Fun festivals in South Texas, Oregon, Idaho, and northern Minnesota — not to mention the annual Great Backyard Bird Count — make the first weeks of February one of our favorite times of the year.
Watch eagles in February! Here’s a list of festivals and watches.
Laredo Birding Festival
Each day of the festival, guides and members of the Monte Mucho Audubon Society will lead 10 full-day trips in search of White-collared Seedeater, Scaled Quail, Gray Hawk, Audubon’s and Altamira Orioles, Brown Jay, Green Parakeets, Muscovy Duck, Red-billed Pigeon, and Clay-colored Thrush. Frequent BirdWatching contributor Noah Strycker, author of the book Among Penguins, will deliver the keynote on Saturday. Laredo is on the Rio Grande in South Texas. Festival website.
Winter Wings Festival
Klamath Falls, Oregon
Bird Watcher’s Digest editor Bill Thompson III, Canon Explorer of Light Rick Sammon, and eBird project co-leader Brian Sullivan will deliver keynotes. Birdchick Sharon Stiteler will host a Birds-and-Brews get-together and lead digiscoping-related events. Festival website.
Hagerman Bird Festival
This three-day event features speakers, guided walks, field trips, exhibits, workshops, and educational activities for children and adults. In Saturday’s keynote, five well-known Idaho birders will share humorous and inspirational stories of extraordinary birding encounters. Festival website.
Sax-Zim Bog Winter Bird Festival
Sax-Zim Bog is a great place to see Great Gray Owl, Northern Hawk Owl, and (possibly) Boreal Owl or Northern Saw-Whet Owl — not to mention Boreal Chickadee, Pine Grosbeak, Gray Jay, and Common and Hoary Redpolls. Or Spruce or Sharp-tailed Grouse or Snow Bunting. If you think these birds sound like fun, this festival is for you! Sandy Komito will give a presentation on Big Year birding, and Scott Mehus will talk about research conducted by the National Eagle Center. Festival website.
Great Backyard Bird Count
The annual count is a fun four-day event that engages birdwatchers of all ages to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are. Join in! GBBC website.
We highlight fun birding events in “Birding Briefs” in every issue of BirdWatching magazine. Most of the events above appeared in our February 2014 issue.