• Sunday, June 09, 2019 3:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Demolition of the Visitor Center is underway at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. The Claude F. Lard Visitor Center, built in 1980, took on extensive damage from Hurricane Harvey in August 2017. So farewell to an old friend, while looking forward to the replacement building.

  • Thursday, February 07, 2019 10:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Weather permitting, survey flights were started in the first week of February to get an overall estimate of the wintering whooping crane population.

    Follow this link for the latest update from Dr Wade Harrell, US Whooping Crane Recovery Coordinator (link to FWS website).

  • Tuesday, January 29, 2019 10:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    With the end to the government shutdown, the Aransas NWR has resumed full operations as of Monday, January 28, 2019.

    Thank you for your continuing support. (And let's hope the government stays open...)

  • Thursday, August 23, 2018 3:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Great news! The estimate for whooping cranes in the Aransas-Wood Buffalo population for the winter of 2017-18 is 505 birds. This estimate included at least 49 juveniles and 183 adult pairs. See the full report here.

  • Thursday, August 16, 2018 5:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The FAMI Nature Store is currently opening at weekends.  The store is now in a free-standing building close to the Visitor Contact Station. Come by and enjoy a visit to the Refuge, and stop in to see what there is in the Nature Store.

  • Friday, June 16, 2017 9:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    There's exciting news from Wood Buffalo, via Friends of the Wild Whoopers. See their website for nesting information.

  • Tuesday, March 07, 2017 11:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Members are invited to join us Saturday, March 25, for our Spring Member Event: a trip to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge Myrtle Foester Whitmire Unit. Refuge staff will give us a behind the scenes tour of the unit.

     Closed to the public, the Whitmire Unit is an important resting area for migratory waterfowl and other birds. It's quite an interesting unit. Unlike the other units, there is active management of water levels. There are also cattle on the unit, in a controlled grazing project.

     The plan is to meet at the La Salle Monument in Indianola (see Google Map) at 8:30 a.m. and travel to the unit in refuge vehicles. You'll need to wear long pants and boots or closed toe walking shoes. Be sure to bring water, snacks, and insect repellent. You'll probably want to also bring binoculars and/or a camera. If you have a spotting scope, you might want to bring that also.

     The tour will include both driving and walking. We expect it to end by 1:30.

     For those that want to spend more time in the area, there's food available nearby. There is a historic cemetery at Indianola that can be good for birding during migration, and Texas Ornithological Society has a bird sanctuary at Magic Ridge, between Indianola & Magnolia Beach. With all the warm weather, early migrants may be coming through.

    This is a members only event, so members won't be able to bring guests unless they join FAMI. New members will be eligible to reserve a space upon receipt of membership dues.  Our group will be limited to 15 people, so please be sure to RSVP at You should get a confirmation within 24 hours. If your membership is anything other than individual, you should specify how many will be attending. Feel free to email the same address if you have any questions. 


    Current members should have received an email invitation. If you are a current member and did not receive an email, please contact


  • Saturday, January 28, 2017 9:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We held our annual Membership Meeting January 21, and had very good turnout. We had a different format this year, with members arriving for fruit and baked goods before the business meeting. The minutes from 2016 were approved, as was the financial report from the fiscal year ending 9/30/2016. We elected Ellen Reisinger as Secretary. We also elected 4 new board members at large: Butch Andreozzi, Ryan Ford, Mollie Huber, and Raymond Starr. You can read about all the board members on our Meet the Board page. At the end of the meeting, our new logo was unveiled.


    Following the business meeting, we drew for door prizes. Vera Wiatt and Judy Pair each won trips for 2 on the Skimmer, donated by Captain Tommy Moore of Rockport Birding & Kayak Adventures. Several lucky members won various items featuring photographs by our new board member Butch Andreozzi. Butch has shared photos to our Facebook page, which you can view here. By the way, you do not have to signup for Facebook to view our page.


    After the meeting, we opened the program up to the public. Our featured speaker was Carrie Salyers with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. She gave us a fascinating presentation about the history of Whooping Cranes in Louisiana, and the current program to reestablish a flock there.


    Following the program, members were offered a tour with refuge staff to some of the non-public areas of the refuge. One of the treats they had was a very good view of an Aplamado Falcon!




    Our new logo




  • Sunday, November 13, 2016 10:05 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We have a wide variety of volunteer opportunities just now. There are even some jobs that you can do from home, no matter where you live! Please take a look at our Volunteer Opportunities page and contact us if you can help.

    If you have a specific interest or talent, and you don't see anything listed that's a good fit, please contact us. We'll work something out!

  • Saturday, November 05, 2016 4:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Photo by Laura Bonneau, USFWS 


     On Saturday, November 19, members will have an opportunity to visit the Lamar Unit of Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. This unit is located on the Lamar peninsula, north of Rockport, and is closed to the public. It is home to Whooping Cranes and numerous other birds. Laura Bonneau, Refuge Visitor Services Manager, will be along to tell us about the unit. *


    This is a field trip limited to Friends members only. If you are a current member and did not receive your invitation, please contact the treasurer. If you are not currently a member, and would like to join you can do so here.


    If you have any questions about the field trip. you can email us for more information.


    This is a wonderful opportunity to explore a part of Aransas National Wildlife Refuge that many people do not get to see. 


    *Since the Lamar Unit is not managed for public access, a different trip may have to be substituted due to weather and/or road conditions. 


    Aerial photo by Wade Harrell, USFWS 

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