Festivals are a good way to meet fellow bird enthusiasts and learn more about birds.
Bird festivals around the country celebrate birds as well as local wildlife. Festivals and events may include bird walks, workshops, talks about different bird species and conservation projects, and educational activities for all ages. Most festivals have activities appropriate for all levels of interest and ability.
Many national wildlife refuges and other wildlife areas have special festivals and events around peak bird migration or other spectacular wildlife events. For example, International Migratory Bird Day is celebrated across the Western Hemisphere. Since many places have greater bird diversity and abundance during the colder months, you can usually find an event at any time of the year.
Below is just a small sample of the types of festivals and events held around the country. To find more, check out a calendar of festivals on or near national wildlife refuges, or simply search online using keywords such as “bird festival” or “wildlife event.”
Please note: Links do not imply official sponsorship or endorsement of any event. Please check the individual host sites for dates, event schedule, associated costs, registration, and any other details or to contact them for more information.
Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival : Martin Luther King weekend – Morro Bay, CA
Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival : last full week in January : Titusville, FL
Sax-Zim Bog Birding Festival : second full weekend in February : Meadowlands, MN : owls and other winter boreal specialties
Whooping Crane Festival – mid-February – Port Aransas, TX
Sandhill Crane viewing at Rowe Sanctuary : Viewing is February through April with peak viewing time in March: Gibbon, NE – blinds available
Prairie Chicken viewing at Buena Vista Grasslands : April : WI : guided event
Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival : second full weekend in May : Homer, AK
Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival : first weekend of May : Cordova, AK
Wings Across the Big Sky : first weekend in June : various cities, MT
Loon Festival : third Saturday in July – Moultonborough, NH
Tucson Bird & Wildlife Festival : second weekend in August : Tucson, AZ : Sonoran Desert and Sky Island birds
Puget Sound Bird Fest : second weekend in September : Edmonds, WA
Cape May Autumn Birding Festival : last weekend in October : Cape May, NJ : hawk migration
Easton Waterfowl Festival : 2nd full weekend : Easton, MD : artwork, crafts, waterfowling culture and history
Christmas Bird Counts : dates and sites vary : join birders across the hemisphere as they count birds in their area as part of one of the longest-running citizen science projects
There are many sources for finding birding and wildlife events. These are just a few:
National Wildlife Refuges – year round
National Audubon Society festivals (search online for a chapter near you)
Local nature centers (search online for the society near you)
State ornithological societies (search online for the society near you)
– From U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
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