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 & 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!

Aug 8, 2018 to Aug 12, 2018 • Southeast Arizona Birding Festival • Tucson, AZ, USA
Whether your life list is 70 or 700, don’t miss Southeast Arizona’s Sonoran Desert monsoon specialties! Elegant Trogons, Five-striped Sparrows, Red-faced Warblers — birds you’ve only stared at with longing in your field guide since you were a kid (or last week!). In Southeast Arizona, you can make seeing these specialty birds a reality. We invite you to join us and experience Tucson Audubon’s Southeast Arizona Birding Festival this year during our beautiful monsoon season with professionally led half- and full-day field trips, programs, photography workshops and extensive nature expo. Keynote speaker Bill Thompson III. Register here. Contact: Luke Safford, lsafford@tucsonaudubon.org.

Aug 18, 2018 to Aug 19, 2018 • Raptor Fest 2018 • Silt, CO, USA
Chadd’s Walking With Wildlife LLC is partnering with the Town of Silt to bring our communities the second annual Raptor Festival. The Western Slope of Colorado is home to 27 raptors, which includes eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, vultures and Ospreys. The Raptor Fest provides the opportunity to listen to and ask local experts about some of our favorite birds! Nature educators from the Denver area will bring educational birds for an in-depth, instructional demonstration. This year’s two-day event is a jammed-packed weekend full of education and information all pertaining to our raptors of the skies! Contact: Chadd’s Walking With Wildlife, 970 812-8258, chaddswalkingwithwildlife@gmail.com.

Aug 19, 2018 to Aug 26, 2018 • Vancouver International Bird Festival • Vancouver, BC, CA
The Vancouver International Bird Festival takes flight with the 27th International Ornithological Congress—nature, art, science, music, performance, film, photography and adventure. Three thousand scientists from 100 countries—plus thousands more from the public—will be engaged, educated and entertained through exhibitions, a bird trade show, local and international field trips and workshops on BIRDS—a Gateway to Nature. Contact: Rob Butler, 604-831-8191, contact@robbutler.ca.

Aug 23, 2018 to Aug 26, 2018 • Davis Mountains Hummingbird Celebration • Fort Davis, TX, USA
In the heart of the Texas’ Chihuahuan Desert Sky Islands, Fort Davis—at its elevation of 5,050 feet—is known as the hummingbird capital of Texas! The celebration will feature hummingbird viewing field trips to the beautiful Christmas Mountains, Tule Canyon and more. Hummingbird banding demonstrations, educational programs and keynote speakers. For expert hummingbird enthusiasts and people who just love birdwatching and wildlife, the Davis Mountains Hummingbird Celebration offers four packed days of birding activities. Contact: Melissa Henderson, Executive Director of the Fort Davis Chamber of Commerce, 432-426-3015, info@fortdavis.com.

Aug 24, 2018 to Aug 26, 2018 • 3rd Annual Grebe Festival • Chester, CA, USA
The Plumas Audubon Society’s Annual Grebe Festival celebrates the extraordinary “dancing” grebes at Lake Almanor in Chester, California. The Western and Clark’s Grebes nest at Lake Almanor, an Important Bird Area due to California’s drought and significant loss of nesting habitat in recent years. Late August is a great time to view nesting colonies of grebes, their incredible “rushing” displays and hatchlings climbing aboard their parents’ backs. Kayak and pontoon field trips allow an up-close (but not too close!) look at nesting grebes. Explore the area’s rich biodiversity and culture on field trips in the Lake Almanor basin and Lassen National Forest. Educational materials, information on local organizations and children’s activities are free and open to the public at the Almanor Recreation Center. Most field trips and workshops are available for a fee, depending on the activity. Limited space available for walk-in registration during the festival. Contact: Sophie Kissin, Plumas Audubon Society, sophie@plumasaudubon.org.

Aug 30, 2018 to Sept 2, 2018 • Yampa Valley Crane Festival • Steamboat Springs & Hayden, CO, USA
Come visit Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and the beautiful Yampa Valley during the 2018 Labor Day weekend for the annual Yampa Valley Crane Festival. Witness hundreds of Greater Sandhill Cranes dancing and feeding in the fields. Enjoy fun-filled days featuring guided crane viewings, nature and bird walks, workshops, films, live raptors, a community picnic at The Nature Conservancy’s Carpenter Ranch, family activities, ranch tours, bird art and more! Expert speakers include Anne Lacy, Coordinator of Crane Research for the International Crane Foundation, and Jennifer Ackerman, best-selling author of “Genius of Birds.” Bird walks led by Ted Floyd, editor of “Birding” magazine. Contact: Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition, 970-276-1933, coloradocranes@gmail.com.

