Galveston FeatherFest, the island’s annual birding and nature photography festival, will celebrate its 10th anniversary April 12 – 15. Festival founders will be recognized at an anniversary event, Rainforest Rendezvous, on April 14 at 6 p.m. at the Moody Gardens Rainforest Pyramid. The Mitchell family and staff of Mitchell Historic Properties created this annual birding festival ten years ago and funded it for the first two years.
 
Honorees include Renee Adame, Galveston Park Board of Trustees and director of marketing and special projects for Mitchell Historic Properties, Kevin Karlson, Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund, Peaches and Shrub Kempner, Sheridan Mitchell Lorenz, George Mitchell, Mitchell Historic Properties, Gordon Nunn and Lyda Ann Thomas.
 
Special recognition will also be given to Peggy Boston, Kathy Adams Clark, Steven Creitz (Mitchell Historic Properties), Ted Eubanks, Susan Fennewald, Shirley Foster, Mary Hannigan, Julie Harmon, Mary Jean Hayden, Pat Jakobi, Susan Knock, Mary Jo Nashke, Alice Anne O'Donell, Sammy Ray, Sid Steffens, Jim Stevenson and Mort Voller.
 
The event is open to the public and includes a buffet reception in the Garden Lobby, followed by a spectacular, big screen photography show by Kevin Karlson, nationally-recognized author, professional birder & wildlife photographer. The evening continues with exploration of the Moody Gardens Rainforest Pyramid, with more than 1,000 species of exotic plants and animals from the rainforests of Africa, Asia and the Americas.
 
Anniversary event tickets are $40 and can be purchased online until April 8 at this link: https://2012galvestonfeatherfest.theregistrationsystem.com/en/1096.
 
FeatherFest 2012 offers more than 100 unique outdoor adventures amid 200 species of birds for nature enthusiasts of all skill levels. Events scheduled in downtown Galveston include photography workshops at The Tremont House and birding workshops and field trips based out of Old Galveston Square (one block from The Tremont House). 
 
Houston Camera Exchange, official sponsor of the FeatherFest photography track, will have its latest cameras, lens and accessories at Birders’ Bazaar, the free public trade show open throughout the festival.  Representatives from Canon, Nikon, Sony and other manufacturers will be on hand to demonstrate their products. The trade show and festival headquarters will be located in Old Galveston Square, 2215 The Strand in downtown Galveston.  
Roughly half of all North American bird species – more than 300 – may be seen throughout the year in Galveston, thanks to the rich variety of natural habitats within its 32 miles. The island’s beaches, wetlands, grasslands, woods, ponds and bays are home to many common year-round bird species, as well as numerous others that visit briefly or for part of the year.  
 
FeatherFest is a project of the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council, which supports nature tourism and education, and promotes the value of area natural habitats. Register for the festival today at  www.GalvestonFeatherFest.com or call 832-459-5533 for more information.