Florida Birding, Wildlife & Nature Festivals
January 17-21, 2013
Search Everglades National Park, Corkscrew Swamp, Upper Keys, Stormwater Treatment Area 5, Green Cay, South Dade, Key Biscayne and much more for rare and life birds such as Limpkin, Snail Kite, Smooth-billed Ani, Burrowing Owl, Common Myna and Purple Gallinule. We will be featuring top expert Kevin Karlson for a Keynote speech, shorebird workshop and field trips. This festival specializes in full day field trips, daily field workshop, speakers, special dinners and birding fun. Focus will be on gaining advanced birding skills in a non-intimidating environment. For more information view www.evergladesbirdingfestival.com/ and contact Paddy Cunningham at (954) 805-6810.
EVERGLADES BIRDING FESTIVAL
January 18-20, 2013, Naples
Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve: rookerybay.org/nature-fest-2013 - (239) 417-6310
9th Annual Southwest Florida Nature Festival
Registration for the 9th Annual Southwest Florida Nature Festival field trips opens November 1. Explore the local environment through almost 40 guided field trips to 20 wildlife hot spots around Southwest Florida and lectures at the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center. Field trips, including birding walks, buggy rides and boat tours, are offered in conjunction with partners such as Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Big Cypress National Preserve and Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Become a member of the Friends of Rookery Bay and enjoy advance field trip registration, opening October 25.
The Keynote Speaker is award-winning filmmaker Elam Stoltzfus. He will talk about the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition, a 1,000-mile expedition over a 100-day period from January through April 2012 that increased public awareness of and generated support for the Florida Wildlife Corridor project. Stoltzfus, who is producing a documentary about the expedition, will share "behind-the-scenes" video clips and detailed stories about the journey through Florida. The presentation is offered on both January 18 and 19, to accommodate interest in the topic.
January 22-27, 2014, Titusville
Brevard Community College - Titusville, Florida
SPACE COAST BIRDING & WILDLIFE FESTIVAL
2012 Festival Keynote Presentations by: Richard Crossley, Paul Baicich, James Currie, Victor Emanuel
15th year in Titusville and the Space Coast. More than 200 activities, led by leading authorities. Considered by many to be the #1 wildlife festival in America. www.spacecoastbirdingandwildlifefestival.org
January 26 & 27, 2013, Orange City
10:00 am to 5:00 pm -- Valentine Park in Orange City (On West French Avenue, off U.S. Hwy. 17-92). Blue Spring State Park is Florida's most significant warm water refuge for the endangered manatee. This two-day environmental festival in Valentine Park in Orange City features educational exhibits on endangered wildlife, children's rides, food, crafts, craft show and free rides to see the manatees. Admission: $8.00 for adults, $2.00 for children 4-10, 3 and under are FREE. Info: (386) 775-9224. www.themanateefestival.com/
ORANGE CITY/BLUE SPRING MANATEE FESTIVAL
February 2, 2013, Port St. Joe
Low Country Shrimp Boil 12:00-2:30: Fresh local shrimp, corn, kielbasa sausage, potatoes, garlic bread and tea.
St. Joseph Bay Buffer and Aquatic Preserves Day
Guided trips all day (8:00 am to 10:00 pm!): Trips to St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve—Fall Wildflowers; St. Joseph Bay Aquatic Preserve - Boat and Seagrass Wading Tours; Birding trips to St. Joseph Peninsula and nighttime astronomy program
All Proceeds to Benefit Friends of St. Joseph Bay Preserves (501.c.3 Non profit organization)
St. Joseph Bay Preserves Center, 3915 Hwy 30-A (Approximately 5 miles south of Port St. Joe).
Call 850-229-1797 or visit www.stjosephbaypreserves.org for more information.
February 4, 2012, Osprey
Oscar Scherer Park will host a Florida Scrub-Jay Festival — 9:00am - 4:00pm.
