Menu with CSS3 Css3Menu.com

 

Eco Tortoise

Florida Birding, Wildlife & Nature Festivals



| Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec |


To update your festival information, eMail the webmaster at: spacecoastoutdoors@gmail.com.

January

January 6-8, 2017
WHITE PELICAN CELEBRATION

      Smallwood Store, Chokoloskee, FL.
White pelicans winter in Chokoloskee Bay. The bay is located in the 10,000 Islands and Everglades National Park (west). Pelagic tours available by 6 seat motor boat or kayak (advanced reservations required) to approach, observe & photograph white pelicans offshore. Tours will include mangrove islands, home to osprey, bald eagles, egrets, ibis, herons and often, roseate spoonbills. There will be arts & craft booths, local bluegrass, authentic Seminole foods & guided bird walking tours of Chokoloskee Island. Speaker, Dr. Tommy King, research wildlife biologist from USDA/APHIS/WS National Wildlife Research Center, MS. Also on hand, local avian experts.
      Box 310, Chokoloskee, FL 34138. For more information, call Lynn McMillin at 239 695 2989, or visit www.smallwoodstore.com/.

January 12-16, 2017
EVERGLADES BIRDING FESTIVAL

      Become One with the River of Grass. Search South Florida hot spots for target species such as Snail Kite, Limpkin, Painted Bunting and up to 170 species in the Everglades, Corkscrew, STA 5, South Miami, Upper Keys, Palm Beach & Dade wetlands and more. A focus on learning advanced birding skills with daily mini-workshops, and handouts that are applied directly in the field on full day field trips. Top Guides and small groups increase birding experience. Also Keynotes James Currie, Paddy Cunningham, dinners, lunches and photography tract. TOP Florida Guides: Paddy Cunningham, Jim Eager, David Simpson.
      This festival specializes in full day field trips, daily field workshop, speakers, special dinners and birding fun. Focus will be on gaining advanced birding skills in a non-intimidating environment. For more information view www.evergladesbirdingfestival.com/ and contact Paddy Cunningham at 754-201-1141.

January 13-16, 2017, Naples
12th ANNUAL SOUTHWEST FLORIDA NATURE FESTIVAL

      Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve: Rookery Bay Nature Fest - (239) 417-6310
      Register today for field trips during the 12th Annual Southwest Florida Nature Festival! Explore the local environment through almost 40 guided field trips to 20 wildlife hot spots around Southwest Florida and lectures at the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center. Field trips, including birding walks, buggy rides and boat tours, are offered in conjunction with partners such as Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Big Cypress National Preserve and Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Enjoy field trips on all three days, onsite activities as follows:
      Friday, Jan. 15: admission to the Environmental Learning Center is $5 Buy-One/Get-one FREE (includes daily programs at 11 am and 2 pm)
      Friday, Jan. 15: admission to the Environmental Learning Center is $5 Buy-One/Get-one FREE (includes daily programs at 11 am and 2 pm)
      Saturday, Jan. 16: admission is $10 and includes entry to all 5 daytime lectures. Advanced registration is NOT required, must pay at door. Admission to the keynote presentation is $15, registration IS required.
      Sunday, Jan. 17: Environmental Learning Center is closed
REGISTRATION

January 25 - 30, 2017, Titusville
SPACE COAST BIRDING & WILDLIFE FESTIVAL

      Eastern Florida State College (formerly BCC) - Titusville, Florida
      The Brevard Nature Alliance is proud to assemble a prestigious group of locally, nationally and internationally recognized scientists, biologists, photographers, ornithologists, naturalists, artists and authors. Additionally, the Brevard Nature Alliance is fortunate to continue relationships with the many sponsors, partners and volunteers who support the Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival. Lastly, we could not present this premier event without the variety of bird species that come to us via the Atlantic Flyway and the plethora of wildlife and plants that make their home on Florida's Space Coast.
      19th year in Titusville and the Space Coast. More than 200 activities, led by leading authorities. Considered by many to be the #1 wildlife festival in America. www.spacecoastbirdingandwildlifefestival.org