Sept 7, 2018 to Sept 9, 2018 • Whooping Crane Festival • Princeton, WI, USA
Festival includes activities for all ages. Kids can build a bird house, have their face painted and learn about frogs, snakes and other critters with the ever-popular educator, David Stokes! Spend time in the artisan and vendor area to get a jump on holiday shopping! Enjoy a pancake breakfast in the cafeteria, or lunch at one of the food vendors. Take in one or all of the speaker sessions. Contact: Carol Bielski, 920-642-0028, carol.bielski@gmail.com.

Sept 8, 2018 to Sept 9, 2018 • Audubon Society of Rhode Island Raptor Weekend • Bristol, RI, USA
Eagles, owls, hawks and falcons–formidable and magnificent predators of the sky–are headed to the Audubon Nature Center and Aquarium in Bristol, Rhode Island, for Raptor Weekend! Razor-sharp talons, extraordinary strength, hooked beaks, and highly developed eyesight and hearing make raptors the rulers of the avian world. Wildlife rehabilitators and experts from across the Northeast will bring a wide variety of these extraordinary birds to the largest raptor celebration in New England. Enjoy live flight demonstrations, educational programs and activities for avian enthusiasts of all ages. Audubon presents a unique opportunity for visitors to get up-close with many species and learn about amazing birds of prey in this fun, family-friendly weekend event. Contact: Anne DiMonti, Director of the Audubon Nature Center and Aquarium, 401-949-5454, adimonti@asri.org.

Sept 14, 2018 to Sept 16, 2018 • Puget Sound Bird Fest • Edmonds, WA, USA
This acclaimed three-day event includes speakers, guided walks, land and water-based field trips, exhibits and educational activities for children and adults. Plan to spend the weekend in Edmonds birding and meeting other birders, naturalists, photographers and people engaged in fascinating bird research projects. 2018 featured speakers include Kevin Ebi and Noah Strycker. Contact: Jennifer Leach, 425-771-0227, Jennifer.leach@edmondswa.gov.

Sept 14, 2018 to Sept 17, 2018 • 3rd Annual Hawaii Island Festival of Birds • Kailua-Kona, HI, USA
The festival features Hawaii’s birding trail, a 90-mile route across Hawaii Island traversing desert to rainforest with elevation changes from sea level to 7,000 feet. On Friday and Sunday, there will be field trips to sites along the trail or pelagic birding by boat. Trade show for outdoor and birding equipment, children’s corner, bird-themed arts and crafts fair, photography and art workshops, a birding film festival, and time to interact with Hawaii Island naturalists and bird experts. Keynote speakers to be announced. Contact: Bridget Walker, 808-331-3655, info@birdfesthawaii.org.

Sept 15, 2018 • 5th Annual Seatuck Long Island Birding Challenge • Long Island, NY, USA
Join Long Island’s only island-wide birding competition to help promote bird watching, wildlife conservation and open space preservation across the region. The event is open to all levels of experience, from expert birders to complete novices. Bird anywhere on Long Island (including Brooklyn & Queens). Register as a team or join one of ours (family and student categories available). Checklist submitted by 5 pm. All participants meet for dinner at the historic Scully Estate. $50/person, $20/student. Fall migration promises large numbers of birds and a great diversity of species. The Birding Challenge generates critical funding for Seatuck’s conservation and education work, including efforts to protect bird habitat and important bird areas. Contact: Lisa Smith, 631-581-6908, lsmith@seatuck.org.

Sept 21, 2018 to Sept 23, 2018 • Delta Birding Festival • Poblenou, Catalonia, Spain
This is one of the most interesting birding festivals in Europe, located in the delta of the River Ebro, where tens of thousands of acres of rice fields, wetlands, lagoons, reedbeds, sand dunes and mudflats are home to hundreds of bird species. In September, bird migration is at its highest and fills the skies with European birds. Some unexpected Eastern and Asian rarities often also drop off. The festival features dozens of talks from renowned ornithologists, nature photographers and documentary producers, plus a commercial fair of books, optics and ornithological tours. Trips to the most interesting places in the Delta and boat tours to high seas are also scheduled. The festival takes place here. Contact: Abel Julien, abeljulien@gmail.com.

