Celebration of Flight

September 23-25, 2016

The 18th annual Celebration of Flight migration festival at the Corpus Christi HawkWatch will take place September 23-25, 2016.  This is a family-friendly event with free activities in the park thanks to the support of Swarovski Optik.  Be sure and visit our vendor tent while you are there. Volunteers will be on hand to show and identify hawks for visitors. But mostly come and experience the true stars, migrating raptors, in a celebration of flight.  Thanks also to Audubon Outdoor Club of Corpus Christi, John Gilmore Attorney at Law, Corpus Christi Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Nueces County.

Hawk migration is a true spectacle of the natural world and the Corpus Chrisit HawkWatch is the largest and most diverse in the country.  An average of nearly 700,000 raptors is counted each fall.  Although the hawk watch runs from August 1 to November 15, the three days of the “Celebration” are set during the peak of hawk migration.  The “peak” is an eight-day period from Sept. 23 to 30 where single days of over one hundred thousand raptors have occurred most years.  Click here to download the event flier.

Festival schedule

Friday, September 23

  • 11 am Raptor education program by Neil Paprocki
  • 2:30 pm Live raptor program by Sky Kings Falconry

Saturday, September 24

  • 10 am Live raptor program by Sky Kings Falconry
  • 11 am Raptor education program by Neil Paprocki
  • 2:30 pm Live raptor program by Sky Kings Falconry

Sunday, September 25

  • 11 am Raptor education program by Neil Paprocki
  • 1 pm Native American Blessing Ceremony

Live Raptor Programs-“Wildlife Revealed”
Sky Kings Falconry was founded by Kevin Gaines in 2009 in order to answer a growing public interest in raptors. Kevin uses ancient techniques of falconry combined with modern methods to offer highly entertaining and educational programs.

Neil Paprocki, MS, Conservation Biologist, HawkWatch International
Neil will be the guest presenter at this year’s festival, offering various programs throughout the weekend and available on the hawkwatch platform for one-on-one identification help and questions. Neil has a diverse, 10-year background in raptor research and conservation including work with California Condors, Gyrfalcons, Rough-legged Hawks, Golden Eagles, Short-eared Owls, and more.

Native American Blessing Ceremony
Join in this time honored blessing for our “Hazel” site by the elders. Area drum groups, singers and dancers will gather to honor the birds of prey and those who follow their paths.

Directions to Hazel Bazemore Park
The park is located in the northwest corner of Corpus Christi in the community of Calallen. Highways 37 and 77 intersect and run together for a short distance, the first exit south on Hwy 77, less than one half mile south of this intersection, is FM 624 (Northwest Blvd.). Go west on 624 for .7 mile and take a right on County Road 69 to the entrance of the park and just follow the signs to the site.