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Event Calendar

Upcoming events

    • Saturday, April 11, 2020
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Warbler Vista
    Register

    Get your hands dirty on the trails of Balcones as we improve upon and create new trails for our Refuge!

    Please join us for 6 work day sessions scheduled to work at Warbler Vista! RSVP for sessions you can attend.

    We will meet in the parking lot by the rest rooms. 

    As always, please dress appropriately for working in the woods... sturdy shoes, work gloves, etc. We will have a water jug to refill peoples containers.


    Hope to see you there.

    Thanks,

    Dan Nugent

    Friends of Balcones Trail Committee

    • Friday, April 24, 2020
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 12

    Chasing Rare & Endangered Ones

    Endangered Ones Trip

    This tour will span the refuge in search of its rare and endangered songbirds. Experts on the species will take you to shady, relatively moist woodlands of oak and juniper to listen and look for Golden-cheeked Warblers. At the other end of the refuge, we will listen for the raspy songs of Black-capped Vireos in and around thickets of scrubby oaks, sumacs, and greenbriars. Along the way we hope to spot other Hill Country birds.

    Targets: Golden-cheeked Warbler, Black-capped Vireo

    van from HQ 30 Min 1way Easy to Moderate between locations *stop between locations
    AMERICAN BIRD CONSERVANCY(ABC)
    ABC's mission is to conserve native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. Our commitment to bird conservation remains absolute, even while some other groups shift their mission to prioritize people over wildlife. We believe unequivocally that conserving birds and their habitats benefits all other species — including people.

    WILLIAMSON AUDUBON GROUP(WAG)
    Williamson Audubon Group promotes the appreciation of birds by sharing knowledge and experience.

    • Friday, April 24, 2020
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 12

    Chasing Rare & Endangered Ones

    Endangered Ones Trip

    This tour will span the refuge in search of its rare and endangered songbirds. Experts on the species will take you to shady, relatively moist woodlands of oak and juniper to listen and look for Golden-cheeked Warblers. At the other end of the refuge, we will listen for the raspy songs of Black-capped Vireos in and around thickets of scrubby oaks, sumacs, and greenbriars. Along the way we hope to spot other Hill Country birds.

    Targets: Golden-cheeked Warbler, Black-capped Vireo

    van from HQ 30 Min 1way Easy to Moderate between locations *stop between locations
    U.S.FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE(USFWS)
    The primary purpose of the refuge is to protect the nesting habitat of the golden-cheeked warbler and black-capped vireo, two highly endangered migratory birds.

    • Friday, April 24, 2020
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 12

    Hill Country Birding

    Hill Country Birding Trip

    Join top Texas birders to look for special Hill Country birds that nest on the Refuge. This tour makes multiple stops along one of the quietest, birdiest country roads in western Travis County, and then brief stops at Doeskin, Flying X and Simons Tract, affording participants the opportunity to see and hear many of the breeding and spring migrant birds of the eastern edge of the Edwards Plateau. The trip leader is intimately familiar with these birds and their vocalizations, and will strive to get scope views for all participants of most of the target birds on the route. We do not specifically target Golden-cheeked Warbler, but occasionally encounter them on this route. In addition to the targets mentioned below, we also often see spring migrants including raptors, flycatchers, and various smaller birds.

    Targets: Wild Turkey, Cave Swallow, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Summer Tanager, Painted Bunting, Blue Grosbeak, Bell's Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo (migrant, but singing), Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow and occasionally Vermilion Flycatcher, Canyon Towhee and Black-throated Sparrow. van from HQ 30 Min 1way Easy to Moderate between locations
    TRAVIS AUDUBON SOCIETY(TAS)
    Travis Audubon was founded in 1952 by visionary central Texans who recognized the vital connection between conserving wildlife habitat and the ecological balance necessary for healthy, sustainable and habitable human communities.

