Sandhill Cranes in Washington and Nebraska are on the top of our list of birds to see in late March, but there’s plenty more to see and do — in Florida, here in Wisconsin, even in Israel. Below are events taking place between March 20 and the beginning of April.
Audubon’s Nebraska Crane Festival
Tens of thousands of Sandhill Cranes. Millions of migrating waterfowl. This festival in central Nebraska, formerly known as the Rivers and Wildlife Celebration, marks one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on the continent. Every birder should see it. Festival website.
Nature Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival
Spring Hill, Florida
The ubiquitous Greg Miller will speak, and field trips will take birders in search of Florida Scrub-Jay, Burrowing Owl, Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Bachman’s Sparrow, Wood Stork, Limpkin, Swallow-tailed Kite, and other Florida specialties. In Citrus, Hernando, and Pasco Counties. Festival website.
Bird City Wisconsin Summit
A long list of high-interest speakers and panelists are scheduled to appear at the summit, which will serve as the annual meeting of the pathfinding partnership known as the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative. Here are three: Stanley Temple, Beers-Bascom Professor Emeritus in Conservation, UW-Madison, and senior fellow, Aldo Leopold Foundation, will talk about Project Passenger Pigeon. Sue Bonfield, executive director of Environment for the Americas, will talk about International Migratory Bird Day. And Scott Diehl, manager of the Wisconsin Humane Society Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, will talk about preventing bird-window collisions. Summit website.
Eilat Birds Festival – SOLD OUT
Every year, this festival gives birders from around the world the opportunity to experience bird migration in southern Israel at its peak in spring. Unfortunately, the 2014 festival is already sold out. The organizer, the Israel Ornithological Center of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, is no longer accepting reservations. Festival website.
Othello Sandhill Crane Festival
Attendees will enjoy free lectures and view lots of Sandhill Cranes. Past festivals have included specialty tours to Columbia National Wildlife Refuge, the Channeled Scablands, the lower Grand Coulee, and Wahluke Slope. Even more fun, Noah Strycker, author of the books Among Penguins: A Bird Man in Antarctica and The Thing with Feathers: The Surprising Lives of Birds and What They Reveal About Being Human, will give the keynote on Saturday. Festival website.
Festivals and events
We highlight fun birding events in “Birding Briefs” in every issue of BirdWatching magazine. Most of the events above appeared in our April 2014 issue.
Interested in having Editor Chuck Hagner speak at your event? Send an email.