Sept 27, 2018 to Sept 30, 2018 • Birding Festival of the Keys • Florida Keys, FL, USA
The Birding Festival of the Keys explores a truly unique environment during the spectacle of hawk and songbird migration. The festival features boat trips: pelagic to Dry Tortugas and Marathon Hump, Boot Key-raptor roost, Island Keys exploration and sunset seabird kayak trips. Full day van trips. Keys specialties workshops: Warblers, Shorebirds, Raptors and bird hikes. Bird walks to state parks. Birding workshops. Evening programs. Birds to see: Magnificent Frigatebird, Black-whiskered Vireo, Reddish Egret, White-crowned Pigeon, Mangrove Cuckoo, Swallow-tailed Kite, Brown Booby, Brown Noddy, Roseate Tern, Sooty Tern, Peregrine Falcon, Broad-winged Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk, Prairie Warbler, “Cuban” Yellow Warbler, and migrating shorebirds and warblers. Contact: Paddy Cunningham, birdpaddy@yahoo.com.

Sept 28, 2018 to Sept 30, 2018 • Monterey Bay Birding Festival • Watsonville, CA, USA
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. Migration also brings a wealth of diverse species of raptors, warblers and other passerines, as well as waterfowl, and it’s a great time to find rarities among any of these groups. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to see more than 200 species of birds in one of the world’s most beautiful environments. Contact: 888-909-7829, montereybaybirdingfestival@gmail.com.

Sept 28, 2018 to Oct 4, 2018 • 2018 Fall Birding Days • St. Simons Island, GA, USA
Celebrate the fall migration on Little St. Simons Island! Guest ornithologists join our staff naturalists on excursions highlighting the abundance of species that flock here during this special time. Three-, four-, and seven-night packages, priced per couple, double-occupancy. Availability is limited. Contact: 888-733-5774 between 9 a.m.-5 p.m. EST daily, Lodge@LittleSSI.com or visit our reservations page for availability and reservations.

Oct 3, 2018 to Oct 6, 2018 • Alabama Coastal BirdFest • Spanish Fort, AL, USA
As biodiversity in the US is concerned, Alabama ranks 5th in our nation. Alabama’s coast is a mix of habitats where an impressive number of over 420 bird species have been recorded. Join us for this 15th annual event featuring field trips to see birds during fall migration, as well as alligators, wildflowers, dolphins and other wild flora and fauna. BirdFest also features workshops covering several subjects and a couple of social events. Registration opens mid-August. Contact: 251-625-0814, alabamacoastalbirdfest@gmail.com.

Oct 3, 2018 to Oct 7, 2018 • 8th Annual Birdwatching Festival & Nature Activities • Beliche Fortress, Portugal
This is the event for birdwatchers and nature lovers. Sagres is one of the best hotspots to see bird migration. Birdwatchers gather to see rarities, marine birds, passerines and birds of prey that converge to this region preparing the long journey to Africa. In addition to birdwatching, there will be other activities like hiking, sightseeing, geology, flora and cultural heritage tours. Most activities are free. There are other activities with a festival discount. The festival is promoted by Vila do Bispo Municipality and co-organized by the Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds and Almargem Association. Contact: Vila do Bispo Municipality, +351-910-547-861, festivalbirdwatchingsagres@gmail.com.

Oct 5, 2018 to Oct 7, 2018 • Ridgefield NWR Birdfest & Bluegrass • Ridgefield, WA, USA
BirdFest & Bluegrass is a city-wide event put on by the Friends of Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, catered to the idea of bringing more awareness of the Refuge and educating people about what the Ridgefield NWR and the City of Ridgefield have to offer. Events take place at the Carty Unit, the River ‘S’ Unit, the Cathlapotle Plankhouse and Downtown Ridgefield throughout the weekend. Events include a Birders Marketplace in Downtown Ridgefield where local artists and artisans can sell their wares, Audubon Birds from Portland and Clark County, Sandhill Crane hikes, birding tours, educational tours, guest speakers and more. A full schedule will be available in August. Keep your eye out for more special tours, hikes and presentations. Contact: 360-887-9495 or 360-887-4106, BirdFestReservations@gmail.com or contact@ridgefieldfriends.org.

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.