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Birding Classic Winners Award Conservation Prizes
AUSTIN, Texas — A total of $51,000 in 2004 Great Texas Birding Classic prize money has been awarded to seven bird habitat conservation projects on the Texas coast. As in the past, winning teams got the honor of deciding how prize dollars will be spent, choosing from a menu of possible projects. Funds will help acquire, restore or enhance wetlands and other critical habitat to provide islands of green for neotropical migrant songbirds and other wildlife.
The world’s longest birding competition took place from April 17-25 along the entire Texas coast. Prize money for conservation work is donated by corporate sponsors such as Reliant Energy, ConocoPhillips, Swarovski, Eagle Optics, Leica, and Bushnell.
Since the Birding Classic started eight years ago, the event has funneled $402,000 to conservation projects on the Texas coast. This benefits other states and nations, because the Texas coast is critical migratory stopover habitat for birds that migrate between North, Central and South America.
- $20,000 will be donated to the Packery Channel Sanctuary Acquisition project, submitted by Audubon Outdoor Club of Corpus Christi, Inc. The ConocoPhillips Cranes sponsored by ConocoPhillips (Tom Collins, Sherry Collins, Tony Frank and Richard Peake) and The Swift WildBirders sponsored by WildBird Magazine and Swift Instruments (Michael Retter, Matt Hafner, Pete Hosner and Michael Anderson), selected this project.
- $12,000 will be donated to the Dickinson Bay Bird Island Restoration project, submitted by the Galveston Bay Foundation. The Environmental Partners sponsored by Reliant Energy (Bill Baker, Breck Sacra and Tom Roberts) selected this project.
- $9,000 will be donated to the Quintana Island Habitat Enhancement project, submitted by the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory. The Butcherbirds sponsored by Birder’s World Magazine and Bushnell Performance Optics (David Womer, David Dendler and Don Freiday) selected this project.
- $3,000 Lower Coast Prize will be donated to the Photogenic Water Features enhancement project submitted by Estero Llano Grande State Park and the World Birding Center. The Swarovski Optik/World Birding Center Roadside Hawks sponsored by Swarovski Optik and the World Birding Center (Clay Taylor, Father Tom Pincelli, John Arvin and Sean Smith) selected this project.
- $3,000 Central Coast Prize will be donated to the Blucher Audubon Center Migrant Songbird Habitat Restoration and Enhancement project submitted by Audubon Texas (in partnership with Coastal Bend Audubon Society). Team Audubon sponsored by ConocoPhillips (Steve Gast, Jeff Mundy and Greg Butcher) selected this project.
- $3,000 Upper Coast Prize will be donated to the Texas Point NWR Woodlot Restoration project submitted by Texas Point National Wildlife Refuge. The Loonatics, an independent team, (Cin-Ty Lee, Tim Perkins, John O’Brien and Nicholas Block) selected this project.
- $1,000 Lone Star Bird Award (Big Sit! Tournament) will be donated to the South Padre Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary restoration project submitted by the Valley Land Fund. The Swarovski Sitting Hawks sponsored by Swarovski Optik (Clay Taylor, Joel Simon, Vicki Simon, Scarlet Colley, George Colley and Roy Halpin), whose circle location was on South Padre Island, selected this project.
The complete list of winners in all categories is on the TPWD Web site (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/gtbc/).
Next year, the Great Texas Birding Classic will take place April 16-25.
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