth in participation over the past few years, and as a result our species total has continued to climb as well. We would love to continue this trend - more eyes in the field gives a better view of the birds life there.

    The Christmas Bird Count is the longest running wildlife census in the world and provides critical data on bird population trends and movements. The Balcones CBC is sponsored by the Friends of Balcones Canyonlands NWR. The circle includes all the tracts of the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge and the surrounding area (see the map on our website). We need many birders of all skill levels to adequately survey the birds in the circle area to find all of the expected species and the rare species visiting the area. We would especially like to have some feeder watchers this year, so if you live within the circle and have bird feeders, please participate.

    Thank you for participating in this important citizen-science project!

    For more information about CBC’s in general, see
    Email with questions or to register. Exisitng team leaders and member should email us to confirm you are returning.

    Not on an established Balcones CBC team yet? Please read the NEWCOMERS FAQ.

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