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When: July 9 – 16, 2011
Where: Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco, Texas
Who: Young Birders Ages 13–18
How Much: $895
Join us as we explore all that the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) of Texas has to offer. Known to birders internationally, the LRGV is home to some of the most sought after target species in the ABA area. While we hope to see many of these special species, our focus will be on learning about the Valley's various habitat types including Tamaulipan Thornscrub, Riparian Woodland, Sabal Palm Forest, Clay Loma/Wind Tidal Flats, Coastal Brushland Potholes, and Gulf beaches, and the incredible diversity they support, all while trying to stay cool! Home base is the air-conditioned bunkhouse at Estero Llano Grande State Park. We'll range upriver as far as Zapata all the way down to South Padre Island to learn about birds, bugs, nature photography, and tropical Texas from several of the Valley's expert birders and naturalists. Field trip and workshop locations include:
Birds we hope to see include: Black-bellied & Fulvous whistling-ducks, Muscovy Duck, Plain Chachalaca, Least Grebe, Wood Stork, Neotropic Cormorant, White-tailed & Hook-billed kites, Harris's, Gray & White-tailed hawks, Crested Caracara, Aplomado Falcon, Red-billed Pigeon, White-tipped Dove, Green Parakeet, Red-crowned Parrot, Groove-billed Ani, Common Pauraque, Ringed & Green Kingfishers, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Great Kiskadee, Tropical &Couch's kingbirds, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Yellow-green Vireo, Green Jay, Black-crested Titmouse, Verdin, Long-billed & Curve-billed thrashers, Tropical Parula, Olive & Botteri's sparrows, Hooded, Altamira & Audubon's orioles, and so on. We might even see a Great-tailed Grackle or two!!!
Young Birders and counselors will be staying in an air-conditioned bunkhouse with a full camp kitchen. Birding and butterflying on-site is quite amazing. There will be separate sleeping areas for boys and girls. In addition, there are patrolling park rangers and the site is just over 3 miles from a hospital, should medical attention be required.
Fees for the camp are $895. This cost includes a Saturday, July 9th pickup at McAllen Miller International Airport (MFE) and Saturday, July 16th return to the airport, transportation during the camp, lodging, snacks and all meals (a light breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner at camp daily, dinner on the 9th and breakfast on the 16th), adult birder instruction and supervision, all entrance fees and educational activities and programming. Rio Grande Valley International Airport in Harlingen (HRL), which is served by a different set of airlines than McAllen, is also a possibility. Please contact us before booking air tickets. To register or for further information, please call 1-800-850-2473 (x-240), 719-884-8240, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you there!
Camp Lower Rio Grande Valley Counselors:
Chip Clouse - ABA Education Director
Liz Deluna Gordon - ABA First Lady
Roy Rodriguez - Birding Guide and Educator
Guest Field Trip Leaders:
Tim Brush - Professor at Univ. of Texas Pan American
Mark Conway - Expert Birder and Bander
Mary Gustafson - Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept/Rio Grande Joint Venture Coordinator (USFWS)
Martin Hagne - Valley Nature Center Director
Dan Jones - Frontera Audubon Society
ABA Scholarships are available to help young birders attend any of the camps listed in the ABA Young Birder Camp Circuit, as well as workshops, training programs, conventions and other bird-related activities. ABA Scholarships are supported by donations from generous ABA members and other contributors. In 2011, one Richard E. Andrews Memorial Scholarship will be awarded. Anne Andrews will choose a student wishing to attend Camp Colorado or Camp LRGV with demonstrated financial need who shows through their application that they would benefit from the experience of attending a summer camp. Additional scholarship money to attend one of the ABA Young Birder Camps (CO or LRGV) is also available. ABA favors students who contribute to birds and birding in their communities and who show initiative in raising the balance of the camp fees themselves from their own activities. If you would like more information, go to our ABA Scholarships page. Please make sure that you fill out the Andrews Scholarship form for ABA's Camps and the general scholarship form to attend the partner camps or any outside events you plan to attend. Best of luck! Its time to get on those essays and fundraising!