Ute Mountain Mesa Verde Birding Festival 2013

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Taking place on 8-13 May the Ute Mountain Mesa Verde Birding Festival 2013 includes tours, lectures and a banquet with the keynote speaker Mark Obmascik sharing his vast knowledge. A silent auction and artshow, as well as personalized tours by birding experts are other features of the event. For more information visit www.mesaverdecountry.com/

Dates: 8-12 May 2013
Venue: Cortez Cultural Center
City: Cortez
State: Colorado
Country: USA

Santa Cruz Nature & Heritage Festival 2013

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This exciting wildlife festival includes two birding trips to Mexico and five trips in the Southern Arizona region where birders will have the opportunity to see a host of nesting migratory birds, particularly hummingbirds, along with permanent feathered residents. For more in formation visit www.santacruznatureheritage.org

Dates: 2-5 May 2013
Venue: Rio Rico
State: Arizona
Country: United States

Santee Birding and Nature Festival 2013

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With the aim of increasing awareness of natural areas and wildlife watching opportunities in South Carolina, the Santee Birding and Nature Festival will take place on 26-28 April 2013. The keynote speaker for the keynote dinner on the Friday of the festival is Dr. J. Drew Lanham who will present the topic “Connecting the Conservation Dots: Seeing Beyond the Birds” assisting all present to discover new ways of increasing individual and group conservation efforts. The event will include field trips, workshops, photography sessions, and loads of family-fun activities. For more information visit www.santeebirdingfestival.com

Explore the Costa Rican Bird Route

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Protecting close to 12,000 acres of wildlife habitat, the Costa Rican Bird Route includes eighteen spectacular bird watching spots. Eight of these are private reserves established by local landowners and incorporated into the Costa Rican Private Reserve Network, while the other ten sites include Costa Rica’s established biological reserves – all of which offer rich and varied bird watching opportunities. The region incorporates the last remaining habitat of the second largest parrot in the world – the endangered Great Green Macaw (Ara ambiguus) – and every year since 2002, Costa Rica and neighboring Nicaragua have joined forces to host the Bi-National Macaw Festival aimed at raising awareness of the plight of these beautiful birds.

Although the main goal of the Bi-National Macaw Festival is to promote the conservation of the habitat of the Great Green Macaw, and therefore ensure its continued existence, the gathering also gives the neighboring countries the opportunity to learn about each other as they pursue their common goal. The festival includes a host of cultural, recreational and educational activities, with art and photo contests, dancing, music, storytelling and handicrafts all focusing on the Great Green Macaw. Landowners who protect macaw nests on their property are rewarded with monetary prizes and certificates in recognition of their efforts, which have resulted in a marked reduction in pillaging of nests for macaw chick for illegal trade.

Thanks to the efforts of conservationists and local communities, birders stand a good chance of spotting a Great Green Macaw when exploring the Costa Rican Bird Route. But if the endangered South American parrot is elusive, the fact that up to 520 bird species have been counted in the route means that birding enthusiasts will have plenty to see.

Birders are asked to take note of their sightings and report them to the Rainforest Biodiversity Group via eBird.org for inclusion on the electronic database. This helps landowners along the route to keep track of wildlife on their properties, while at the same time helping the foundation to track bird distribution in the Western Hemisphere. eBird.org also offers birders the facility to explore their database, which can prove really handy when planning a trip to expand your list of birds sighted. Advanced technology now offers birders the opportunity to be a citizen scientist, no matter where in the world you are pursuing your favorite pastime.

FeatherFest 2013

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FeatherFest offers birding enthusiasts the opportunity to experience birding and nature photography at its very best in a series of outdoor adventures. Be prepared to spot as many as you can of the more than 200 bird species in the area. The base for the festival will be on the campus of UTMB’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, with trips to beaches, bays, marshes, wetlands, wood motts and coastal prairies. For more information visit galvestonfeatherfest.com

Dates: 11-14 April 2013
Venue: Galveston Island
State: Texas

2013 Olympic Peninsula BirdFest

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Organized by the Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society, the Olympic Peninsula BirdFest offers something for everyone, whether you are a beginner birder, or a seasoned expert. Take a stroll, take a hike, or take a boat tour and see what this spectacular part of the world has to offer. For more information visit the Olympic Peninsula Bird Fest Website.

Dates: 30 March – 1 April 2013
Location: Sequim, WA

2013 Vallarta Bird Festival

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The Vallarta Bird Festival offers four days jam-packed with birding activities. Join expert guides to explore unique habitats and see how many of the Banderas Bay and Cabo Corrientes Region’s more than 400 species of birds you can spot. Sit in on lectures by international authorities on a range of bird related topics. For more information visit vallartabirdfestival.org

Dates: 7-10 March 2013
Location: Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico

2013 San Diego Bird Festival

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Taking place from February 28 through to March 3, 2013, the San Diego Bird Festival features director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, John Fitzpatrick and editor of Bird Watcher’s Digest, Bill Thompson, as keynote speakers. Trips include Coastal National Refuges; Coastal National Refuges; Gulls and Coastal Waterbirds; Birding Along the Border and Birding by Bike, among others. For more information on this exciting event visit sandiegoaudubon.org

Dates: 28 February – 2 March 20-13
Venue: Marina Village Conference Center
City: San Diego
State: California
Country: United States

Orlando Wetlands Festival 2013

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Join fellow birding and nature enthusiasts at the 13th annual Orlando Wetlands Festival where the Florida Native Plant Society will lead native plant identification hikes, while the Florida Trail Association will conduct wilderness hikes. Professional nature and wildlife photographers will be leading guided photo hikes. Guided bus tours and hayrides are other options for exploring this spectacular area. Bird-banding and net-misting demonstrations, along with wildlife shows, live music and children’s interactive activities will keep the whole family occupied. Collect your free backyard tree from the City’s Families, Park and Recreation Department in celebration of Arbor day. For more information visit www.orlandowetlands.org or the City of Orlando’s Website.

Date: 16 February 2013
Times: 9am-3pm
Venue: Fort Christmas Historical Park
City: Orlando
Country: United States

Christmas Bird Count 2012

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The 113th Christmas Bird Count is set to take place from December 14 through to January 5 all over the Americas, with tens of thousands of volunteer birding enthusiasts participating. If you have not yet taken part in this annual event, why not make it your new family tradition, as it is one that can be enjoyed by all ages.

Visit the Audubon website for more information and to register.

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