This is Passport to Texas
Twenty years ago, Bill Baker and two teammates began a journey of discovery during the very first Great Texas Birding Classic.
It was like the greatest scavenger hunt of all time—for birds! Being with your friends. Driving at a frantic pace. Covering habitat. Looking for different species. And learning. Our learning curve was so great.
As total rookies, their performance was uncompetitive, at best, but since they had fun, they’ve returned year after year. Members of the current team, called the NRG Eco Eagles, bring with them specific skillsets.
I can hear very well, even at my age. Tom—his vision is incredible. And Andy, the third member of our team now, has been a hunter most of his life. And he catches movement. He is really, really good at finding things. He can see movement, and has a skillset that really helps us as well. It is truly a team event in our case.
During the classic, teams try to identify the most birds they can. The NRG Eco Eagles participates in the week-long tournament, which puts them on the road.
That’s what makes it so much fun for us. And it’s very grueling. I’ll give you an example—on day one—we end up driving about 750 miles. And we walk about 8 and a half to nine miles that first day.
They sleep four hours and repeat…for an entire week. More with Bill Baker tomorrow. The Great Texas Birding Classic gets underway April 15. Keep up with the action at birdingclassic.org.
For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.