    • Friday, April 24, 2020
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 12

    Birding the Plateaus and Springs of the Texas Hill Country


    Located in the northwestern portion of Balcones Canyonlands NWR, this tour offers a great chance to see and hear many wonderful bird species found in the dry, rocky upland savannas and shrublands of the Texas Hill Country. We will also visit Peaceful Springs, a cool, clear natural spring nestled within a beautiful, lush woodland area which attracts an interesting variety of songbirds, as well as other animals. In the woodlands, we will target the Federally Endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler, Yellow-throated and Red-eyed vireos, Cooper’s Hawk, and Black-and-white Warbler. In the drier upland savannas and shrublands, we will target the Black-capped and Bell’s vireos, Crested Caracara, Blue Grosbeak, Indigo and Painted buntings, Scott’s Oriole, Scissor-tailed and Vermilion flycatchers, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Verdin, Common Ground-Dove, and Canyon Towhee. This tour will include birding from the van, as well as some walking, including some areas of uneven, rocky roads and trails.

    van from HQ 30 Min 1way Easy to Moderate between locations *stop between locations
    FRIENDS OF BALCONES CANYONLANDS NWR(FOB)
    The mission of the Friends organization is to support, complete, and enhance the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge and its diverse ecology and promote its use for recreational, educational, and scientific purposes.

    • Friday, April 24, 2020
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 12

    Exploring the Backcountry


    Explore one of the most beautiful parts of the Refuge as we walk along Post Oak Creek and venture into the backcountry in an area normally not open to the public. We'll talk about everything we come across, from geology and local wildlife to native plants and the weather's influences on habitats.

    Moderately difficult hiking: wear ankle-supported, waterproof shoes as uneven footpaths and stream crossings will be encountered.

    TRAVIS AUDUBON SOCIETY(TAS)
    Travis Audubon was founded in 1952 by visionary central Texans who recognized the vital connection between conserving wildlife habitat and the ecological balance necessary for healthy, sustainable and habitable human communities.

    • Friday, April 24, 2020
    • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Flat Creek Estate, 24912 E Singleton Bend, Marble Falls TX 78654

    Meet & Greet at Flat Creek Estate Vineyard & Winery

    Mix with your fellow birders while lunching and tasting at the award winning Flat Creek Estate only 5 miles and 7 minutes from refuge headquarters.

    If you are arriving for the morning tours or later in the day please join us for this Meet & Greet.  There will be folks from all over the country. Exchange birding information, local tips and just enjoy yourself.

    The Bistro at Flat Creek is offering lunch in conjunction with the wine tasting tour. You are welcome to explore the grounds and birds while sipping. The Bistro at Flat Creek has been voted best winery food and the wines have won numerous awards.

    Lunch will be at 1:00 in the pavilion

    Following lunch, a presentation will be given by Ed Sones, a raptor, wading and shorebird rehabilitation expert.  Ed works with Austin Wildlife Rescue and has over 30 years experience rehabilitating raptors.  He takes in around 250 raptors a year.  Ed will be bringing some of the birds to the winery and you will get the opportunity to get a close look. 

    The optional wine tasting will follow the presentation.

    Reservation are required for the Tasting and/or Flat Creek lunch.

    Click the logo below for reservations.


    • Saturday, April 25, 2020
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 12

    Chasing Rare & Endangered Ones

    Endangered Ones Trip

    This tour will span the refuge in search of its rare and endangered songbirds. Experts on the species will take you to shady, relatively moist woodlands of oak and juniper to listen and look for Golden-cheeked Warblers. At the other end of the refuge, we will listen for the raspy songs of Black-capped Vireos in and around thickets of scrubby oaks, sumacs, and greenbriars. Along the way we hope to spot other Hill Country birds.

    Targets: Golden-cheeked Warbler, Black-capped Vireo

    van from HQ 30 Min 1way Easy to Moderate between locations *stop between locations
    AMERICAN BIRD CONSERVANCY(ABC)
    ABC's mission is to conserve native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. Our commitment to bird conservation remains absolute, even while some other groups shift their mission to prioritize people over wildlife. We believe unequivocally that conserving birds and their habitats benefits all other species — including people.

    • Saturday, April 25, 2020
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 12

    Chasing Rare & Endangered Ones

    Endangered Ones Trip

    This tour will span the refuge in search of its rare and endangered songbirds. Experts on the species will take you to shady, relatively moist woodlands of oak and juniper to listen and look for Golden-cheeked Warblers. At the other end of the refuge, we will listen for the raspy songs of Black-capped Vireos in and around thickets of scrubby oaks, sumacs, and greenbriars. Along the way we hope to spot other Hill Country birds.

