Just as the birds you watch tend to flock together, so do the birders who watch them. True, there are some birds who like to go it alone, and maybe you’re like them – you do your birding solo. But since there is safety in numbers and fun there too, you might like to try getting together with fellow birders once in a while at one or more annual birding festivals.
Below is a short list of birding festivals and related events that I have put together. These gatherings are in various locations across the United States. Perhaps there is one close enough to where you live that you might want to check out. If you’re not hesitant to travel a longer distance for something like this, then all of them may be in your scope. Don’t forget your binoculars.
This is far from an exhaustive list, so if you have a birding festival or other similar event that you’d like to add, please provide a few details and even a link to a related website in the comments.
If you see an event in the list that you are especially interested in, click it to go right to it. Otherwise, you can just continue below.
- 1 Mass Audubon Annual Birders Meeting
- 2 Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival
- 3 Horicon Marsh Bird Festival
- 4 Delmarva Birding Weekends
- 5 Chequamegon Bay Birding and Nature Festival
- 6 Wisconsin Society for Ornithology Birding Calendar
- 7 Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival
- 8 What Other Birding Events and Festivals Do You Know About?
Mass Audubon Annual Birders Meeting
This meeting (aka birding festival) is apparently based in Boston. Organizers seek to bring in birders from all over New England.
There are speakers, vendors, and sponsors including Zeiss, Swarovski Optik, the American Birding Association (ABA), and many more.
Area birding clubs, including the Athol Bird and Nature Club, Brookline Bird Club, Essex County Ornithological Club, Forbush Bird Club, Hoffman Bird Club, Menotomy Bird Club, and the South Shore Bird Club all lend a hand.
Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival
This birding festival is located at Eastern Florida State College in Titusville, Florida. In the past, this has been a five-day event.
Besides representatives from optics companies like Swarovski and Leica, there are socials involving food daily.
Horicon Marsh Bird Festival
The Horicon Marsh is located in east central Wisconsin, not too far from where I currently live. The Horicon Marsh Bird Club apparently organizes this festival each year.
There’s not too much information available on the official site in between festivals, but you can sign up for their newsletter so you can be alerted to updates as soon as they are available.
Delmarva Birding Weekends
On the Delmarva Peninsula (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia), the Delmarva Birding group sponsors Birding Weekends throughout the year.
The information they provide on their site seems to be updated fairly well, so check their site to see if anything interests you.
Chequamegon Bay Birding and Nature Festival
Heading back to Wisconsin, you can attend the Chequamegon Bay Birding and Nature Festival. Chequamegon Bay is in far northern Wisconsin. It is part of Lake Superior with Ashland being its main port city.
This three-day event features over 100 activities for bird and nature lovers of all skills and ages. There’s certain to be something you’ll like and can learn from.
Wisconsin Society for Ornithology Birding Calendar
The Wisconsin Society for Ornithology (WSO) maintains a calendar of birding events throughout the state. Many of these involve the state Atlas (actually the Atlas II) which is an attempt to catalog all bird species found in Wisconsin over a 5-year period.
If you live in or near Wisconsin, there very likely is something on the WSO calendar for you.
Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival
The Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Birding Festival features birding leaders, speakers, and field trips yearly. It is centered in Harlingen, Texas and, as found in other festivals, includes sponsorships by the ABA, Zeiss, and Swarovski.
Harlingen is located at the southernmost tip of Texas, just northwest of Brownsville which is right on the Rio Grande.
What Other Birding Events and Festivals Do You Know About?
As I mentioned above, this is just a short list of birding events found across the country. The original list happens to include events in the eastern portion of the country. It barely makes it west past the Mississippi River with the Texas festival.
Please add to this list by commenting below to let other birders know about what else is available, especially if you can tell us about an annual event.
And one more reminder: Don’t leave those binoculars at home!