Monday, December 2, 2013

Breakfast with wintering Texans

The holidays aren’t just about Santa on Galveston Island. On this Texan barrier island south of Houston, the holidays have gone to the birds. Every year Galveston offers a “Breakfast with the Sandhill Cranes” to observe the tall birds in their natural habitat. This year, the event happens from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14 and 15, 2013, at Moody Gardens Golf Course.

Credit: Barbara Rabek
First, there’s a breakfast and presentation about sandhill crane behavior, then a tour of the island’s West End where the birds hang out. Keanna Leonard, education director at the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary in Nebraska, will present a mini-workshop titled “The Private Lives of Sandhill Cranes,” designed for beginners and experienced birders alike.

“They (the island’s cranes) are absolutely stunning, standing 3 1/2-feet  to 4-feet tall with a little red cap,” said Julie Ann Brown, executive director of the Galveston Island Nature TourismCouncil.

Sounds like they’re in the holiday spirit for sure.

And there’s more to this avian event, Brown added.

“After breakfast and the presentation, all participants will be invited to go on a ‘crane crawl’ to visit previously scouted crane ‘hotspots’ on the island’s West End,” she said. “We’ll have experienced birders with spotting scopes at each site on hand to answer questions. Participants can meander in any order and at their own pace to view the ‘wintering Texans.’ It’s a great way to kick off the holiday season!”

Upcoming events include the Sea Turtle Saturday and Sea Turtle Saturday for Kids on Feb. 8, 2014, and FeatherFest 2014, an all-inclusive bird event April 10-13, 2014. For more information on any of these events, visit


  1. The gorgeous photo of the Sandhill Cranes was taken by GINTC Board Member Barbara Rabek.

  2. Thanks for the mention. Received the photo from GINTC but didn't know the photographer. I'll add it to the photo.