    Targets: Golden-cheeked Warbler, Black-capped Vireo

    van from HQ 30 Min 1way Easy to Moderate between locations *stop between locations
    AUSTIN WATER (BCP)
    The Balcones Canyonlands Preserve (BCP) is a system of preserves in western Travis County, Texas, established to protect habitat for eight endangered species – two neotropical migratory songbirds and six karst invertebrates – and another 27 species of concern that could merit listing in the future under the Endangered Species Act. Encompassing more than 31,000 acres of juniper-oak forest and limestone caves owned by several partner organizations, the BCP includes some of Austin’s favorite wild places, such as Emma Long Park, the Barton Creek Greenbelt, Mount Bonnell, and Hamilton Pool. Established in 1996 through a regional 10(a) permit issued by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to the City of Austin and Travis County, the BCP provides both ecological and economic benefit by mitigating the detrimental effects of development. See austintexas.gov/BCPstory for more information and volunteer opportunities..

    • Saturday, April 25, 2020
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 12

    Hill Country Birding

    Hill Country Birding Trip

    Join top Texas birders to look for special Hill Country birds that nest on the Refuge. This tour makes multiple stops along one of the quietest, birdiest country roads in western Travis County, and then brief stops at Doeskin, Flying X and Simons Tract, affording participants the opportunity to see and hear many of the breeding and spring migrant birds of the eastern edge of the Edwards Plateau. The trip leader is intimately familiar with these birds and their vocalizations, and will strive to get scope views for all participants of most of the target birds on the route. We do not specifically target Golden-cheeked Warbler, but occasionally encounter them on this route. In addition to the targets mentioned below, we also often see spring migrants including raptors, flycatchers, and various smaller birds.

    Targets: Wild Turkey, Cave Swallow, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Summer Tanager, Painted Bunting, Blue Grosbeak, Bell's Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo (migrant, but singing), Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow and occasionally Vermilion Flycatcher, Canyon Towhee and Black-throated Sparrow. van from HQ 30 Min 1way Easy to Moderate between locations
    U.S.FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE(USFWS)
    The primary purpose of the refuge is to protect the nesting habitat of the golden-cheeked warbler and black-capped vireo, two highly endangered migratory birds.

    • Saturday, April 25, 2020
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 12

    Hill Country Birding

    Hill Country Birding Trip

    Join top Texas birders to look for special Hill Country birds that nest on the Refuge. This tour makes multiple stops along one of the quietest, birdiest country roads in western Travis County, and then brief stops at Doeskin, Flying X and Simons Tract, affording participants the opportunity to see and hear many of the breeding and spring migrant birds of the eastern edge of the Edwards Plateau. The trip leader is intimately familiar with these birds and their vocalizations, and will strive to get scope views for all participants of most of the target birds on the route. We do not specifically target Golden-cheeked Warbler, but occasionally encounter them on this route. In addition to the targets mentioned below, we also often see spring migrants including raptors, flycatchers, and various smaller birds.

    Targets: Wild Turkey, Cave Swallow, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Summer Tanager, Painted Bunting, Blue Grosbeak, Bell's Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo (migrant, but singing), Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow and occasionally Vermilion Flycatcher, Canyon Towhee and Black-throated Sparrow. van from HQ 30 Min 1way Easy to Moderate between locations
    TEXAS ORNITHOLOGICAL SOCIETY(TOS)
    The Texas Ornithological Society (TOS) was founded in 1953 as a nonprofit organization. The purpose of the Society is to promote the discovery and dissemination of knowledge of birds; to encourage specifically the observation, study and conservation of birds in Texas; to encourage the formation of local birding clubs; and to stimulate cooperation among professional ornithologists.

