National wildlife refuges are great places to look for birds. And because many refuges are located along migration routes, they’re also locations for great birding festivals. Below are seven fun festivals to put on your calendar in April.
1. Harney County Migratory Bird Festival
See the spectacular spring migration in the Harney Basin of southeastern Oregon. View thousands of migratory birds — waterfowl, shorebirds, cranes, raptors, wading birds, and songbirds — as they rest and feed in the open spaces of Oregon’s high desert. Big Year birder Noah Strycker is a featured speaker.
2. Attwater’s Prairie-Chicken Festival
Eagle Lake, Texas
See the courtship dance of the endangered Attwater’s Prairie-Chicken in coastal prairie habitat at Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR. Early-morning van tours will take festival attendees to one of the prairie-chicken’s booming grounds. Other events include guided wildflower and native-plant tours, birdwalks, birding van tours with experienced birders, and refuge tours. The Friends of Attwater Prairie Chicken Refuge will sponsor a booth.
3. Godwit Days
Field-trip destinations for this birding festival along the northern California coast include Humboldt Bay NWR. The event also includes scores of eco-tours and workshops, an art show, and live birds of prey.
5. Great Dismal Swamp Birding Festival
Enjoy a festival during the height of the spring migration. You might catch a glimpse of a Swainson’s Warbler and “Wayne’s Warbler,” a subspecies of Black-throated Green Warbler. More than 200 types of birds either reside or pass through Great Dismal Swamp NWR. The festival is part of International Migratory Bird Day.
6. Balcones Songbird Festival
Marble Falls, Texas
7. Birding and Blues Festival
Pacific City, Oregon
Celebrate the spring migration and the natural resources of southern Tillamook County and Nestucca Bay NWR. The festival provides educational, cultural, recreational, and economic opportunities to the residents and businesses of Pacific City and attracts visitors of all ages and skill levels.
10 festivals at national wildlife refuges in February and March.
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