This free family event will celebrate the Florida Scrub-Jay, which is a threatened species found only in Florida. In addition, visitors will learn about endangered scrub habitat and the many species of plants and animals that call scrub habitat their home. The festival will feature tram tours of the scrub-jay habitat, live music, guided nature walks, presentations. http://friendsofoscarscherer.com/
February 16, 2013, Christmas
The Wetlands is a 1,650 acre world renowned example of Wetlands Engineering providing an oasis for flora, fauna, and feathered friends.
ORLANDO WETLANDS PARK FESTIVAL
The festival originates at Ft. Christmas Park in Christmas, Florida. It features include birdwatching tours, photo shoots, bicycle tours, native plant walks, bird banding and mist-netting demonstrations, wildlife shows, live music, and bus tours will travel along the wetland berms. Contact Mark Sees, (407) 568-1706. Website.
Februrary 23, 2013, Cape Coral
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. • Rotary Park Environmental Center, 5505 Rose Garden Road, Cape Coral FL 33914
S.W. FLORIDA 11th ANNUAL BURROWING OWL FESTIVAL
Cape Coral FL is home to the largest known population of the Florida BURROWING OWL with over 2500 documented burrows. These pint sized birds burrow underground where they nest from late February through July and are now the official city bird of Cape Coral.
Please join us as this family fun filled event celebrates the start of their nesting season.
A partial listing of festival highlights include Paige the Eagle and other birds of prey from the Maitland Audubon Center, wildlife artists, nature inspired arts and craft vendors, environmental and wildlife groups with exhibits, guided nature walks for wildlife viewing, bus tours to local burrowing owl burrows, and native plant sales.
Take a tour through the live butterfly house and learn about their host and nectar plants. Children will enjoy the free arts and craft events. Demonstrations will be given on digging an owl starter burrow and its maintenance. Indoor speakers will give wildlife presentations to delight you. Of course there will be food and music so plan to spend the day.
Admission is requested donation of $5 for ages over 16.
For directions or information call Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife at 239-980-2593 or visit www.ccfriendsofwildlife.org. Co-sponsored by Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife & the City of Cape Coral.
March 9, 2013, Apopka
9:00am - 2:00pm, Magnolia Park -- 2929 S Binion Road, Apopka, FL 32703
LAKE APOPKA WILDLIFE FESTIVAL & BIRDAPALOOZA
What is Birdapalooza? A celebration of the rich diversity of birds and other wildlife that make their home on the north shore of Lake Apopka, Florida's third-largest lake, including: Free birding tours of the Lake Apopka Restoration area led by veteran birding guides, Live entertainment, Vendors and exhibitors specializing in outdoor recreation, birding gear and old Florida crafts and products, Food trucks and other refreshments - http://www.birdapalooza.com
March 16, 2013, Sebastian
10:00am - 6:00pm, Riverview Park -- Sebastian, Florida.
PELICAN ISLAND WILDLIFE FESTIVAL
Environmental exhibitors will be on-hand with live wildlife, arts and crafts, and environmental displays. Feature presentations include live wildlife shows and live music. Many family activities are available including boat tours, kayaking in the Indian River Lagoon, kid's activities, bird watching and history tours. Call 772-202-0697, http://firstrefuge.org/events/wildlifefestival/
March - Fellsmere
GOBY FEST - DISCONTINUED
March - Orlando
BEYOND YOUR BACK YARD FESTIVAL - DISCONTINUED
March 12 - 16, 2013, LaBelle
The 12th Annual Big "O" Birding Festival Extravaganza is a Glades/ Hendry County cooperative event in South Central Florida on the Southwest shores of Lake Okeechobee, the state's largest lake.
BIG "O" BIRDING FESTIVAL
The largest bird-themed event in South Central Florida.
Four days of tours on public and private land, seminars and presentations for the birding enthusiasts. Featuring Greg Miller (Real life guy featured in the "Big Year" book and movie.
