We’ve been waiting eagerly for the end of this month and the start of October. You too? In the weeks ahead, you can count hawks, eagles, and other raptors in Duluth, the Florida Keys, and Montana; enjoy festivals in Ohio, Alabama, and Florida; celebrate the selection of another Duck Stamp; and savor the spectacle of free-flying California Condors in Arizona. What fun!
ABA Mid-Atlantic Young Birder Conference
Ashland Nature Center, Hockessin, Delaware
Bird walks and hawk watching at the peak of fall migration will be offered, along with concurrent indoor learning sessions for new and experienced young birders and special sessions for parents, mentors, and club coordinators. Artist and author Jonathan Alderfer will deliver one of two keynote presentations. ABA Young Birder of the Year Ioana Seritan will deliver the other. Conference website.
Midwest Birding Symposium
The Ohio Ornithological Society, the Lakeside Association, and Bill Thompson III and his team at Bird Watcher’s Digest are hosts. Symposium website.
Hawk Weekend Festival
Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve, Duluth, Minnesota
Goshawk and other hawk watching, interpretive programs, and live-bird demonstrations will be offered at the main overlook, and a variety of field trips and workshops will take place at and away from the ridge Saturday and Sunday. On Friday, raptor researcher Keith Bildstein, Sarkis Acopian Director of Conservation Science at the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Pennsylvania, will describe recent studies of Turkey Vultures and Striated Caracaras. Festival website.
Migratory Bird Festival of the North Shore
This festival takes place in one of the most beautiful regions of Quebec, bounded on the west by the majestic Saguenay Fjord, on the south by the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and on the north by the vast boreal forest. And it takes place while the fall migration is most impressive. Pelagic trips, bird banding, and public lectures will be offered. Organized by the Observatoire d’oiseaux de Tadoussac (Bird Observatory Tadoussac). Festival website (in French or translated into English by Google).
Florida Keys Birding and Wildlife Festival
The festival is anchored at Curry Hammock State Park, home of the annual Florida Keys Hawkwatch, but activities span the length of the island chain, from Everglades National Park to the Dry Tortugas. Hawkwatch coordinator Rafael Galvez will be the keynote speaker. Field trips will visit the Dry Tortugas, the Key Deer Refuge, Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock State Park, and other natural areas. Festival website.
2013 Federal Duck Stamp Contest
Maumee Bay State Park Conference Center, Oregon, Ohio
The Federal Duck Stamp Program is the most successful conservation program in our nation’s history, and the Federal Duck Stamp Contest is our country’s most prestigious federally recognized art contest. Artwork viewing and the judging process is free and open to the public. Contest website.
California Condor Public Release
Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona
Earlier this year, you and other readers voted the California Condor the most-wanted bird in the United States and Canada. This event is your chance to watch as captive California Condors are released to the wild. Spotting scopes will be set up, and experts will be available to answer questions. Event website.
Alabama Coastal BirdFest
Five Rivers Delta Resource Center, Spanish Fort, Alabama
Bird magnificent Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge with naturalists from the refuge, tour the 164-acre Audubon Bird Sanctuary on Dauphin Island, visit Fort Morgan, the banding site of Bob Sargent and the Hummer/Bird Study Group, and choose from some 20 other field trips. Festival website.
Bridger Raptor Festival
Eighteen species of migrating raptor have been recorded at the Bridger Mountains Hawk Watch since monitoring began in 1991, but the star of the flight is the Golden Eagle. More than 1,500 are counted every year. Don’t miss it. The annual festival kicks off with a keynote address at the Museum of the Rockies. Hikes, displays, lectures, children’s activities, and live-bird presentations follow. Festival website.
Wings and Wildflowers Festival
Tours will seek out the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker and Florida Scrub-Jay, the only bird species endemic to the state of Florida. James Currie, host of Nikon’s Birding Adventures, ABA president Jeffrey Gordon, and Florida wildflower expert Walter Taylor will deliver keynote addresses. Festival website.
We highlight fun birding events in “Birding Briefs” in every issue of BirdWatching magazine. Most of the events above appeared in our October 2013 issue. You can view events taking place later in October in our calendar of events.