Birding Festivals and Events

If you’re wild about wild birds, birding festivals & events are the place to be!

With feathered fun for everyone, birding festivals are a wonderful way to learn about birds and connect with other birders. Meet fellow birding enthusiasts through guided tours, arts & crafts, educational seminars, talks from keynote speakers, children’s activities, vendors of bird feeders & birding products, and so much more! Fly to new heights with avian experts who answer your questions and give you birding tips and techniques to enrich your passion for birds!

Many birding festivals focus on bird species with plentiful populations in the local area, and attending festivals outside your region gives you the chance to see new birds & habitats beyond your own backyard. Your support helps birding festivals raise awareness about the importance of protecting & connecting with nature, because the more birders attend birding festivals, the more respect for nature, habitat, and the environment will spread to our communities.

So take flight, expand your horizons, and explore new worlds of birds!

Oct 12, 2018 to Oct 14, 2018 • Florida Birding & Nature Festival • Tampa, FL, USA
Experience Florida’s peak fall migration during the Year of the Bird! Focus on birds and nature conservation, with birding and butterfly field trips, boat and canoe trips, seminars, keynote speakers and nature expo. Expected birds include Florida Scrub-Jay, Roseate Spoonbill, Wood Stork, Limpkin, Anhinga, American Oystercatcher, Black Skimmer, Purple Gallinule, American Bittern, Reddish Egret, Tricolored Heron, owls, woodpeckers, fall vireos and warblers, and many more. Contact: Andee Richards, 813-444-0115, info@fbnfestival.org.

Oct 13, 2018 to Oct 14, 2018 • Sandhill Crane & Art Festival • Bellevue, MI, USA
CraneFest features family-friendly activities such as guided nature hikes, live animal displays, kids’ activities and fine art vendors. In the evening, watch thousands of Sandhill Cranes fly in to Big Marsh Lake. Contact: Lindsay Cain, 517-580-7364, lcain@michiganaudubon.org.

Oct 16, 2018 to Oct 21, 2018 • Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival • Manteo, NC, USA
This annual refuge fundraising wildlife festival includes over 90 trips & programs involving birding, paddling, photography, art and natural history. Activities take place in six northeastern North Carolina counties and six national wildlife refuges. Keynote speaker is George Armistead. Contact: Steve Brumfield, 252-216-9464, wow@coastalwildliferefuge.com.

Oct 31, 2018 to Nov 4, 2018 • Yellow Rails & Rice Festival • Jennings, LA, USA
A unique opportunity to view Yellow Rails in the working wetlands of Louisiana’s Southwest prairie region, well-known for great birding. The festival schedule is casual: participants can (weather permitting) come and go at their leisure from harvest sites where facilitators are positioned to help spot and identify birds, provide information and answer questions. Explore nearby birding areas or venture farther afield to search for specialty birds in other Louisiana habitats, such as the pineywoods, marsh and Gulf Coast beaches. Enjoy local cuisine and the area’s rich history and culture in the heart of Cajun Country. Contact: Donna L Dittmann, 225-642-5763 (leave message), yellowrailsandrice@gmail.com.

Nov 4, 2018 • Fall Migration Celebration • Augusta, MI, USA
The W.K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary was founded in 1927 and deeded over to Michigan State University in 1928, so we are celebrating 90 years! The Sanctuary is an important migration stopover for waterfowl and the best place to view Trumpeter Swans in Michigan’s lower peninsula. Join us from 1-4 p.m. and look for migrating waterfowl on Wintergreen Lake, meet our education raptors, make crafts to take home, create enrichment for the resident birds, and learn about how and why birds migrate. There will be a decoy exhibit by local, award-winning decoy carver Willy McDonald of The Duck Blind, who will also be helping the kids with their crafts! Cider and donuts will also be available. Contact: 269-671-2510, birdsanctuary@kbs.msu.edu.

Nov 4, 2018 to Nov 11, 2018 • Azores Birdwatching Arts Festival • Açores, Pico Island
In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, the Azores Islands sanctuary for sea and land birds now has a week-long festival dedicated to birders. Events happen in Pico Island in English and Portuguese languages. Arts programming, talks, tours to various locations for birders and much more. Contact: Terry Costa, +351-963639996 abwafestival@gmail.com.

Nov 7, 2018 to Nov 11, 2018 • 25th Annual Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival • Harlingen, TX, USA
See why birders have been flocking to this festival for the past 24 years—great birds (at least 30 new ones), fantastic professional guides, reunion-like socials, keynotes, workshops, a huge trade show and lots of goodies in the silent auction. Visit our website in July for details and registration dates. Contact: 209-227-4823 or 956-423-5565, info@rgvbf.org.

Nov 10, 2018 • Bird Fest of the Santa Monica Mountains • Calabasas, CA, USA
A day to celebrate the birds! From 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m., see live birds, listen to talks from local experts, take a guided bird walk, meet representatives from bird-friendly agencies, and more! Bring the kids for special family-friendly activities. Food vendors will be on-site. Presented by Conejo Valley Audubon Society, San Fernando Valley Audubon Society, Santa Monica Bay Audubon Society, The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, National Park Service, and Western National Parks Association. Contact: 805-370-2302, samo@wnpa.org.

Nov 22, 2018 to Nov 25, 2018 • Waterfowl Weekend at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge • Chincoteague Island, VA, USA
Fall heralds the return of thousands of snow geese from their northern tundra breeding grounds to the milder climate of Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge for the winter. Also enjoy a variety of ducks and swans, as well as flocks of visitors who celebrate Thanksgiving weekend in this special place. The Wildlife Loop Trail will be open during Waterfowl Weekend for extended access. Visitors can drive around the trail from 9 a.m. until dusk. Contact: 757-336-6122, fw5rw_cnwr@fws.gov.