    • Saturday, April 25, 2020
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 12

    Birding the Plateaus and Springs of the Texas Hill Country


    Located in the northwestern portion of Balcones Canyonlands NWR, this tour offers a great chance to see and hear many wonderful bird species found in the dry, rocky upland savannas and shrublands of the Texas Hill Country. We will also visit Peaceful Springs, a cool, clear natural spring nestled within a beautiful, lush woodland area which attracts an interesting variety of songbirds, as well as other animals. In the woodlands, we will target the Federally Endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler, Yellow-throated and Red-eyed vireos, Cooper’s Hawk, and Black-and-white Warbler. In the drier upland savannas and shrublands, we will target the Black-capped and Bell’s vireos, Crested Caracara, Blue Grosbeak, Indigo and Painted buntings, Scott’s Oriole, Scissor-tailed and Vermilion flycatchers, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Verdin, Common Ground-Dove, and Canyon Towhee. This tour will include birding from the van, as well as some walking, including some areas of uneven, rocky roads and trails.

    van from HQ 30 Min 1way Easy to Moderate between locations *stop between locations
    TEXAS ORNITHOLOGICAL SOCIETY(TOS)
    The Texas Ornithological Society (TOS) was founded in 1953 as a nonprofit organization. The purpose of the Society is to promote the discovery and dissemination of knowledge of birds; to encourage specifically the observation, study and conservation of birds in Texas; to encourage the formation of local birding clubs; and to stimulate cooperation among professional ornithologists.

    • Saturday, April 25, 2020
    • 8:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 20

    Bird on a Wire

    Hill Country Birding Trip

    Did you ever wonder why some birds sit on a wire and others stay hidden in the foliage? Come spend a few hours at the Refuge Headquarters and watch birds come and go and interact with each other. You will learn some of their more common behaviors and why biologists believe they do them. Chairs, binoculars, and bird books will be provided for participants. You can enjoy birding and learn bird trivia in a relaxed atmosphere. Some of their behaviors may even help you identify them. All skill levels are welcome and this “trip” is handicap accessible.

    Targets: Inca Dove, Chimney Swift, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Purple Martin, Barn Swallow, Eastern Bluebird, Field Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Summer Tanager, Painted Bunting, Lesser Goldfinch
    HQPhoto Opportunity
    TRAVIS AUDUBON SOCIETY(TAS)
    Travis Audubon was founded in 1952 by visionary central Texans who recognized the vital connection between conserving wildlife habitat and the ecological balance necessary for healthy, sustainable and habitable human communities.

    • Saturday, April 25, 2020
    • 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters

    For those needing more lunches or forgot to order with your tour! 


    • Sunday, April 26, 2020
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 12

    Chasing Rare & Endangered Ones

    Endangered Ones Trip

    This tour will span the refuge in search of its rare and endangered songbirds. Experts on the species will take you to shady, relatively moist woodlands of oak and juniper to listen and look for Golden-cheeked Warblers. At the other end of the refuge, we will listen for the raspy songs of Black-capped Vireos in and around thickets of scrubby oaks, sumacs, and greenbriars. Along the way we hope to spot other Hill Country birds.

    Targets: Golden-cheeked Warbler, Black-capped Vireo

    van from HQ 30 Min 1way Easy to Moderate between locations *stop between locations
    AMERICAN BIRD CONSERVANCY(ABC)
    ABC's mission is to conserve native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. Our commitment to bird conservation remains absolute, even while some other groups shift their mission to prioritize people over wildlife. We believe unequivocally that conserving birds and their habitats benefits all other species — including people.

    • Sunday, April 26, 2020
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 12

    Hill Country Birding

    Hill Country Birding Trip

    Join top Texas birders to look for special Hill Country birds that nest on the Refuge. This tour makes multiple stops along one of the quietest, birdiest country roads in western Travis County, and then brief stops at Doeskin, Flying X and Simons Tract, affording participants the opportunity to see and hear many of the breeding and spring migrant birds of the eastern edge of the Edwards Plateau. The trip leader is intimately familiar with these birds and their vocalizations, and will strive to get scope views for all participants of most of the target birds on the route. We do not specifically target Golden-cheeked Warbler, but occasionally encounter them on this route. In addition to the targets mentioned below, we also often see spring migrants including raptors, flycatchers, and various smaller birds.

    Targets: Wild Turkey, Cave Swallow, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Summer Tanager, Painted Bunting, Blue Grosbeak, Bell's Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo (migrant, but singing), Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow and occasionally Vermilion Flycatcher, Canyon Towhee and Black-throated Sparrow. van from HQ 30 Min 1way Easy to Moderate between locations
    TEXAS ORNITHOLOGICAL SOCIETY(TOS)
    The Texas Ornithological Society (TOS) was founded in 1953 as a nonprofit organization. The purpose of the Society is to promote the discovery and dissemination of knowledge of birds; to encourage specifically the observation, study and conservation of birds in Texas; to encourage the formation of local birding clubs; and to stimulate cooperation among professional ornithologists.

