If you are one of the 48 million bird lovers in the United States, you can catch a glimpse of rare birds while conversing with fellow fanatics at one of several birding festivals this fall. From California to Virginia, festival-goers can enjoy outings to natural habitats and participate in clinics on art and photography.
In Watsonville, California, the Monterey Bay Birding Festival on September 23rd-26th focuses its attention this year on “The California Coast – From Condors to Snowy Plovers.” Take part in one of the full or half-day trips to nearby birding hotspots at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary or Pinnacles National Monument.
On the east coast head over to Cape Charles, Virginia from October 7th-10th for the Eastern Shore of Virginia Birding and Wildlife Festival.
This festival offers attendees a chance to take excursions around the shore, view exhibits, and participate in guided tours. In addition, bird lovers can partake in boat tours, hikes, and bird banding, all sponsored by the festival.
In Alabama, be sure to check out the Alabama Coastal Birdfest
from October 14th-17th in Spanish Fort. The festival includes activities for all age ranges and includes keynote speaker Dr. John Dindo, who will speak about coastal bird ecology. The festival also includes tours of local birding sites and a family-friendly bird expo.
Head down to Harlingen, Texas to be a part of the 17th annual Rio Grand Valley Birding Festival
- Nat Geo Expeditions
on November 10th-14th and catch a glimpse of parrots, orioles, and kingfishers. This festival offers outdoor bird watching as well as speakers, workshops, and book signings from well-known authors of birding books and manuals.
If these festivals are out of your travel range, visit the American Birding Association for a more local festivals which run throughout the year across the country.
Photo: An oriole, by My Shot user Steve Neitzel