Noteworthy Bird Festivals
|Visitors to the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival in Homer, Alaska, enjoy conversation and majestic scenery at a bird viewing station. The festival includes field trips to Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.|
|Credit: Ron Laubenstein/USFWS|
|A flock of shorebirds flies over Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge and the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival in Homer, Alaska.|
|Credit: George West/USFWS|
National wildlife refuges will play a major role in these regional bird festivals:
Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, January 26-31, Brevard Community College, Titusville, FL. Nature, history and photography field trips, lectures, paddling adventures and an art competition. Includes field trips to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (http://www.fws.gov/merrittisland/, 321-861-0667). Birds to see include: American Avocet, Florida Scrub Jay.
San Diego Bird Festival, March 3-6, San Diego, CA. With field trips to San Diego refuges (http://www.fws.gov/sandiegorefuges/refuges.htm). Birds to see include: Brandt's Cormorant, Pied-Billed Grebe. Black-vented Shearwater.
Biggest Week in American Birding, May 5-15, Northwest OH. With field trips to Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge (http://midwest.fws.gov/ottawa, 419-898-0014). Birds to see include: Kirtland's Warbler.
Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival, May 5-8, Homer, AK. Four days of workshops, events, tours and hikes plus art and entertainment. With field trips to Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge (http://alaska.fws.gov/nwr/akmar/index.htm, 907-235-6546). Birds to see include: Rufous Hummingbird, Horned Puffin, Red-necked Stint.
Great Salt Lake Bird Festival, May 12-16, Farmington, UT. Featuring field trips to Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge (http://bearriver.fws.gov, 435-723-5887) Birds to see include: Burrowing Owl.
Festival of the Cranes, November (Date TBA), Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge (http://southwest.fws.gov/refuges/newmex/bosque, 575-835-1828) 20 miles south of Socorro, NM. A week of lectures, tours, workshops, hikes and bird-watching. Birds to see include: Sandhill Crane, Arctic Goose.
Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival, November (Date TBA), Harlingen, TX. With field trips to Laguna Atascosa, Lower Rio Grande Valley and Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuges (http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/texas/texascontacts.html). Features lectures, workshops, birding trips, boating on the Arroyo and other guided trips. Birds to see include: Great Kiskadee, Green Jay, Altamira Oriole and Chachalaca.
For more information about bird festivals near refuges in your area, see the festival finder at Bird Watcher’s Digest (http://www.birdwatchersdigest.com/)