    • Sunday, April 26, 2020
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 12

    Birding the Plateaus and Springs of the Texas Hill Country


    Located in the northwestern portion of Balcones Canyonlands NWR, this tour offers a great chance to see and hear many wonderful bird species found in the dry, rocky upland savannas and shrublands of the Texas Hill Country. We will also visit Peaceful Springs, a cool, clear natural spring nestled within a beautiful, lush woodland area which attracts an interesting variety of songbirds, as well as other animals. In the woodlands, we will target the Federally Endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler, Yellow-throated and Red-eyed vireos, Cooper’s Hawk, and Black-and-white Warbler. In the drier upland savannas and shrublands, we will target the Black-capped and Bell’s vireos, Crested Caracara, Blue Grosbeak, Indigo and Painted buntings, Scott’s Oriole, Scissor-tailed and Vermilion flycatchers, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Verdin, Common Ground-Dove, and Canyon Towhee. This tour will include birding from the van, as well as some walking, including some areas of uneven, rocky roads and trails.

    van from HQ 30 Min 1way Easy to Moderate between locations *stop between locations
    AMERICAN BIRD CONSERVANCY(ABC)
    ABC's mission is to conserve native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. Our commitment to bird conservation remains absolute, even while some other groups shift their mission to prioritize people over wildlife. We believe unequivocally that conserving birds and their habitats benefits all other species — including people.

    • Sunday, April 26, 2020
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 12

    Leaders Choice

    Leaders Choice Trip

    We’re leaving this trip intentionally vague so we can be flexible. Your leaders will be monitoring the birds seen throughout the festival and will use that information to determine the location for this trip. We may decide to try to re-find rarities or we may decide to go birding in one of our favorite Refuge tracts. Wherever we end up, you can expect to see some great Hill Country birds and have a great time. If you’re the type person who likes surprises or likes to go with the flow, this is the tour for you!

     van from HQ 30 Min 1way Moderate to Strenuous



    TRAVIS AUDUBON SOCIETY(TAS)
    Travis Audubon was founded in 1952 by visionary central Texans who recognized the vital connection between conserving wildlife habitat and the ecological balance necessary for healthy, sustainable and habitable human communities.


    • Sunday, April 26, 2020
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 12

    Birding Balcones by Sight & Sound

    Sight & Sound

    Want a unique experience to improve your birding skills by learning bird songs?  According to the following description written by  previous tour participants, this tour is for you! Seeing birds while they sing is a great learning experience.

    "Pull over, I just heard our bird."  What? Within 30 seconds the bird we were searching for is perched atop a bush, singing away. "How'd you do that?" I asked incredulously. "Well, he told me!" One of the great experiences of birding is to be able to identify birds before you even see them!  Yes, it's challenging, but so much fun, and the satisfaction is enormous.  

    Wherever there are birds, there are bird songs! Bird songs and other vocalizations provide a wealth of information that birders can use to quickly identify familiar birds, distinguish between closely related species, and perhaps decipher some of the more complex communications that go on between birds. 

    This tour alternates between brief discussions of birdsong, and listening to (and yes seeing) the springtime birds that vocalize at the refuge, while taking a hike through the beautiful landscape behind Refuge Headquarters. You will be a better birder after just one class, honest!

    Targets: Painted Bunting, Blue Grosbeak, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Purple Martin, White-eyed Vireo, Summer Tanager, Eastern Phoebe, Blue-grey Gnatcatcher, Carolina Chickadee, Black-crested Titmouse, Carolina Wren, Bewick’s Wren, Northern Cardinal, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow and (possibly) Golden-cheeked Warbler.


    Easy to Moderate HQ



    TRAVIS AUDUBON SOCIETY(TAS)
    Travis Audubon was founded in 1952 by visionary central Texans who recognized the vital connection between conserving wildlife habitat and the ecological balance necessary for healthy, sustainable and habitable human communities.

 


Email- friends@friendsofbalcones.org

Mail- Friends of Balcones

  PO Box 4678

Lago Vista TX 78645

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