Commission Agenda Item No. 10
Presenter: Shelly Plante

Great Texas Birding Classic Re-launch
March 28, 2013

I. Executive Summary: The Great Texas Birding Classic 2013 marks the 17th year of this bird watching event. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) began the event in 1997 as a way to promote bird watching along the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail and raise money for avian habitat conservation grants. The Birding Classic has donated $789,500 in grants through team registration fees and corporate and community sponsorship dollars.

In 2013, TPWD is expanding the Birding Classic from a coastal event to a statewide tournament reaching more birders while continuing to fund conservation grants for nature tourism, birding enhancement, and habitat restoration and improvement projects throughout the state based on the Texas Wildlife Action Plan goals and priorities.

Other changes include extending the length of the event from specific tournament days within a week in April to a more flexible month-long format from April 15 – May 15 which will allow teams to choose which day they would like to participate. This year’s Birding Classic also debuts many new tournament categories including a statewide format for some tournaments, a State Park Tournament, a Sunrise to Noon Tournament, and nine regional tournaments throughout the state for each age group (13 and under youth, 14-18 year-olds, and adults).

The re-envisioned Birding Classic officially launched in January 2013 with a new event website ( that has been promoted through email marketing, e-newsletters, Facebook posts, a press release, a video news release, and a new promotional video. Regional Award events sponsored by Audubon Texas will be held at the end of May at locations around the state.