The results are in from the 21st annual Great Texas Birding Classic sponsored by Texas Parks & Wildlife Dept which was held April 15 – May 15, 2017. The awards ceremony was held on Saturday, June 3rd in San Antonio.
Mrs. McLeod is proud hat one of our 5th grade teams took 1st place in our region and 1st place in the state out of over 20 youth teams competing in the elementary and secondary levels (Roughwings and Gliders divisions). They tallied up 111 species of birds on competition day. Woo hoo!!! One of our 4th grade teams took 2nd place in the region and 2nd place in the state by sighting 103 species while our other 4th grade team took 3rd in the region and 3rd in the state with 100 species of birds seen and identified. Our second 5th grade team took 4th in the region and 4th in the state with 98 species of birds. Amazing work!!!! We are so proud of all of them!
All 4 of our FLC youth teams beat out secondary teams comprised of high school and middle school students. Wow wow wow! We are impressed by all of our FLC birding students! See the full results at: http://tpwd.texas.gov/events/great-texas-birding-classic?utm_campaign=govdelivery-email&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery
In addition to the 4 youth teams, ACISD also had 4 RF Middle School students competing in the “Human Powered” division of the Classic. We are excited to let you know they placed 3rd in this division statewide in addition to having Mrs. McLeod on the team with them. It was their first time competing in this category and it was a lot of fun.
Bron Rorex, Steve Reisinger, and Martha McLeod all competed in a division called the “Sunrise until Noon” category and we are excited to let you know they took 3rd place in this division with 115 species of birds. Woo hoo for the Rockport-Fulton area!
The Birding Classic has been called the world's biggest, longest and wildest birdwatching tournament and it is now held statewide! A total of 129 teams competed this year in various categories of the Birding Classic with over 730 participants.
Throughout the years, the Birding Classic has donated over $880,000 in conservation funding to nature tourism and avian habitat restoration, enhancement, and acquisition projects throughout the state!
The number of grants awarded (and their amounts) are determined based on team registration fees (independent and sponsored) and corporate sponsorship dollars collected each year. The Birding Classic is a cost-recovery event, so once minimal event costs are covered all remaining funds go to conservation grants in Texas.
Fulton 4-5 Learning Center entered 4 youth teams this year in the Roughwings category and was provided mentorship by Steve Reisinger, Bron Rorex, and Martha McLeod. Approximately 500 species of birds can be found migrating through Texas or as resident species so working with students to teach them to identify birds is quite a challenge. We practiced with the students every Wednesday morning before school and once a month on weekend field trips.
The Texas Ornithological Society and the Aransas Bird & Nature Club paid sponsorship fees for the 4 teams in the Birding Classic.
Student field guides and binoculars were donated by the Aransas Bird & Nature Club. Thank you all for your support! We truly appreciate all of you!
Finishing 1st in our Region and 1st in the state for their division was our 5th grade team named “ABNC Ferocious Falcons”. They are shown left to right in the attached photo – Brody Karl, Carter Nguyen Engel, Laila Flowers, and Beau Blankenship. This team logged down 111 species of birds and was sponsored by the Aransas Bird & Nature Club.
Finishing 2nd in our Region and 2nd in the state was one of our 4th grade teams named the “TOS 3 Terrific Teal and 1 Odd Wigeon”. They are shown left to right in the attached photo - Hudson King, Cannon Chapman, Kade Alston, and Talon Kenfield. This team was excited to find and correctly identify 103 species and was sponsored by the Texas Ornithological Society.
Finishing 3rd in our Region and 3rd in the state was another one of our 4th grade teams named the “ABNC 4 Ospreyteers”. They are shown left to right in their official competition day photo – Keaton Solis, Kaleb Conner, Evan Birdwell and kneeling in front Allison Cochran. This team found and identified 100 species of birds and was also sponsored by the Aransas Bird & Nature Club.
Finishing 4th in our Region and 4th in the state was another one of our 5th grade teams named the “TOS Outstanding Owltlaws”. They are shown left to right in their official competition day photo – Hayden Hoover, Camryn Cruzan, Michael Jones, and Emma Groseclose. This team found and identified 98 species of birds and was also sponsored by the Texas Ornithological Society.
For our RF Middle School team competing in the “Human Powered” division of the tournament, they placed 3rd statewide and were named the “Whistlers on Wheels”. They are shown left to right: Sam Holden, Kyleigh Karl, McLeod, Shelby Hudson, Kate Hill.
In addition, all 3 of the team mentors (Bron Rorex, Steve Reisinger, and Martha McLeod) were named as some of the “Most Valuable Birders” in the Classic because of the work they do with so many youth teams. It is a great honor to all 3 of them to be selected as MVBs.
A HUGE thank you to all of the ACISD administration & staff, parents, and community members who support this project and help Mrs. McLeod to continue it. The teams got a field guide created this year in conjunction with the Wings Rescue Center and they got a rough draft of an “infomercial” made to show the public how to help birds out. Our birding program was a finalist in the TCEQ environmental awards this year too. All of this was made possible from the team work and support everyone gives to Mrs. McLeod.
Video explaining how the Classic works: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U42CSWznE7k
To increase appreciation, understanding, and conservation of birds through education, recreation, nature tourism, and conservation fundraising.