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2012-04-30 15:03:17
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2012-01-02 04:59:02
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2011-09-27 08:30:20
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2011-07-12 08:35:41
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2011-06-06 04:46:21
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2011-05-04 03:09:04
Newsletter - Issue 52
2011-03-29 02:12:21
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2011-02-24 05:10:59
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2010-12-30 03:46:12
Newsletter - Issue 49
2010-11-09 13:17:46
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2010-09-08 11:59:00
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2010-07-29 07:59:35
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2010-07-08 03:58:03
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2010-06-17 00:33:29
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2010-06-15 02:33:21
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2010-06-06 06:38:33
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2010-05-27 00:29:12
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2010-05-12 14:28:06
Newsletter - Issue 40
2010-05-06 04:37:06
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BATV News | Catch up with all the adventures and birding news

Browse our archive of newsletters to find out where the BATV crew has been, TV schedules, news of upcoming shows and more!

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Issue: 49 11/1/2010
The RGV Festival!
Audubon Oil Spill report
TV schedule
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Happy Halloween to all our birding friends! Nikon's BATV is frantically busy filming for our 3rd new season. The all-new 3rd season premieres on VERSUS on January 1 2011 and will also be aired by Channel 354 DirecTV and by Untamed Sports.

James Currie will be the Keynote speaker at the Rio Grande Birding Festival from the 11th to the 14th November. The festival promises to be a spectacular gathering and there will be tons to keep birders and nature-lovers occupied. See below for more details.

News from our shop is that we are the official distributer of the original works of the incredibly talented bird artist, Cope. See below for further details of his work and buy the bird lover in your life an unforgettable gift for Christmas!

Three-wattled Bellbird by Cope

A new report on the BP oil spill has been released by the National Audubon Society. See below for more details.

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Stay tuned for another Birding Adventure!

Migrating Birds

The Rio Grande Birding Festival! 
The Rio Grande Birding Festival promises to be unforgettable this year. With amazing field trips, excellent seminars, kids programs and excellent birding, this is an event not to be missed. There will be a whole host of vendors and plenty of cool stuff to do.

Back in 1994, eco-tourism and nature festivals were a relatively new and burgeoning concept.  That year, the Harlingen Area Chamber of Commerce spearheaded the forming of a committee of enthused citizens, and the first Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival was scheduled for November 3-6, 1994.

The Festival was an immediate success with 750 participants from throughout the nation and abroad.  A winning formula combined field trips to birding hotspots throughout the Valley, seminars and keynote lectures by internationally renowned birding experts, an active trade show, and engaging educational programs for children.

The Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival, Inc. is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation organized under the Texas Non-Profit Corporation Act.  The Festival has no paid staff-is entirely volunteer-run-but does receive significant support from the Harlingen Convention and Visitors Bureau, as well as the City of Harlingen.

The Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival is recognized by the American Birding Association, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas Parks & Wildlife, and birding experts throughout the nation as a leader in the field of ecotourism.  The Festival has served as a model for events around the world.  It has been touted in national publications, including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Audubon, and Southern Living, as well as in specialty publications such as WildBird and Bird Watcher's Digest.

Now in its seventeenth year, the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival has had a sizeable economic impact on Harlingen and the Rio Grande Valley.  Studies show area monetary inputs of millions annually.  The effects of this economic powerhouse ripple out into crucial areas-conservation (critical in this fast-growing area), local awareness, youth involvement, and beyond.
Your participation becomes part of this valuable Big Picture.  Join us!

Red-crowned Parrot

To learn more about the festival please logon here
Residual oil and chemicals from BP's Deepwater Horizon disaster pose substantial ongoing risks to birds that breed or nest along hard-hit areas of the Louisiana coast, according to new National Audubon Society field surveys. Audubon science teams found plentiful birds that appeared both resilient and loyal to their normal habitats as the tragedy's six-month anniversary approached. But Audubon warns that the future of birds and the ecosystems they represent remains uncertain because oil and other threats are still too close for comfort.

"People shouldn't be fooled into thinking that the danger to birds and the environment is over just because the oil stopped flowing," said Audubon President & CEO David Yarnold.  "It's going to take years of monitoring just to understand and start dealing with the long-term impacts of the oil-and they're just part of a much bigger threat."