F.M.I. e-mail: email@example.com, call 863-675-0125. www.bigobirdingfestival.com/
March 22-24, 2013, Brooksville
Formerly known as the Chinsegut Birding and Wildlife Festival, it offers one evening and day of bird and wildlife activities. Program offerings include: bird banding, Florida bat talk and walk, butterfly, wildflower and bird walks, landscaping with natives talk and demo, puppet show, bird house building, bird games for kids and more. The festival will also include off site guided field trips to see area wildlife including burrowing owls. Chinsegut Nature Center, 23212 Lake Lindsey Road, Brooksville, FL 34601; (352)754-6722; http://naturecoastfestival.wordpress.com.
Nature Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival
March 30, 2013, Umatilla
9:am - 4:pm -- Cadwell Park located at 4 Cassady St. in Umatilla.
FLORIDA BLACK BEAR FESTIVAL
Learn about the Florida Black Bear and the importance of protecting Florida's natural habitats. Activities include field trips to the Ocala National Forest, presentations on Florida bears and other wildlife and a "Florida Authors Corner." Other activities include a kid's pavilion, food, arts & crafts, a teddy bear repair clinic, live music, a Florida Black Bear maze and educational exhibits. Field trips start at 9:30AM with the last one at 2:00PM. Contact 407-323-1298, Festival Website
April 5 & 6, 2013, Vero Beach
Our second annual birding festival along the Treasure Coast. Bird tours to the Blue Cypress Lake, Stick marsh, Pelican Island Refuge; Lectures, Keynote speaker is Bob Montanaro on the Osprey; juried Bird Art show.
Treasure Coast Birding Festival
This partnership is with the Cultural Council of Indian River County and the Pelican Island Preservation Society. Call 772-770-4857 or go to http://www.treasurecoastbirdingfestival.com to register. For more information you can email Debbie@cultural-council.org.
April 5 & 6, 2013, Lehigh Acres (eastern Lee County)
The inaugural, two-day Wings Over Water Festival celebrates the diversity of southwest Florida's water, land, and wildlife with seminars, exhibits, birding and family activities from Friday, March 9 to Saturday, March 10, 2012.
Wings Over Water.
Whether you're an avid bird watcher or simply enjoy wildlife, East County Water Control District's (ECWCD) inaugural Wings Over Water Festival provides something for everyone. The WOW Festival kicks off on Friday, March 9 from 9 Ð 11:30 a.m., with a historical presentation on Harns Marsh and Lehigh Acres' environment. Then guests will take a guided nature walk through Harns Marsh. Reservations preferred. On Saturday, March 10, community members and visitors are encouraged to participate in our FREE nature festival from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Visit with environmental organizations and businesses from across southwest Florida. Experience nature through guided walks and try your luck at spotting a snail kite with Lee County Bird Patrol's observation stations. Learn about the wonders of our natural environment, tips in bird identification, uncover the secrets of fossil digging and learn about the wonders of birding with keynote speaker James Currie of Nikon's Birding Adventures.
Harns Marsh is located in the eastern portion of Lee County located off of Sunshine Blvd. in Lehigh Acres, FL. In the early 1980's, ECWCD transformed the 578-acre farmland into an active stormwater facility helping to filter water and reduce flooding to the Orange River. The water control structures have helped create a lush habitat for snail kites, limpkin and more than 140 species of animals.
April 20, 2013, Tallahassee
The annual Wakulla Wildlife Festival will be held Saturday, April 20, 2013 at Wakulla Springs State Park. The festival is a celebration of outdoor activities and area heritage. Local musicians, artists, and experts offer festival participants one-of-a-kind experiences, helpful advice, and personal enrichment in a neighborhood family atmosphere.
WAKULLA WILDLIFE FESTIVAL
It will continue to include the ever-popular premium guided tours, living history demonstrators and children's activities. Special Bird of Prey and Reptile Shows presented by the Center for Wildlife Education of Georgia Southern University are planned. Exhibitors on the main festival grounds will introduce guests to a wide assortment of outdoor activities and provide close encounters with area wildlife. Contact Della Parker-Hanson at, 850-926-4293;
April 18-21, 2013, St. Augustine
More than 150 exciting birding and outdoor photography events. A haven for outdoor photographers and bird lovers with more than 150 field trips, boat trips, kayak excursions and workshops presented by leading experts taking place during spring migration. All of the events are designed to put people where they can easily observe nature in the wild. For more information go to the Festival website at www.floridashistoriccoast.com/bird_festival/. A complete guide to the festival may be obtained by calling the St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau at 800.653.2489.
