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Welcome to Friends of
BalconesCanyonlands
National Wildlife Refuge

Events

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)friendsofbalcones.org for current information.

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

Upcoming events

    • Tuesday, January 24, 2017
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Balcones Canyonlands NWR Headquarters
    • 9

    Fall & Winter Birding on the Refuge

    As the first few cool fronts of the year enter into Texas, birding is once again on the mind of many visitors to the Refuge. Many species of birds ride the northerly winds into Texas, where they will spend the winter months.

    Please register to join John Harrington in search of the latest arrivals and winter residents across various tracts of the Refuge. 

    Trips will be every Tuesday and Thursday From November thru February. Session dates will be posted monthly.

    All trips will be by van, departing from the Refuge Headquarters. Destinations will vary with each session.

    Arrive by 7:45 am at Balcones Canyonlands NWR Headquarters, 24518 E FM 1431, 5 miles west of Lago Vista (from light at FM 1431 and Lohman's Ford Rd).

    Prepare for any weather. Bring binoculars, hat, water, snacks, sunscreen, and bird field guide. Wear long pants, socks, and closed-toe shoes.

    Restroom availability is limited. Loaner binoculars and field guides are available (please arrive 15 minutes early to borrow).

    JOHN HARRINGTON

    John has been an active volunteer and member of the Friends of Balcones Canyonlands since 2002. His love of the outdoors naturally blossomed to an obsession for birding. He is also a member of the Travis Audubon Society and the American Birding Association. John leads field trips at the Refuge for TAS and FOB frequently and is actively involved in the USFWS Golden-cheeked Warbler surveys and assists the banding programs. John puts many hours into the Balcones Songbird Festival, the Balcones Christmas Bird Count and SparrowFest . John is retired from AT&T where he was a Lab Manager. All the years at his desk, he dreamed of the great outdoors and visited it to hunt, hike or play whenever he had the chance. Recently, he and his wife, Cathy has become full-time RVer's and travel the country from Refuge to Refuge as volunteers.
    • Thursday, February 02, 2017
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Balcones Canyonlands NWR Headquarters
    • 11

    Winter Birding on the Refuge

    As the first few cool fronts of the year enter into Texas, birding is once again on the mind of many visitors to the Refuge. Many species of birds ride the northerly winds into Texas, where they will spend the winter months.

    Please register to join John Harrington in search of the latest arrivals and winter residents across various tracts of the Refuge. 

    Trips will be every Thursday From November thru February. Session dates will be posted monthly.

    All trips will be by van, departing from the Refuge Headquarters. Destinations will vary with each session.

    Arrive by 7:45 am at Balcones Canyonlands NWR Headquarters, 24518 E FM 1431, 5 miles west of Lago Vista (from light at FM 1431 and Lohman's Ford Rd).

    Prepare for any weather. Bring binoculars, hat, water, snacks, sunscreen, and bird field guide. Wear long pants, socks, and closed-toe shoes.

    Restroom availability is limited. Loaner binoculars and field guides are available (please arrive 15 minutes early to borrow).

    JOHN HARRINGTON

    John has been an active volunteer and member of the Friends of Balcones Canyonlands since 2002. His love of the outdoors naturally blossomed to an obsession for birding. He is also a member of the Travis Audubon Society and the American Birding Association. John leads field trips at the Refuge for TAS and FOB frequently and is actively involved in the USFWS Golden-cheeked Warbler surveys and assists the banding programs. John puts many hours into the Balcones Songbird Festival, the Balcones Christmas Bird Count and SparrowFest . John is retired from AT&T where he was a Lab Manager. All the years at his desk, he dreamed of the great outdoors and visited it to hunt, hike or play whenever he had the chance. Recently, he and his wife, Cathy has become full-time RVer's and travel the country from Refuge to Refuge as volunteers.
    • Saturday, February 04, 2017
    • 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    • Flying X Ranch, 8339 S. FM 1174, Bertram TX 78605
    • 0

    Sorry, but this event is now sold out. You can join the waitlist and we will send you an email when additional spaces become available.