Continuing concerns about oil impacts stems from findings of Audubon science teams that conducted late September surveys on 23 sections of Important Bird Areas along the disaster's epicenter on the Louisiana coast. The teams found widespread evidence of surface oil, tar, tar balls and seepage coming from pockets inches under the sand at 9 out of 10 areas deemed hard-hit by oil. There were "tar mats" just below the waterline, supplying a seemingly endless stream of new tar balls to wash ashore. Observations also confirmed previous anecdotal reports of plentiful oil in the water column, pointing to the continued likelihood that it will wash onto beaches and into marsh areas for months to come.  All of the oil-related threats were in close proximity to areas alive with birds.

"Birds aren't wired to avoid threats from oil, and even if they look healthy now, we can't begin to predict all the health and reproductive effects that could show up later," said Audubon's Louisiana Bird Conservation Director and survey team member Melanie Driscoll.  "The fact that they're still plentiful doesn't mean they're safe."

The Audubon teams counted nearly 10,000 individual birds in surveys of 10 areas that had been heavily oiled and 13 other that received little or no contamination. They sighted birds representing the broad array of species expected in the region during the survey period, with no indication that oiled areas were being abandoned in favor of clean locations.

Teams reported numerous mature and juvenile Brown Pelicans across the survey areas.  The BP disaster hit just as pelicans began the 2010 breeding season.  In the weeks that followed, widely-seen images of oiled pelicans and nesting areas stoked fears of a failed reproductive season, dealing a major blow to the recovery of a species only recently removed from the Endangered Species List. The Audubon survey's documentation of juvenile Brown Pelicans in flight provides reassuring evidence that young birds did successfully fledge from contaminated and chaotic habitats.  But again, scientists warn, it offers no reassurance about their long-term prognosis.

Audubon Chief Scientist and survey leader Thomas Bancroft, Ph.D., says findings raise plenty of questions and reason for worry: "The science suggests there's cause for concern, but we simply can't know what direct contact with the oil will mean for long-term health and reproductive success of pelicans or terns or any other species. We can't begin to fathom what the long-term effects on the marine food chain will be.  This remains a giant, uncontrolled science experiment, with birds and all the communities that depend on the gulf as the unwitting subjects."

The Louisiana habitat survey is just the latest step in Audubon efforts to build the scientific foundation for understanding and mitigating long-term impacts of the disaster. More than 20 teams of Audubon-trained citizen scientists began gathering bird population data in (states) just weeks after disaster struck; the Audubon's new Coastal Bird Survey program uses protocols developed by in collaboration with Louisiana State University and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  

"It took this latest disaster to remind America of the sensitivity of this area and how vital it is for birds, for wildlife and for people-the Gulf Coast is an American treasure we must restore;" emphasized Audubon's Yarnold. "The risks remain, but we believe America is ready and able to make this region whole again. Together, we can do it."


Oiled beach
The devastating BP Oil spill up close
Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Our national network of community-based nature centers and chapters, scientific and educational programs, and advocacy on behalf of areas sustaining important bird populations, engage millions of people of all ages and backgrounds in conservation.

The full report can be downloaded here.


Cope is one of the world's most talented bird artists. He has lived his entire life in the rural Caribbean lowlands amidst the nature that inspires his art. He has never taken an art lesson in his life and is 100% self-taught. But he possesses an amazing gift for capturing the life, attitude and motion of a bird. Cope is gifted with astute powers of observation, reflected in his art's extreme detail and anatomical precision. Every feather is drawn with care. Cope paints in full color or in black and white using acrylic paint.

To order an original Cope piece or a print please email us at

Black PhoebeAntshrike

All BATV shows are now airing on DirecTV channel 354 on the R&R network. Additionally you can catch the shows on the Untamed Sports Network three times a week.

From January 2011, BATV will air twice a week on VERSUS. We open up all the Outdoor programming on VERSUS at 7.00 am EST and we have a re-air on Wednesday late morning EST.

For more information on days, times and networks, please visit to learn more!!

Black Harrier

 Happy Birding,
The Birding Adventures Team

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