Volunteers gather to count birds at Clive Runnells Family Mad Island Marsh Preserve.
Mad Island Bird Counters Volunteers gather to count birds at Clive Runnells Family Mad Island Marsh Preserve. © Jacquie Ferrato/TNC

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Feathered Fridays


March 13, 2020

Friends and supporters:

We've been listening to and researching guidance from the Center for Disease Control and public health experts and are taking extra precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Until further notice, TNC preserves in Texas are now closed to the public. We’ll be updating all of our digital channels in real time with current schedules and information. The health and safety of our members and supporters is our highest priority—thank you for understanding!

The early bird catches the worm during The Nature Conservancy’s Feathered Friday events, held from 8:00 a.m. – noon on the third Friday of every month! The monthly birding tours provide a unique opportunity to explore Clive Runnells Family Mad Island Marsh Preserve and a chance to catch a glimpse of some of the nearly 250 species of birds that use the preserve to nest, feed, rest and roost—including the endangered whooping crane, which winters on the Texas coast.

The expansive coastal wetlands that comprise our 7,000+-acre preserve provide a prime location for migratory songbirds to rest and refuel after crossing the Gulf, a trip that can take anywhere between 18 and 24 hours to complete. In addition, they sustain a variety of shorebirds and wading birds and provide vital wintering habitat for waterfowl, including 16 species of duck and four species of geese. Other potential wildlife sightings include alligators, bobcats, armadillos, rattlesnakes, white-tailed deer and coyotes.

Feathered Fridays are always free and open to the public, but visitors must RSVP to Preserve Manager Steven Goertz at sgoertz@tnc.org.  

2020 Feathered Fridays:

  • August 21
  • September 18
  • October 16
  • November 20
  • December 18