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New pre- and post-conference opportunities in McAllen

Generate story material, make more money! Check out the latest additions to pre- and post-conference offerings at the 2014 OWAA conference in McAllen, Texas.

For more details and complete trip listings:

Register Today!

Field Trip: See the Environmental Impacts of Border Walls

9 a.m. Thursday, May 22

Border Wall

Photo courtesy of Scott Nicol.

Border walls slice through hundreds of miles of protected lands and important wildlife habitat from the Pacific coast to the Gulf of Mexico. We will visit a section that stands less than ten miles south of the OWAA’s 2014 conference location, and separates the Old Hidalgo Pumphouse World Birding Center from the adjacent Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge.

The Sierra Club will provide a passenger van, and attendees with their own vehicles may also follow along. Participants will walk two to three miles and should wear comfortable shoes and bring water, hats and sunscreen. We will return to the Convention Center by noon. The only cost to participants will be the entry fee ($4) at the Old Hidalgo Pumphouse World Birding Center.

To sign up: Email with “OWAA border wall field trip” in the subject line.

Field Trip: Rios of Mercedes Boot Company- Factory Tour

11 a.m., Thursday May 22

It’s the little things that make a pair of Rios of Mercedes boots unique. We invite you to stop by and see for yourself how it’s done. It is truly amazing to see the skill and natural ability that our craftsmen put into each pair. Old Singer sewing machines hum rhythmic tunes as each top pattern is stitched much as it was more than a century ago. The sound of hammers keep time as the leathers are lasted and the soles of the boots are pegged. A faint carving sound can be heard as each leather toe box is sculpted and sanded by hand. These random sounds of percussion may seem like noise to some but to us they are a symphony of tradition that started in 1853.

Located in Mercedes, a 30-minute drive from McAllen. Transportation available upon request.

To sign up: If you are interested in reserving your spot for a factory tour please email Must sign up by May 19.

Post-conference lodging on South Padre Island

Pearl South Padre $109/night

Photo courtesy of the Pearl South Padre.

Photo courtesy of the Pearl South Padre.

Nestled on the island’s southern tip, the Pearl South Padre is a premier oceanfront resort for families and couples who want to experience tranquil views and soft sand beaches in South Texas. Warm rays of sunshine and tropical breezes await your arrival. From the moment you drive down the palm tree lined brick road and discover our lush landscaping and pristine beaches, you’ll know why the Pearl South Padre is South Texas’ “Best on the Beach” resort destination.

For reservations call 855-887-3275 and mention OWAA. Rate available May 26-28.

South Texas hotel discounts for birders

Several hotels in the McAllen area, including the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Weslaco, Texas, offer discounted rates to folks in town for bird watching. Be sure to ask about “birder rates” when booking your pre- or post-conference hotel!

Register Today!
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