15 fun birding events taking place in the first weeks of May

4/25/2014 | 0

Scarlet Tanager by jbuescher.

Scarlet Tanager by jbuescher.

Hurrah! We made it to spring! Our calendar is full of birding festivals and other fun events. Here we list 15 events that are taking place the first two weeks of May, including several at which you can rub shoulders with contributors to BirdWatching.

View our calendar of events.

Add an event to our calendar of events.

David Allen Sibley. Photo by Richard Pasley.

David Allen Sibley. Photo by Richard Pasley.

May 1-19
Point Pelee Festival of Birds

Point Pelee National Park is a major resting point for warblers, vireos, and other migrating songbirds, and Contributing Editor David Sibley (right) will be on hand May 3 and 4. At Point Pelee National Park, Leamington, Ontario. Festival website.

Read our interview with Sibley about the revised edition of his field guide.

May 2-4
Prairies and Pineywoods BirdFest

Photographer Nopadol Paothong, author of the award-winning book Save the Last Dance: A Story of North American Grassland Grouse will deliver the keynote. We featured Paothong’s photos of grouse in our April 2012 issue. At the Selah Inn and Ranch, Mount Vernon, Texas. Festival website.

Read Paothong’s article about where you can see America’s five grassland and sagebrush grouse.

May 3-4
Feather Fest 2014

At Mosquito Hill Nature Center, New London, Wisconsin. Festival website.

May 4, 1-2 pm
Raptors of Wisconsin

Tour leader and photographer Erik Bruhnke will share field-ID techniques and personal experiences for learning hawks up close and at a great distance. At Delafield Public Library, Delafield, Wisconsin, free.

May 6, 12-2 pm
Taping of Detroit Public TV program on migratory birds

Be part of the studio audience for a taping of a TV show on migratory birds. The program, Great Lakes Now Connect, will be hosted by Christy McDonald and moderated by Patrick Doran, director of science for Michigan and the Great Lakes for the Nature Conservancy. Panelists will include John Hartig, the refuge manager of the Detroit International Wildlife Refuge, and Melinda Pruett-Jones, the first director of the American Ornithologists’ Union. “Great Lakes Now Connect: Migratory Birds” will air May 10 at 3 pm and again on May 15 at 10 pm on DPTV WORLD channel 56.2. Program website.

BirdWatching Contributing Editor Laura Erickson

BirdWatching Contributing Editor Laura Erickson

May 6-15
Biggest Week in American Birding

Three BirdWatching contributing editors —  David Sibley, Laura Erickson (right), and Kenn Kaufman — will give keynotes during this year’s 10-day birding event, which will also feature workshops, guided birding, half-day bus tours, woodcock extravaganzas, and daily walks on the boardwalk at Magee Marsh. Organized and hosted by Black Swamp Bird Observatory. At Maumee Bay State Park, Oregon, Ohio. Festival website.

May 7-10
Southwest Wings Spring Fling

In 2014, Southwest Wings will be conducting two festivals, one in spring and another in summer. The Spring Fling will offer field trips to Garden, Sawmill, Sheelite, and other canyons, the San Pedro River, and other hotspots. At Sierra Vista, Arizona. Festival website.

May 8-11
Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival

Renowned painter and naturalist Lars Jonsson will be the keynote speaker. He will be joined by guest speaker Susan Bonfield, executive director of Environment for the Americas, organizer of International Migratory Bird Day. At Cordova, Alaska. Festival website.

May 8-11
Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival

Hundreds of thousands of shorebirds — more than 25 species from as far as Asia, Hawaii, and South America — use sites around Kachemak Bay as feeding grounds during their spring migration. Festival participants can choose between over 50 different events, from advanced ornithology workshops, beginning birding, field trips. and boat tours. At Homer, Alaska. Festival website.

BRD-HW0212-500May 9-11
Creston Valley Bird Fest

West Kootenay photographer Jim Lawrence will conduct a photography workshop, and raptor specialist Brian Baxter will give a presentation. Biologist, naturalist, and guide Dave Quinn, CBC radio’s “outdoor adventure guy” will deliver the keynote. At Creston, British Columbia. Festival website.

May 9-11
Festival of the Birds

Author-blogger-podcaster Sharon Stiteler will be the keynote speaker. At Presque Isle State Park, Erie, Pennsylvania. Festival website.

May 9-11
Skagit Valley Bird Blitz

This birding camp seeks to replicate the success of the Manning Park Bird Blitz, which attracts large numbers of birders each year and builds on a growing database that now spans over 30 years of sightings. At Skagit Valley Provincial Park, British Columbia. Camp website.

May 9-12
Horicon Marsh Bird Festival

A wide assortment of bus and boat tours and bird hikes will be offered, and money raised during a Big Sit will help fund a feeding station and bird-friendly landscaping around the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center and other club projects. At Horicon Marsh, Wisconsin. Festival website.

May 10
World Series of Birding

More than 100 teams are expected to participate in this year’s World Series, the 31st. At Cape May Bird Observatory, Cape May Courthouse, New Jersey. World Series website.

May 10-18
Keweenaw’s Migratory Bird Festival

Enjoy hawk watching, bird surveys, field trips, and other events in Copper Harbor in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. On May 10, visit the Brockway Mountain Hawk Watch. At Copper Harbor, Michigan. Festival website.

Read an article by Editor Chuck Hagner about watching hawks on Brockway Mountain.

Festivals and events

We highlight fun birding events in “Birding Briefs” in every issue of BirdWatching magazine. Many of the events above appeared in our June 2014 issue. Subscribe.

Read about these and other events in our online calendar. You can reach the calendar from any location on our website. Just look for “PHOTOS & CALENDAR” in the black bar at the top of the page. From the pull-down menu, click on “Calendar of events” to view the calendar. Click on “Submit event” to add an event.

View our calendar of events.

Add an event to our calendar of events.

Interested in having Editor Chuck Hagner speak at your event? Send an email.