Bird Festivals Around the Country
Birders gather from across the country and the world to attend bird festivals held nation wide highlighting a particular species or migration hotspot. Attending a festival is an awesome way to explore new habitats while at the same time learn from nationally recognized birding guides, authors and speakers as well as meet new friends. Here is a partial list of birding festivals. Be sure to get specific information directly from the festival websites as each festival varies in size, and the exact dates of these festivals vary from year to year.
Everglades Birding Festival
12 Jan 2017 — 16 Jan 2017
Ft. Lauderdale, FL,
Find up to 165 species such as Snail Kite, Limpkin, Short-tailed Hawk, Painted Bunting, Burrowing Owl and exotics in South Florida hotspots: Everglades, Corkscrew, Keys, STA 5, Miami on full day field trips with Expert Guides. The focus is on YOU gaining advanced skills with workshops applied in the field in small groups. Evening talks, lunch, transportation, snacks & water included. Limited to 60
Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival
Morro Bay, California
January 13-16, 2017
Every Martin Luther King weekend over 450 (over 600 in 2014!) birders visit Morro Bay, California, a Globally Important Bird Area, to see, photograph, and learn more about birds. Morro Bay is located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco on the Pacific Flyway. The area offers pristine beaches, beautiful state parks, an excellent natural history museum, panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and, best of all, thousands of birds. Over 200 species are usually sighted during the Festival weekend.
Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival
Jan. 25-30th 2017
Eastern Florida State College, Titusville, Florida.
This premier event offers opportunities for participants to explore world- renowned natural areas of Florida’s Space Coast, home of the largest collection of endangered wildlife and plants in the continental United States. Field trips and outdoor workshops; Pelagic boat trip; kayak and airboat adventures; nature-based Trade Show, Art Show and Competition, classroom presentations, informal opportunities to meet national authorities on birds, plants, photography, optics and technology.
Laredo Birding Festival
February 8-11, 2017
Laredo, Texas- Bird on the Border!
Blessed with a rich and diverse river eco-system, Laredo is home to hundreds of species of local and migratory birds. Our prized birds include: White-collared Seedeater, Scaled Quail, Gray Hawk, Audubon’s and Altamira orioles, Green Parakeets, Muscovy Duck, Red-billed Pigeon and Clay-colored Thrush, among many others.
Each day, birders will have a chance to select from a variety of full-day scenic trips. Escorted by professional field guides and members of our local Monte Mucho Audubon Society, birders will have an opportunity to deepen their birding knowledge of South Texas, and explore areas along Laredo’s river front, creek systems, nature trails and private ranchland.
Sax Zim Bog Birding Festival
February 17-19, 2017
Registration is limited to 150 people
Glimpse hard-to-spot boreal bird species — birds from Canada’s Great White North that fly down to Sax-Zim from December to March. Owls are a main attraction, including the majestic great gray owl, which, at nearly three feet, is North America’s tallest.
San Diego Bird Festival
February 23-26, 2017
Marina Village Conference Center
San Diego, California
The San Diego Bird Festival, presented by San Diego Audubon Society, attracts visitors to San Diego to enjoy and celebrate local birds, wildlife, and their habitats. It features field trips including our popular pelagic trips, a birding and optics expo, working lunches and a festival banquet.
Whooping Crane Festival
23 Feb 2017 — 26 Feb 2017
Port Aransas, TX, US
Annual festival celebrating the endangered Whooping Cranes that winter in our area. Birding tours by boat and bus, renowned speakers, exhibits, nature related trade show, arts & crafts, photography workshops and more.