    Join waitlist

    SparrowFest 2017

    This sparrow identification workshop will be held Saturday, February 4 

    Due to it's popularity this event is celebrating it's 13th year.

    Birders of all levels will meet before dawn for a light breakfast then break into groups for a workshop or disperse to usually off-limit areas of the Refuge with experienced leaders.

    Birders will meet back at "the X" for lunch and a talk by Dr. Byron Stone, President of the Texas Ornithological Society. The afternoon will be another series of workshops and field trips.  The day will end with dinner at the Flying X while birders exchange their day's experiences.

    Local housing may be found here.


    • Saturday, February 04, 2017
    • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Doeskin Ranch, 10654 S. FM 1174, Bertram TX 78605
    • 0

    Sorry, but this event is now sold out. You can join the waitlist and we will send you an email when additional spaces become available.

    Join waitlist

    Friends Workshop- Mindfulness in Nature

    Nature can be a wonderful teacher, mirror, and guide which can help us learn about ourselves, connect with each other and the larger web of life, and experience appreciation and gratitude. The beauty, mystery, and wonder of the natural world so easily and effortlessly pulls us into a mindful state of being. Through learning to cultivate a meaningful and intentional relationship with nature, we experience joy, awe and interconnectedness, as well as relaxation and emotional and mental restoration. Be prepared for unexpected delight, curiosity, stillness, and mystery.

    All experience levels are welcome, as those brand new to mindfulness will benefit from guidance and support, while those who are experienced will have the chance to deepen their practice. To support mindfulness awareness, we will spend much of our time in silence. However, there will be a short discussion at the beginning about what mindfulness is, and there will also be time to share reflections or ask questions at various times during the walk.

    Please be aware our focus will be more on mindful awareness and less on hiking or plant or animal identification. Of course, we hope you will enjoy your hike and noticing the plant and animal species around you, but much of our time together will be spent in silence, walking slowly or sitting.

    Attendence is limited.  Open to age 16 and up, active (paid) Friends members only. ALL attendees must register.

    Meet at the Doeskin lot at 9:45 so walk can begin promptly at 10.

    • Thursday, February 09, 2017
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Balcones Canyonlands NWR Headquarters
    • 12

    Winter Birding on the Refuge

    As the first few cool fronts of the year enter into Texas, birding is once again on the mind of many visitors to the Refuge. Many species of birds ride the northerly winds into Texas, where they will spend the winter months.

    Please register to join John Harrington in search of the latest arrivals and winter residents across various tracts of the Refuge. 

    Trips will be every Thursday From November thru February. Session dates will be posted monthly.

    All trips will be by van, departing from the Refuge Headquarters. Destinations will vary with each session.

    Arrive by 7:45 am at Balcones Canyonlands NWR Headquarters, 24518 E FM 1431, 5 miles west of Lago Vista (from light at FM 1431 and Lohman's Ford Rd).

    Prepare for any weather. Bring binoculars, hat, water, snacks, sunscreen, and bird field guide. Wear long pants, socks, and closed-toe shoes.

    Restroom availability is limited. Loaner binoculars and field guides are available (please arrive 15 minutes early to borrow).

    JOHN HARRINGTON

    John has been an active volunteer and member of the Friends of Balcones Canyonlands since 2002. His love of the outdoors naturally blossomed to an obsession for birding. He is also a member of the Travis Audubon Society and the American Birding Association. John leads field trips at the Refuge for TAS and FOB frequently and is actively involved in the USFWS Golden-cheeked Warbler surveys and assists the banding programs. John puts many hours into the Balcones Songbird Festival, the Balcones Christmas Bird Count and SparrowFest . John is retired from AT&T where he was a Lab Manager. All the years at his desk, he dreamed of the great outdoors and visited it to hunt, hike or play whenever he had the chance. Recently, he and his wife, Cathy has become full-time RVer's and travel the country from Refuge to Refuge as volunteers.
    • Thursday, February 16, 2017
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Balcones Canyonlands NWR Headquarters
    • 11

    Winter Birding on the Refuge

    As the first few cool fronts of the year enter into Texas, birding is once again on the mind of many visitors to the Refuge. Many species of birds ride the northerly winds into Texas, where they will spend the winter months.

