A unique weekend birding retreat in the Texas Hill Country

February 22-24, 2019
High Hope Ranch - Glen Rose, TX

Birders migrate to High Hope for Sparrow Camp 2019

High Hope Ranch and Sanctuary is gearing up to host its Second Annual Sparrow Camp 2019 in Glen Rose on Feb. 22-24!

This weekend of sparrow identification will take birders onto two private ranches within native prairie habitat in the northern reaches of the Texas Hill Country. The two Somervell County ranches include the 900 acres of High Hope Ranch and Sanctuary, as well as a Sunday morning field trip to Chalk Mountain Ranch. Central Texas is one of the best locations in the U.S. for the study of native sparrows during wintertime.

Our Sparrow Camp leaders have been running SparrowFest, the Balcones Canyonland NWR-based birding workshop, for the past 14 years! SparrowFest Co-founder Byron Stone will be joined by fellow “Sparrowhawks” Randy Pinkston and Jeff Patterson. Your host at High Hope Ranch and Sanctuary will be Sandra Skrei.

Your registration will include a donation to the Texas Ornithological Society or your Audubon/Birding chapter; five meals; field snacks; workshops; three half-day birding field experiences with our experts; study handouts and use of a spotting scope.

Sparrow Camp will focus on field identification of the 18 species of native sparrows that are regularly seen each year in North Central Texas. In the field, you will learn to identify the subtle differences and behavior of Texas wintering sparrows with confidence. Our goal will be to see at least 15 species of sparrows over the course of the weekend.

Trail walking is a given, so please come prepared for the unpredictable Texas weather of late February via clothing and sturdy footwear – ideally waterproof, leather hiking boots. Please bring binoculars or a spotting scope, as well as a water bottle and a small pack for snacks and gear.

Sparrow Campers can stay in one of High Hope’s guest houses, or registration for everything except lodging will be $200. Register before Feb. 1 and receive the discounted rate of $175! The discounted rate included private room lodging ranges from $400-525, or sleep on a futon in a shared space for a discounted rate ranging from $250-450. If you are sharing a room, your roommate pays just the $200 registration rate.

The level of physical difficulty for Sparrow Camp will be moderate, the level of birding difficulty will be moderate to difficult, and the level of fun will be extreme!

To register, go to For more information, contact Sandra at (254) 898-4296.

We proudly support High Hope Ranch and the Sparrow Camp. High Hope Ranch Owner Krystyna Jurzykowski is the former owner of Fossil Rim Wildlife Center; the two properties are adjacent.