Florida's Birding & FotoFest
April 20, 2013 - Titusville
Enchanted Forest Nature Sanctuary. 10:00am - 3:00pm. Guided walks, music, stories, games, displays, exhibits by many nature and conservation organizations. www.nbbd.com/godo/ef/earthday/
Earth Day Family Fun Festival
May 17-19, 2013 - Amelia Island
This exciting 3-day festival of our bioregion around Amelia Island, includes numerous nature tours led by area naturalists and Park Rangers, nature photography workshops taught by local professionals, a nature-based / green business expo, The 'Kids Niche' nature-based activities for children, critters from the Jacksonville Zoo and more! This year's Wild Nites seminar schedule is complete.
Wild Amelia Nature Festival
This year's critter is the Horseshoe Crab. An ancient animal that has not evolved for over 3 million years but is a vital part of the coastal ecosystem. And, guess what, it's not a crab at all!
For questions, contact Jody Hetchka 904-251-0016 (days).
June 14 & 15, 2013, Titusville
Sponsored by: the City of Titusville & Canaveral National Seashore: 321-403-9334.
3rd Annual Titusville Sea Turtle Festival
Featuring: Turtle Watch Programs each evening. Rangers will provide a unique opportunity to view a loggerhead sea turtle laying her eggs.
Friday: Volunteer Beach Cleanup, Titusville Merchant's Sidewalk Sale, Sea Turtle lecture, Art Social and Music.
Saturday: Junior Ranger Program. Downtown Festival where booths, games, food and fun are just waiting for you.
Visit the website for details.
September 2013, Florida Keys
14th Annual FLORIDA KEYS BIRDING & WILDLIFE FESTIVAL
The 14th annual Florida Keys Birding and Wildlife Festival, located in the subtropical Florida Keys, is scheduled for Sept. 25-30, 2012. The six-day festival offers ample opportunity to see migrating and indigenous bird species and native wildlife during guided bird and butterfly walks, boat trips into the backcountry, photography workshops, birding talks, kayaking and biking trips, a daylong environmental fair and a trip out to the Dry Tortugas. Featured keynote speaker is Bill Thompson III, editor of Bird Watcher's Digest. Advance registration is encouraged, as many activities have participation limits and book up early.
Additional information is available by calling Kristie Killam at the National Key Deer Refuge Visitor Center at 305-872-0774 or visiting http://keysbirdingfest.org/. Registration information is available from the website.
October 4-6, 2013, Tavares
Programs will start at 7am & go until early evening on Friday and Saturday. Sunday 7:00 to noon.
Wings and Wildflower Festival
Hickory Point Park, 27341 State Road 19, Tavares, FL 32778
Prices range from free admission to special $35 programs
Contact: Kathy Pagan; (352) 429-4755; firstname.lastname@example.org • http://www.lakecountyfl.com
"Wings and Wildflowers", the inaugural Lake County Birding Festival, will be held at beautiful Hickory Point Park, Tavares. Visitors to the festival will learn about the charismatic Scrub-jay and its habitat. Specialty field trips will be offered to area preserves and natural areas. Unique birding programs will be available via guided pontoon boat tour through the Dora canal or kayak adventure through rookeries. There will be horseback riding and carriage tours too. Celebrity James Currie, host of the popular NBC TV Birding Adventures, will be a keynote speaker. Lakeside Inn in Mount Dora is the host hotel. www.lakeside-inn.com booking code "bird" or call (800) 556-5016.
