San Marcos: Bird City

todayJune 11, 2023 72 1 2

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By Victoria Garcia

Blog Content Contributor

Bird Day Festival attendees standing by tables.
Bird Day Festival attendees checking out the information booths | Victoria Garcia

SAN MARCOS, Texas– As a two-year resident of San Marcos I often forget how much of a hot spot San Marcos is, especially during the summer season. Not only is it a hot spot for students on vacation, but also migrating birds! Both people and birds are drawn to the San Marcos River and it’s important to protect this life force. That is why on June 10 the San Marcos Parks & Rec held their second annual Migratory Bird Day Festival at the San Marcos Discovery Center.

The theme of this year’s festival is “Water: Sustaining Bird Life.” The goal of the festival is to introduce people to migratory birds and how the birds use the San Marcos area. I spoke to Niki Lake, a Discovery Center specialist, about what this festival means to the city of San Marcos. Lake said San Marcos is a major flyway for birds as they stop for food and water. San Marcos is applying to be a bird city and the festival is a requirement to become a bird city. Bird cities are cities that are dedicated to bird conservation. San Marcos Parks & Rec hopes to become a bird city by 2024, according to Lake.

Lake said the community can get involved by attending Migratory Bird Day Festival and just checking out the Discovery Center. There are monthly bird walks that take place on the first Saturday of every month. This can be found on the community calendar on the Visit San Marcos page.

It is important to also get involved with local politics to keep these habitats, according to Lake. People can get involved by planting native plants in their backyards to attract native insects which will provide food for the migratory birds. Gotta love the food chain!

I was able to attend the Migratory Bird Day Festival on June 10 and the turnout looked great. I saw many families, children and Texas State University students. There was live music, bird walks and even bird yoga, as well as games, such as a bird toss, where players tossed bird plushies into different nests on a tree. Don’t worry, no birds were harmed throughout the game.

There were crafts for children and free plants. I saw tables showcasing different bird feathers, bone replicas and other tables with educational facts on types of birds. There was even a human-sized nest to take pictures in. The activity that I found most interesting was following the path migratory birds go through and seeing their struggles. In this activity, the player has to survive power lines, predators and polluted marshes.

This was my first time at the San Marcos Discovery Center and my first Migratory Bird Day Festival. I wasn’t expecting to see any actual birds, but I was able to spot a hummingbird. These birds are very hard to photograph on an iPhone due to how fast they move. I was unsuccessful in photographing the hummingbird, but it was a great way to end the festival!

Written by: kadencemakenna

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