Birders flock to South Padre Island Convention Centre

Local News

A summer tanager one of the many bird species the fallout brought. (Sal Castro- KVEO Photojournalist)

South Padre Island, Texas (KVEO) — Migrating birds were left stranded after a cold front passed through the weekend leaving them exhausted.

Oranges are placed for the birds to eat as they rest (Sal Castro KVEO-photojournalist)

This lead to the rare ‘fallout’ phenomenon a sought-after event for birders. Hundreds of birders came across the country to witness this moment at South Padre Island, the first since 2015.

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Volunteers welcomed the influx of visitors that brought donations for the center.

Anne Mayville volunteers across Texas birding centers (Sal Castro KVEO-photojournalists)

Anne Mayville, a member of Texas Master Naturalist said that events like this are important.

“It helps to keep it going,” said Mayville.

Mayville, a New York native, visits SPI every winter to volunteer.

The area is self-managed by volunteers and any help is crucial.

Volunteer Peggy Rudman, said the event helps bring attention to the area.

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Peggy Rudman is one many volunteers maintaining the area. (Sal Castro – KVEO Photojournalist)

“We’re doing good as far as people bringing me oranges,” said Rudman.

The event saw many birders make the journey to the South Padre Island Convention Centre a place Rudman calls one of the best.

Juan Lopez came from Colorado to see the event. During the natural phenomena, Lopez photographed for 11 to 12 hours every day.

Juan Lopez photographs birds at the Convention Centre (Sal Castro- KVEO photojournalist)

“Most of the species I’ve seen here I’ve never seen in Colorado,” said Lopez. He plans to do more traveling across Texas after the “fallout.”

Like Lopez, many birders stay on the island for extended periods for the birds.

“I even talked to one guy he flew down from Juno, Alaska and he’s renting a house on the island for a month for the birds,” said Mayville.

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Even though the “fallout” only lasted a week, many will continue to stay on the Island after. Most of them will return for the next spring migration.

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