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Greg Whittaker

WhittakerGreg grew up on the family farm in upstate New York, inheriting a stewardship for nature and a lifelong appreciation for the wonders of water. Texas A&M University brought him to Galveston in 1985, which immediately became home. His professional animal care career began in 1988 at Sea Arama-Marineworld, and progressed through a stint at the Marine Biomedical Institute working with cephalopods, and finally taking on the animal care manager’s role for the first time as Moody Gardens’ Rainforest supervisor in 1993. In 1999, he took the opportunity to serve as site manager for marine mammal operations in Taiji, Japan and Beijing, China. In 2001, he assisted in the establishment of an open water marine mammal and small aquarium facility in Subic Bay, Philippines. He returned to Texas and re-established roots in the Galveston area as a new dad, and Moody Gardens Animal Husbandry Manager.

Since 2003, Greg has partnered with GINTC in presenting monthly birding 101 and birding 201 classes as a way to attract novice birders into the flock, and proudly boasts several hundred fledglings through that program. Greg has served as liaison to the Galveston County Audubon Group since they lost their previous meeting site during Hurricane Ike, and now serves as the group’s chair.

Upcoming Events

April 2018
Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 6:30 am - 3:00 pm

Bird Galveston Island with one of the world's most famous birders! In 1998, Greg zig-zagged 130,000 miles across the USA hoping to reach at least 700 species of birds in one calendar year. His effort was chronicled in Mark Obmascik's novel, The Big Year, which later became a movie. You'll see the great diversity of the Island as Greg leads you to all of the birding hot spots - East Beach, Corps Woods, Laffites Cove, Sportsman Road, San Luis Pass…

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Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 6:30 am - 3:30 pm

Boy Scout Woods, Smith Oaks, The Rookery, and more! The accident of geology makes the Upper Texas Coast a beacon to weary neotropical migrants finishing a 10+ hour, nonstop flight across the Gulf of Mexico. From under an ancient sea, a salt dome emerged. After a few thousand years the dome reached just 38-feet above a pancake-flat coastal plain where it became covered with 20-30-foot oak trees, creating a vast canopy. This created High Island, which is now a beacon…

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Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 7:45 am - 12:45 pm

Galveston is a Gulf coastal island renowned for its many habitats. On the Gulf beaches, you’ll scan out on the swells and incoming surf for rafts of waterfowl and seabirds. Walking along the beach the edge of the surf is active with the antics of the island’s year-round and migrating peeps, Reddish and Great blue herons and shorebirds foraging on “what the tide brung-in.” Away from the water among the dunes of San Luis Pass, East Beach and GISP Savannah and Horned lark flit about. Beyond the dunes are briny ponds holding roosting seabirds, Nelson’s and Seaside sparrow, rails, coots and water birds. In the Bay and tidal marshes migrating and nesting herons, egrets and cormorant in their breeding best, forage. The avian fauna is always in flux with the advance and retreat of the tide moving the food chain in and out. Among the tidally influenced habits and the open coastal prairies and oak mottes migrating songbirds need to refuel and find fresh water.

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