In this article, I will be revealing 7 bird watching festival destinations in the US. There are a ton of festivals that celebrate birds and give people the opportunity to appreciate and learn about them. They offer classes and workshops on topics such as bird identification, photography tips, and even building your own birdhouse. This blog post lists all of the festivals as well as their location so you can decide which ones are close enough to attend.
Some of my friends and I have been birdwatchers for a while. There’s something about seeing them in their natural habitat that makes them seem so majestic and awe-inspiring. When I realized there were a ton of bird festivals all over the US, I knew it was time to put together this list for all of you who, like me, are diehard birdwatchers. We’ve included the name of each festival as well as its location to give you an idea of how close they are to your neck of the woods (or wherever you happen to be). So without further ado, please enjoy my list of 7 bird watching festivals in the US!
- 1 1. The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) – Los Angeles, California
- 2 2. The Great Texas BirdFest – San Antonio, TX
- 3 3. The Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Festival – Titusville, Florida
- 4 4. The Biggest Week in American Birding – Cape May, New Jersey
- 5 5. The Great Backyard Bird Count – Worldwide
- 6 6. Skeet Reese’s Wings Over Water – North Carolina
- 7 7. The Rocky Mountain Bird Festival – Colorado Springs, CO
1. The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) – Los Angeles, California
Starts in February
This festival takes place over a four day period and is the largest online count of birds. It has grown from a simple event to one that involves thousands of volunteers, hundreds of websites, and many people contributing data on their own unique local area. The GBBC began in 1998 when it was only for professional scientists but soon realized that counting birds in their own backyards was something anyone can do and is a lot of fun. Sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, being a part of this event means you are contributing to the conservation efforts in your local area as well as gaining insight into how bird populations change over time.
There are several ways to participate in these types of festivals. You can join the Great Backyard Bird Count and count birds from your own backyard, you can join a team of people counting birds in parks or even join an existing team doing counts in such areas as public schools and nature centers. Several independent observers have even managed to produce results by fitting small GPS units on local bird species allowing them to follow their movements around their landscape.
2. The Great Texas BirdFest – San Antonio, TX
Ends in October
This festival was started in 1995 and since then has become the largest of its kind for any western state. This event brings together hobbyists from different walks of life all interested in birdwatching. There are workshops, presentations, and social events as well. The festival was started by a man named Brian Schlagel who wanted to celebrate birds and their conservation efforts in the state of Texas. This event has grown from a small group of people meeting at his backyard into a large-scale event that attracts over 400 birdwatchers each year.
3. The Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Festival – Titusville, Florida
Beginning in January
This festival is hosted by the Central Brevard Audubon Society which has a mission to provide educational programs about birds and other wildlife. They have been hosting this festival for around 30 years. The festival takes places in an area known as Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge where there are grassy marshes, woodlands and other natural habitats that attract many beautiful types of wildlife. This festival is not only about birding but also about learning more about the environment around you so you can appreciate it more as well as take part in its preservation. There are various activities such as night walks with teams of volunteers looking for owls and hooting at them to get them to fly out and reveal themselves.
4. The Biggest Week in American Birding – Cape May, New Jersey
Starts in late April
This festival is a multi-day event that includes workshops, lectures and excursions so you can learn more about the local birdlife. It also has tours that allow you to go out in search of birds and there are even competitions so you can test your knowledge. During this festival they also offer trips to Cape May Point State Park, a state reserve that is home to a variety of wetland habitats. It has become known as one of the best bird watching sites on the east coast for migratory species such as shorebirds and wading birds.
5. The Great Backyard Bird Count – Worldwide
Begins in February (dates vary by region)
This festival takes place every year for four days worldwide. It started back in 1998 as a project for scientists to count birds that reside in their own backyards but has since expanded to include many amateur birdwatcher’ s as well. There are kids activities, challenge events and more that all focus on the conservation of birds. For example if you visit a festival in January there will be projects for children where they can dress up like their favorite bird or make crafts to help them learn about different species.
6. Skeet Reese’s Wings Over Water – North Carolina
Ends in March
This festival is a yearly event that has been going on for over 20 years now. This festival was started by the late Skeet Reese, a well-known professional waterfowl hunter. He wanted to promote conservation of wild birds and their habitats by providing an uplifting forum for all people interested in birdwatching. There are a large variety of activities such as classes, competitions and more. There is also an art competition where you can submit your own artwork based on birds and wildlife.
7. The Rocky Mountain Bird Festival – Colorado Springs, CO
Ends in September
This festival takes place in the mountains just outside of Denver, CO so it is a great way to get out of the city and into nature. There are many options for lodging and transportation so you can stay as long or short as you want. This festival is hosted by the National Audubon Society which was started back in 1905 by several different people interested in preserving bird habitat from being destroyed. They have a mission to educate people and work to create projects that help save the birds in the area.
This article has taught you about 7 bird watching festivals that will take place in the United States. If you want to find out more about any of the festivals listed, be sure to check out their websites so you can learn more about them. I hope you’re able to find a festival near you and meet some new people while learning more about wild birds.
I hope this article is helpful to you! I love birdwatching festivals and would really like to meet some new people while learning more about birds. Let me know if you end up going to one of these festivals!