Monte Vista Crane Festival
Mar 10, 2017 to Mar 12, 2017
Monte Vista, Colorado
The 34th Annual Monte Vista Crane Festival celebrates the spring arrival of nearly 20,000 Sandhill Cranes in Colorado’s scenic San Luis Valley. Activities include crane-viewing bus tours to the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge, field trips, photography workshops, guest speakers, a birding movie, birder’s breakfast, and a craft fair. Contact Monte Vista Chamber of Commerce at 719-852-2731, or Tim Armstrong at 719-852-2452, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Godwit Days Festival
April 19-25, 2017
Come celebrate the Marbled Godwit and explore the lush Redwood Coast. Observe many bird species and wildlife through our selection of field trips, lectures, workshops, and boat excursions led by experienced local guides during our annual week-long festival each April. Tour the expansive mudflats, the wild river valleys and the rocky ocean coast of this sector of the Klamath bioregion in northwest California
Yakima River Canyon Bird Festival
May 12-14, 2017
The Yakima River Canyon Bird Fest will offer expert-led field trips, vendors, extended field trips, lectures and keynote speakers, social events and music, and a plethora of bird watching during early spring! Yakima River Canyon Bird Fest will run concurrently with KEEN’s 18th Annual Get Intimate with the Shrub-Steppe event. Running these two events concurrently will allow birders the opportunity to learn about wildflowers, geology, keystone species like Bighorn sheep and endangered salmon. Partnerships with the Yakima Training Center (DOD) will allow a rare glimpse into protected Sage Grouse leks (nesting sites) on government property.
The extensive cliffs, shrub-steppe, and riparian cottonwood forests provide a rich mixture of habitats. Particularly important are the immense basalt cliffs and talus slopes interspersed with shrub-steppe vegetation, which support a diverse assemblage of birds associated with this habitat, including White-throated Swift, Cliff Swallow, Rock Wren, Canyon Wren, and 21 species of raptors. Ten of these raptor species breed in and around the canyon, including two pairs of Golden Eagles and five pairs of Prairie Falcons. The cliffs and shrub-steppe habitat also support dense populations of Red-tailed Hawks, American Kestrels, and Great-horned Owls. Up to 20 Bald Eagles winter along the river, subsisting primarily on whitefish. The riparian habitats along the river and its tributaries support a high diversity and abundance of songbirds.
New River Birding and Nature Festival
May 1-6, 2017
Fayetteville, WV 25840
Since 2002, the annual New River Birding & Nature Festival takes place in and around the New River Gorge National River, in the heart of the upland, hardwood forests that Cornell Lab of Ornithology has identified as a crucial stopover habitat for the continued survival of species such as Golden-winged, Blue-winged, and Swainson's Warbler, as well as the Scarlet Tanager. This bird watching nature festival highlights more than 100 bird species on a variety of birding tours.
A friendly birding vacation for everyone, the week long event features guided birding and nature excursions, world-class speakers, the finest collection of guides, tasty food, and a back-porch atmosphere unmatched by any other birding festival. Signature guided bird watching experiences include the opportunity to visit a wide range of habitats, world class instruction for those wanting to enhance their birding skills, and the best guide-to-guest ratio on the festival circuit.
Biggest Week in American Birding
May 5-14, 2017
Northwest Ohio, Warbler Capital of the World!
(Gabriel Mapel is a trip leader and board-walk guide at this festival and can give you any insider information you may want.)
Magee Marsh and surrounding area is simply the most spectacular place to witness the spring migration of warblers. The warblers drop down into the shrubs to feed before crossing Lake Erie into Canada, giving up close views of these magnificent migrants. Numerous field trips each day offered by national and international guides, as well as presentations by nationally renowned speakers.
Canaan Valley Birding Festival
Canaan Valley, West Virginia
Situated on the northeastern edge of the Monongahela Forest and adjacent to the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Canaan Valley’s diverse landscape – a high-elevation boreal habitat, hardwood and spruce forests, grasslands and wetlands – creates an especially appealing environment for breeding birds. During last year’s festival, participants spotted numerous neotropical birds such as Bobolinks, Scarlet tanagers, Baltimore and Orchard orioles, Vesper, Swamp, Clay-colored and Henslow Sparrows, Northern Waterthrush, Yellow, Chestnut-sided and Black-throated Green Warblers.
Monterey Bay Birding Festival
Sep 23, 2016 to Sep 25, 2016
The Monterey Bay Birding Festival is home to one of the most spectacular birding and wildlife venues in North America. September marks the peak of fall migration, with wintering shorebirds arriving en masse. Warblers and other passerines as well as wintering ducks and other waterfowl are also in abundance. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to see more than 250 species in one of the world’s greatest environments. Join us for Fantastic Field Trips on land and sea, Sensational Speakers, Wonderful Workshops, and much more!