October 10-13, 2013, Coral Gables
Off-site birding field trips Thursday, October 10th and Friday, October 11th. Join us at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden for the weekend's events which will include lectures, expert-led bird walks, vendors offering bird-attracting plants, kids activities and more. The 2013 Keynote Speaker will be Ted Floyd, editor of Birding, the flagship publication of the American Birding Association.
Bird Festival at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Location: 10901 Old Cutler Road Coral Gables, Florida 33156
Contact info: Vanessa Cook, 305-667-1651x3377, email@example.com
October 20-26, 2013, Sanibel Island
Mark your calendars for this year's "Ding" Darling Days birding and eco-festival at J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Florida, the week of Oct. 20-26, 2013.
"DING" DARLING DAYS
Family Fun Day kicks off the week with free fun on Sunday, Oct. 20. It features all-free refuge tours, live wildlife presentations, hot dogs, a touch tank and butterfly house, and kids' nature crafts.
Muppeteer Jim Henson's daughter, Heather Henson, with Ibex Puppetry, will return to perform a parade featuring life-size endangered animal puppets.
Conservation Art Day winds up the celebration on Saturday, Oct. 26, with visits from Federal Duck Stamp and Junior Duck Stamp winners and nature art workshops.
Free and discounted birding, biking, kayaking, and sea life boat tours, films, and presentations will fill the week between the two events.
The 24th annual "Ding" Darling Days celebrates the birthday of the refuge's namesake, father of the Federal Duck Stamp program and Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, Jay N. "Ding" Darling.
"Ding" Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge hosts "Ding" Darling Days along with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Tarpon Bay Explorers and support from local businesses and individuals. For a complete schedule, visit www.dingdarlingdays.com. Most tours meet in the refuge parking lot unless otherwise noted. For more information, call 239-472-1100 or eMail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday October 26, 2013, Gainesville
10:00am until 4:00pm. at Lubee Bat Conservancy, 1309 NW 192nd Ave, Gainesville, Florida, 32609.
9th Florida Annual Bat Festival
The 8th Annual Florida Bat Festival offers an opportunity to view giant fruit bats and enjoy the great outdoors while learning about how beneficial bats are to Florida"s environment and ecosystems worldwide. Brian Pope, Director of Lubee Bat Conservancy, explains that the festival provides an opportunity to educate everyone on the importance of bats in a unique and exciting atmosphere. According to Brian, "we are the only festival in the southeast that offers a chance to view the diversity of fruit bat species while learning about the importance of bats here in Florida and all over the world. People get a chance to see giant fruit bats with a 6' wingspan eating a variety of fruits and vegetables while interacting with numerous enrichment toys, a truly unique sight." The festival offers fun opportunities for the whole family. Whether you are viewing live fruit bats, sitting in on an education presentation, or visiting a vendor"s booth, the festival offers relaxation and recreation.
For further information and to sign up for our newsletter please visit our website:
November 17, 2012, Ponce Inlet
Sponsored by the Ponce Inlet Marine Science Center. Fun activities for the entire family.The day will include live raptor programs, exhibitors, lectures, bird-related arts and crafts, nature inspired artworks and kids activities. The event will run from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.. We will release a bird back to the wild from our bird rehabilitation hospital to close the event at 3 p.m. For information: marinesciencecenter.com/birdfest.htm; email@example.com or call 386-304-5545.
Wings on the Wind BIRD FESTIVAL
November 2, 2013 - Titusville
10:00am to 3:00pm -- Enchanted Forest Nature Sanctuary.
There will be native wildlife, live music, guided hikes, exhibitors, crafts, nature activities, native plant sales, and much more. We are also celebrating the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's 20 years of service to Brevard County. www.nbbd.com/godo/ef/events/
November 17, 2012, Charlotte Harbor
10:00am - 3:00pm — Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Rd, Port Charlotte, FL.
Charlotte Harbor Nature Festival
Fun-filled annual festival features the natural environment. Natural landscape demonstrations, guided walks and wagon rides. A fantastic children's area and musicians.
Contact is Maran Hilgendorf with the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program, tel: 866/835-5785 x 240 and email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Web site is: www.CHNEP.org.