May is a wonderful time, full of greening trees, warming temperatures, returning birds, and lots and lots of birding festivals. Below we list no fewer than 13 events taking place over the final three weeks.
This five-day festival will feature a trade show, seminars, and guided fieldtrips to the Bighorn Basin, Shoshone National Forest’s Swamp Lake, McCullough Peaks Wild Horse Management Area, Alkali and Beck Lakes, Yellowstone National Park, and other locations. At Cody, Wyoming. Festival website.
Mark Peterson, executive director of the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute of Northland College, and Lizzie Condon of Project Passenger Pigeon will deliver keynotes. Condon and Joel Greenberg co-wrote an article on the Passenger Pigeon that appeared in our February 2014 issue. At Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center, Ashland, Wisconsin. Festival website.
Festival of Birds
Joel Greenberg, author of A Feathered River across the Sky, will talk about the life and legacy of the Passenger Pigeon, Sue Leaf, author of A Love Affair with Birds, will discuss the the life of Thomas Sadler Roberts, and Carrol Henderson will conduct a workshop on wildlife photography. At Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. Festival website.
Kenai Birding Festival
Fieldtrips will visit area hotspots, the movie The Big Year will be shown, and a 24-hour big sit will be held. At Kenai Visitor Center, Kenai, Alaska. Festival website.
Leavenworth Spring BirdFest
Tawas Point Birding Festival
Great Salt Lake Bird Festival
Fieldtrips during the festival will visit the best birding areas in northern Utah, and Tim Boucher, conservation geographer for the Nature Conservancy, will deliver the keynote, lead fieldtrips, and present a workshop. Read his blog posts. At Farmington, Utah. Festival website.
May 15-June 20
Kirtland’s Warbler Guided Tours
Daily tours begin at the Mio Ranger Station with a short video and presentation. Then participants follow a guide in their own vehicles to the field site, where the guide will lead a short walking tour in the jack pine habitat to view the Kirtland’s warbler and other wildlife. $10. At Mio, Michigan. Tour website.
May 15-July 4
Kirtland’s Warbler Tours
Michigan Audubon Society is working in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct guided tours of the protected pine barrens where Kirtland’s Warblers nest. Tours will be based at Hartwick Pines State Park, just north of Grayling, Michigan. Free with state recreation pass. Tour website.
Enjoy walks along beaches and salt marshes, viewings of shorebird and horseshoe crab interactions along Delaware Bay, naturalist-led horseshoe crab night walks, opportunities to view and participate in shorebird tagging with the International Shorebird Research Team, live horseshoe crab demonstrations, and hands-on education and conservation-based activities and games. At Wetlands Institute, Stone Harbor, New Jersey. Festival website.
May 23 – 24
Kirtland’s Warbler and Whooping Crane Fieldtrip
See two of North America’s most endangered birds — Kirtland’s Warbler and Whooping Crane — with biologists involved in restoring them to Wisconsin’s landscape. Sponsored by the Wisconsin Natural Resources Foundation. At Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. Fieldtrip website.
Down East Spring Birding Festival
Festival goers will experience the great variety of habitats of Down East Maine — boreal and northern hardwood forests, bogs, fresh- and salt-water marshes, grassy and shrubby fields, streams and lakes, steep rugged headlands, extensive tidal flats, and coastal islands. The festival includes a trip to Canada’s Machias Seal Island, the largest Atlantic Puffin colony in the Gulf of Maine. At Trescott, Maine. Festival website.
May 23-26 and May 29-June 1
Huron Fringe Birding Festival
This festival, at MacGregor Point Provincial Park and the nearby Bruce Peninsula, is held annually over two four-day weekends following the Canadian Victoria Day weekend. At Port Elgin, Ontario. Festival website.
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.
Interested in having Editor Chuck Hagner speak at your event? Send an email.