    Please register to join John Harrington in search of the latest arrivals and winter residents across various tracts of the Refuge. 

    Trips will be every Thursday From November thru February. Session dates will be posted monthly.

    All trips will be by van, departing from the Refuge Headquarters. Destinations will vary with each session.

    Arrive by 7:45 am at Balcones Canyonlands NWR Headquarters, 24518 E FM 1431, 5 miles west of Lago Vista (from light at FM 1431 and Lohman's Ford Rd).

    Prepare for any weather. Bring binoculars, hat, water, snacks, sunscreen, and bird field guide. Wear long pants, socks, and closed-toe shoes.

    Restroom availability is limited. Loaner binoculars and field guides are available (please arrive 15 minutes early to borrow).

    JOHN HARRINGTON

    John has been an active volunteer and member of the Friends of Balcones Canyonlands since 2002. His love of the outdoors naturally blossomed to an obsession for birding. He is also a member of the Travis Audubon Society and the American Birding Association. John leads field trips at the Refuge for TAS and FOB frequently and is actively involved in the USFWS Golden-cheeked Warbler surveys and assists the banding programs. John puts many hours into the Balcones Songbird Festival, the Balcones Christmas Bird Count and SparrowFest . John is retired from AT&T where he was a Lab Manager. All the years at his desk, he dreamed of the great outdoors and visited it to hunt, hike or play whenever he had the chance. Recently, he and his wife, Cathy has become full-time RVer's and travel the country from Refuge to Refuge as volunteers.
    • Thursday, February 23, 2017
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Balcones Canyonlands NWR Headquarters
    • 12

    Winter Birding on the Refuge

    As the first few cool fronts of the year enter into Texas, birding is once again on the mind of many visitors to the Refuge. Many species of birds ride the northerly winds into Texas, where they will spend the winter months.

    Please register to join John Harrington in search of the latest arrivals and winter residents across various tracts of the Refuge. 

    Trips will be every Thursday From November thru February. Session dates will be posted monthly.

    All trips will be by van, departing from the Refuge Headquarters. Destinations will vary with each session.

    Arrive by 7:45 am at Balcones Canyonlands NWR Headquarters, 24518 E FM 1431, 5 miles west of Lago Vista (from light at FM 1431 and Lohman's Ford Rd).

    Prepare for any weather. Bring binoculars, hat, water, snacks, sunscreen, and bird field guide. Wear long pants, socks, and closed-toe shoes.

    Restroom availability is limited. Loaner binoculars and field guides are available (please arrive 15 minutes early to borrow).

    JOHN HARRINGTON

    John has been an active volunteer and member of the Friends of Balcones Canyonlands since 2002. His love of the outdoors naturally blossomed to an obsession for birding. He is also a member of the Travis Audubon Society and the American Birding Association. John leads field trips at the Refuge for TAS and FOB frequently and is actively involved in the USFWS Golden-cheeked Warbler surveys and assists the banding programs. John puts many hours into the Balcones Songbird Festival, the Balcones Christmas Bird Count and SparrowFest . John is retired from AT&T where he was a Lab Manager. All the years at his desk, he dreamed of the great outdoors and visited it to hunt, hike or play whenever he had the chance. Recently, he and his wife, Cathy has become full-time RVer's and travel the country from Refuge to Refuge as volunteers.
    • Friday, April 21, 2017
    • Sunday, April 23, 2017
    • Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge


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