five Bird-Watching Festivals You Can Go to This Fall


Every single fall, additional than 300 bird species across North America migrate south for the winter, an occasion impacted as a great deal by a bird’s place and breeding timeline as it is by the altering climate. Not only will these festivals assure that you are in the ideal location at the ideal time, but they’ll let you to take portion in the type of awe-inspiring wildlife migrations typically linked with additional far-flung destinations. So book your quick-hop flight, grab your binoculars and field guides, and get prepared to be captivated alongside North America’s most passionate birding enthusiasts. 

Cape May well Fall Festival

Bird Watching Festival
(Photo: Rabbitti/iStock)

Cape May well, New Jersey October 17 to 20

New Jersey Audubon’s Cape May well Fall Festival is the longest-operating birding festival in the country—and for superior cause. Throughout the crest of the fall migration, additional than 100 bird species can be spotted passing the Cape May well peninsula, situated at the southern tip of the state between Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, a 50-minute drive from Atlantic City. A single of the festival’s highlights is the sky parade of raptors (osprey, sharp-shinned hawks, and kestrels have been prevalent this month) that funnel more than Cape May well Point final year more than 50,000 raptors had been counted by Cape May well Hawkwatch involving September 1 and November 30. Appreciate every day field trips on land and sea led by notable birders and photographers, such as the preferred Trip to the Rips, a 3-hour boat tour that offers the likelihood to view waterbirds like gannets, gulls, and terns at the mouth of Delaware Bay, as nicely as marine mammals like bottlenose dolphins and humpback whales. Day pass from $85 

Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival

Bird Watching Festival
(Photo: duckycards/iStock)

Harlingen, Texas November six to 10

Although the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival often options an impressive roster of every day field trips, skilled guides, and keynote speakers, a significant draw of the 5-day occasion are the pre- and post-festival trips, which shuttle attendees to in-the-know birding hot spots close to and far. This year’s 4-day pre-trip, from November two to five, begins in Houston and explores the piney woods and coastal marshes of the state, though the excursion following the festival, from November 11 to 15, ventures more than the international border, practically 300 miles south, to the Unesco-recognized El Cielo Biosphere Reserve in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. Just after a 5-hour bus journey to the mountainous cloudforest in the state’s southeast, you’ll be capable to search for endemic species like the Tamaulipas pygmy owl and the Altamira yellowthroat. Registration from $25 trips from $825 

San Quintín Bay Bird Festival

Bird Watching Festival
(Photo: Sean Jansen/iStock)

Campo La Chorera, Baja California, Mexico November eight to 9

Established by neighborhood communities and the land-conservation nonprofit Terra Peninsula 5 years ago, the annual San Quintín Bay Bird Festival is a two-day event that aims to market the protection of more than 25,000 birds that go to San Quintín Bay each and every year. Situated on the west coast of Baja California, 190 miles south of Tijuana, the area options wetlands, sand dunes, and meadows critical to migratory shorebirds of the Pacific Flyway. Even though you will need to register, the festival options a selection of free of charge or reasonably priced activities, such as boat tours, guided birding hikes, and a bird-watching marathon where participants attempt to determine as many species as feasible in a single afternoon. Remain at a beach campsite in Punta Mazo Nature Reserve (from $10). 

Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival

Bird Watching Festival
(Photo: Ferenc Cegledi/iStock)

Fraser Valley, British Columbia November 16 to 17

Significantly less than two hours southeast of downtown Vancouver is Fraser Valley, property the annual Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival, a free of charge occasion that commemorates one particular of the biggest gatherings of bald eagles in the globe. Witness thousands of the raptors feed on spawned-out salmon on the banks of the Fraser River, get up close to the birds on boat tours, and verify out neighborhood vendors, lectures, and household-friendly entertainment at a variety of areas across the valley. Even though bald eagles (and salmon) may perhaps be the primary attraction, maintain an eye out for substantial numbers of trumpeter swans and blue herons drawn to the area’s mild climate. 

Festival of the Cranes

Bird Watching Festival
(Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southwest Area/Inventive Commons)

San Antonio, New Mexico November 20 to 23

Birders, photographers, artists, and local Socorro County residents collect each and every year to witness the return of tens of thousands of sandhill cranes to their wintering grounds in the Middle Rio Grande Valley at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, 95 miles south of Albuquerque. On prime of every day hikes, tours, and seminars organized by Mates of Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, the festival provides 65 photography workshops geared toward capturing wildlife, which sharpens visitors’ best shots of the red-crowned birds. Other highlights incorporate kid-friendly activities, like a hands-on duck-banding project and a biologist-led young birder’s stroll. Registration is essential for the festival, but like the San Quintín Birding Festival, it includes both free of charge and reasonably priced experiences, as nicely as additional highly-priced workshops with specialists (from $95). 

Lead Photo: SWInsider/iStock


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