Birding festivals slated for October 2018

Sandhill Cranes
Sandhill Cranes. Photo by Tena Southern

Want to learn more about birds? Sign up for our newsletter, full of birding tips, news, and more!

As fall migration continues throughout the United States, October offers many birding festivals taking place throughout the country. Below is a roundup of nine taking place during the month.

October 3-6
Alabama Coastal BirdFest

The 15th Annual John L. Borom Alabama Coastal BirdFest offers many opportunities to see birds, alligators, wildflowers, dolphins, and other wildlife around Baldwin and Mobile counties. Visit the festival website.

October 5-7
New York State Birders Conference

Greg Miller of The Big Year fame will serve as the featured speaker at the 71st annual meeting of the New York State Ornithological Association and New York State Birders Conference. There will also be ample opportunity to see shorebird and songbird species around Henrietta, New York. Visit the festival website.

October 5-7
BirdFest and Bluegrass Celebration

Join the Friends of Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge in celebrating the return of Sandhill Cranes to the refuge. Events include activities for kids, bluegrass music, a live bird show, and local artists and food from Ridgefield, Washington. Visit the festival website.

October 5-7
Bridger Raptor Festival

This free festival held near Bozeman, Montana, centers on the largest known Golden Eagle migration in the United States. Events feature raptor viewings, nature walks and talks, and other educational and entertaining programs for people of all ages. Visit the festival website.

Read about Bridger Mountains Hawk Watch, Hotspot Near You No. 171

October 12-14
“Ding” Darling Days

The 30th annual celebration of “Ding” Darling Days is a weekend full of eco-activities with free tram tours around Sanibel Island, Florida, live wildlife presentations, and other family-friendly activities. Visit the festival website.

October 11-14
Florida Birding and Nature Festival

This four-day festival in Tampa offers field trips, boat trips, a nature expo, events and workshops for kids, and more. The keynote speakers are Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jack E. Davis, acclaimed photographer Mac Stone, and Project Puffin director Steve Kress. Visit the festival website.

October 16-21
Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival

The annual Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival takes place in six national wildlife refuges in northeast North Carolina (Outer Banks area) and hosts 90 different birding, paddling, photography, art, and natural history programs. Visit the festival website.

October 18-21
Cape May Fall Birding Festival

Cape May, New Jersey, is home to many incredible birding hotspots, and the best way to experience them all is by going to the Cape May Fall Birding Festival. This year’s featured speakers are J. Drew Lanham, a professor of wildlife at Clemson University, and Merlin Tuttle, the founder of Bat Conservation International. Attendees can join bird walks with local naturalists and indoor activities as well. Be sure to stop by the BirdWatching booth in the Convention Hall! Visit the festival website.

October 31-November 4
Yellow Rails and Rice Festival

Designed with fun in mind, the Yellow Rails and Rice Festival in Jennings, Louisiana, provides participants with a unique venue to view Yellow Rails while bringing birders and farmers together to realize the bird’s value to the area’s “working wetlands.” Visit the festival website.

Know of other birding festivals taking place? Add them to our online calendar


Read our newsletter!

Sign up for our free e-newsletter to receive news, photos of birds, attracting and ID tips, and more delivered to your inbox every other week. Sign up now

See the contents of our current issue

How to subscribe to BirdWatching