HawkWatch International, Celebration of Flight
Corpus Christi, Texas
Sep 23, 2016 to Sep 25, 2016
Join HawkWatch International for their 18th annual “Celebration of Flight” festival at the Corpus Christi HawkWatch. This is a family-friendly event with free activities in the park that coincides with peak migration of hawks. An array of raptors and birds migrate in significant numbers this time of year, but it is the spectacular flight of Broad-winged Hawks that highlights the festival, as tens of thousands can be seen in a day! The site provides education programs on raptor migration and identification every day during operation,
Eastern Shore Birding and Wildlife Festival
Cape Charles, VA
We've planned over 95 field trips, boat trips, walking tours, and informative workshops for your delight led by highly knowledgeable and experienced guides over four days. All these trips require pre-registration and many are free. Be sure to book as soon as possible since many events sell out early each year. Click below to visit the Festival Schedule page and register for trips and workshops.
Alabama Coastal BirdFest
The Bird and Conservation Expo, on the grounds of Faulkner State College in Fairhope, offers hands-on fun and activities for kids of all ages with live raptors and snakes and displays and exhibits from conservation organizations, vendors, artists and divisions of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Birdfest also offers expertly guided trips by food and on boat to locations on the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail.
Wings Over Water
18 Oct 2016 — 23 Oct 2016
Manteo, NC, US
Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival is comprised of dozens of birding, paddling, photography, art and natural history trips, tours and programs. The Wings Over Water region is part of the Atlantic Flyway, in which over 400 bird species live or migrate. The area is also home to a variety of reptiles and amphibians, black bear, river otter, alligators and the endangered red wolf.
Cape May Fall Festival
Oct 21, 2016 to Oct 23, 2016
Cape May, New Jersey
So. Many. Birds. The Cape May Fall Festival is an awesome destination hotspot to witness fall migration. This three-day festival will showcase our migration monitoring work: the Cape May Hawkwatch, Avalon Seawatch, Monarch Monitoring Project and Morning Flight Songbird Count, special mini-bus trips, exclusive walks with our keynote speakers, many walks to choose from every day, a Pelagic Excursion at a great price, ID Master Classes and more!
Yellow Rails and Rice Festival
November 2-6, 2016
The festival is designed with fun in mind. Its primary goal is to provide participants a unique venue to view Yellow Rails while at the same time bringing birders and farmers together to realize the value to birds of the area’s “working wetlands.” The festival schedule is casual and participants can attend all events or come and go at their leisure. We will have leaders at field sites to help spot birds and provide information. We will also offer local field trips, and two trips farther afield to the pineywoods and Cameron Parish coast. Based in Jennings, participants will be positioned in the heart of Cajun Country in Louisiana’s SW prairie region, an area known for great birding, local cuisine, and a rich history and culture.
Rice harvesting is dependent on good weather conditions, so any significant rainfall could interfere with harvesting. But, hopes are that the longer festival period may lessen the chances of a complete washout, and rain-contingencies are in consideration. So, mark your calendars and please stay tuned for further developments.
Rio Grande Birding Festival Texas
November 2-6, 2016
A first-time attendee can expect over 20 species found nowhere else in the U.S., a low guide-to-participant ratio on field trips, warm weather, and a friendly and affordable host city. Low-cost pass to all seminars, world-class professional tour guides, an extensive Birders Bazaar, and fun socials guarantee a satisfied birder. Returning participants can look forward to new field trips, an outstanding birding experience, and another South Texas attraction – the chance for a rarity from Mexico.
Alaska Bald Eagle Festival
Nov 14, 2016 to Nov 20, 2016
Festival activities are held at the American Bald Eagle Foundation, conveniently located in Haines, Alaska. Here you will attend photography workshops, live raptor presentations with our resident raptors. Guest speakers and presentations & demonstrations to name a few! Daily buses will carry you safely to the Alaska Bald Eagle Preserve to witness the annual "Gathering of the Eagles.” At this time of year up to 3-4000 eagles can be found in the preserve feeding on a late run of salmon.
Festival of the Cranes
15 Nov 2016 — 20 Nov 2016
Socorro, New Mexico
Our 29th Festival of the Cranes is coming! We are considered one of the premiere birding and photography festivals in the country. More than 158 event sessions in six days at one of the best wildlife refuges in the country, Bosque del Apache NWR. American birding legend