Big Sit! an Easy, Fun Way to Participate in the Great Texas Birding Classic

Katy Schaffer, 512-389-8046,

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Month-long Statewide Birding Competition Starts Friday

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AUSTIN – The 20th annual Great Texas Birding Classic kicks off this Friday, April 15. If you missed signing up this year, you still have a chance to participate by joining a Big Sit! team at one of twenty-two birding sites near you.

Often called a “tailgate party for birders,” the Big Sit! is one of eleven different categories within the Birding Classic tournament. Teams participating in the Big Sit! watch and listen over a 24-hour period to identify bird species while remaining within a 17-foot diameter circle. All of the sites listed below are hosting Big Sit! teams and have invited the public to join them, giving them extra eyes and ears in the field looking for birds to list.

If you would like to join a team for a day – or even part of a day – and learn from local bird experts, visit one of the following state parks or nature centers to help their Big Sit! teams. Check the online birding calendar or contact the sites directly for more details. Tournaments run until May 15.

All registration fees and sponsorship dollars go toward conservation grants benefiting birding, nature tourism, and habitat restoration and enhancement projects throughout Texas. Some winning teams even help select which projects will be funded. Overall last year, the tournament raised $25,000 for conservation grants—a 40 percent increase from the previous year. Since its inception in 1997, the Great Texas Birding Classic has awarded conservation grants totaling $844,500

To find out more about the tournament and see all of the teams participating this year, visit

For information on this year’s 20th Anniversary, watch this video news report.

To see a video of the Big Sit! Tournament, click here.

The following sites are hosting Big Sit! teams open to the public:

  • April 16 — Matagorda Bay Nature Park Spoonbills, sponsored by Lower Colorado River Authority — Location: Matagorda Bay Nature Park’s Wetland Birding Pavilion, Matagorda
  • April 16 — Mercedes RedCrowns — Big Sit!, sponsored by Mercedes EDC — Location: Estero Llano Grande State Park, Mercedes
  • April 23 — Swarovski Optik Sitting Hawks, sponsored by Swarovski Optik N.A. — Location: Hazel Bazemore County Park, Corpus Christi
  • April 23 — South Padre Island Sandpipers, sponsored by South Padre Island CVB — Location: South Padre Island Convention Centre Boardwalk
  • April 26 — Big TERNout..., sponsored by Audubon TERN — Location: Galveston Island State Park
  • April 26 — Visit Beaumont, TX, sponsored by Visit Beaumont, TX CVB — Location: Cattail Marsh inside Tyrrell Park, Beaumont
  • April 27 — Birders at the Bend, sponsored by San Saba Bird & Nature Club — Location: Colorado Bend SP
  • April 30 — Island Peeps — Location: Goose Island State Park, near Rockport
  • April 30 — Quinta Mas-Sit-Lawn, sponsored by Eagle Optics — Location: Quinta Mazatlán World Birding Center, McAllen
  • April 30 — Uptown Funky Ducks — Location: Edinburg Scenic Wetlands and World Birding Center
  • April 30 — Brazosport GCBO Spring Flingers, sponsored by Brazosport Chamber of Commerce — Location: Quintana Neotropic Bird Sanctuary, near Lake Jackson
  • April 30 — Golden-cheeked Wanderers, sponsored by Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation — Location: Mother Neff State Park, Moody
  • May 1 — I-20 Wildlife Preserve, sponsored by I-20 Wildlife Preserve — Location: I-20 Wildlife Preserve, Midland
  • May 1 — Brazos Banditry, sponsored by Thomas Moore Feed — Location: Brison Park, College Station
  • May 1 — Hot Wings — Location: Resaca de la Palma State Park, Brownsville
  • May 7 — Onion Heads, sponsored by Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation — Location: McKinney Falls State Park, Austin
  • May 7 — Sitting Ducks — Location: Lake Colorado City State Park
  • May 7 — Off Their Nuthatches — Location: Tyler State Park
  • May 7 — Ridge Watchers — Location: Martin Dies, Jr State Park, Jasper
  • May 14 — Laredo Seedeater Seekers, sponsored by Laredo CVB — Location: Lake Casa Blanca State Park, Laredo
  • May 14 — Rootin’ Tootin’ Tanagers — Location: South Llano River State Park, near Junction
  • May 15 — The Bluebirds — Location: Blanco State Park