Every February, Port Aransas showcases its rare and famous winter neighbors, the Whooping Cranes. The festival is open to birders, photographers, families, and anyone who loves the outdoors and nature-related activities. The 20th Annual Whooping Crane Festival is February 25-28, 2016 in Port Aransas, Texas.

This year’s festival will feature keynote speaker Carter Smith, Executive Director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Twentieth anniversary special events include a luncheon presentation by Tom Stehn, retired U.S. Whooping Crane Coordinator; a photography exhibit and reception with photographer Zhongjie Zheng from China; a painting and wine tasting class; and a family birding field trip.

World renowned crane expert, Dr. George Archibald, will be one of the featured speakers, along with representatives from the different Whooping Crane populations across North America. Festival attendees will have the opportunity to take guided boat tours to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge to view the cranes on their wintering grounds. Additional festival events include birding and nature boat and bus tours, exhibits, a free nature-related trade show, and interactive workshops and seminars.

The festival, sponsored by Cheniere, Eagle Optics, HEB, Port Corpus Christi, Swarovski Optik, and many local partners, is proud to be a nature-related and educational festival which stands out as “one of a kind”; focusing on conservation and recovery of one of our most endangered species.

For more information and online registration, visit: www.whoopingcranefestival.org. Many trips have already filled up due to the popularity of this event, and online registration closes at 5:00 p.m. CST on February 15.  Onsite registration will open on February 25 at 1:30 p.m. at the Port Aransas Civic Center and run daily through the festival.