January 23 & 24, 2016, Orange City
ORANGE CITY/BLUE SPRING MANATEE FESTIVAL

      10:00 am to 5:00 pm -- Valentine Park in Orange City (On West French Avenue, off U.S. Hwy. 17-92). Blue Spring State Park is Florida's most significant warm water refuge for the endangered manatee. This two-day environmental festival in Valentine Park in Orange City features educational exhibits on endangered wildlife, children's rides, food, crafts, craft show and free rides to see the manatees. Admission: $8.00 for adults, $2.00 for children 4-10, 3 and under are FREE, Dogs - $10. Free Shuttle Bus To Blue Spring State Park To See The Manatees! Info: (386) 775-9224. www.themanateefestival.com/

Jan. 29 and Jan. 30, 2016, Lehigh Acres (eastern Lee County)
FOURTH ANNUAL WINGS OVER WATER FESTIVAL

      Don't miss East County Water Control District's Fourth Annual Wings Over Water Festival on February 27th and February 28th at Harns Marsh in Lehigh Acres. Discover the beauty of southwest Florida's water, land and wildlife. Enjoy a guided nature walk on Friday. Or an array of activities on Saturday including a farmer's market, native plant sale, kid's activities, educational exhibits; and presentations from experts – including Chad Crawford – Host of the TV show "How to Do Florida". Admission is free. More information is at Wings Over Water Festival.
      "The WOW Festival showcases to the importance of ECWCD's mission and provides a unique opportunity for community members to connect with local organizations and experience nature through an array of interactive experiences," said J. Nathan Stout, Chairman of the ECWCD Board of Commissioners.
      Getting there: From Lee Blvd. head north on Sunshine Blvd., turn left on Olive Ave. N. and then turn left on 38th St. W.; and continue to Harns Marsh.


February

January 20-21, 2017, Mount Dora
Lake Apopka Wildlife Festival & Birdapalooza Birding Weekend

      The Lake Apopka Wildlife Festival & Birdapalooza allows exploration of a newly opened birding hot spot. On Friday add to your life list at the amazing 20,000-acre Lake Apopka North Shore. A full-day trip and two half-day trips led by well-known local birding guides are offered. On Saturday join the FREE family-oriented Birdapalooza festival and participate in expert-led photo walks, other bird walks, bird banding and guided bus tours. Visit out Website. For more information call Deborah Green at 386-690-4705.

February 10 - 12, 2017, Palm Coast
BIRDS OF A FEATHER FEST

      With more than 125 miles of hiking, biking and walking trails, miles of coastline, varied habitats and more than 200 identified species, Flagler County is a birder's paradise. Few places offer as many wonderful opportunities to enjoy nature while being so connected, accessible and clean. With a focus on families, beginners and experts alike, this festival will offer something for everyone.
      We're proud to have Greg Miller joining us for our inaugural year, along with a host of other great speakers and presenters. You won't want to miss out on this family friendly event!
      CLICK HERE to register for this exciting event.

February 7, 2015, Port St. Joe
ST. JOSEPH BAY & BUFFER PRESERVE WINTER BAY DAY

      Low Country Shrimp Boil 11:00-2:00: Fresh local shrimp, corn, kielbasa sausage, potatoes, garlic bread and tea.
Guided trips all day: Trips to St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve—Fall Wildflowers; St. Joseph Bay Aquatic Preserve - Boat and Seagrass Wading Tours; Birding trips to St. Joseph Peninsula and nighttime astronomy program
      Tour the Preserves: Enjoy a trip through the backwoods trails of the Buffer Preserve to our Rare & Endangered plants, Prescribed Burn Sites, various Native Plants. Trips to learn about shore birds, explore the shoreline of the Bay!
      All Proceeds to Benefit Friends of St. Joseph Bay Preserves (501.c.3 Non profit organization)
St. Joseph Bay Preserves Center, 3915 Hwy 30-A (Approximately 5 miles south of Port St. Joe). Call 850-229-1797 or visit www.stjosephbaypreserves.org for more information.

February 07, 2015, St. Marks
9th ANNUAL ST. MARKS NWR WILDLIFE, HERITAGE AND OUTDOORS FESTIVAL

St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge: 1255 Lighthouse Road, St. Marks, FL
      Come join us for the 9th Annual Wildlife, Heritage and Outdoors (WHO) Festival to be held February 7th at the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Enjoy food, live music, contests, and activities for all ages. A Silent Auction will be held to benefit the Refuge's Environmental Education program. For more information, call the Refuge at 850-925-6121.
      WEBSITEsaintmarks@fws.gov

February 12 -14, 2016, Apopka
OLD FLORIDA OUTDOOR FESTIVAL

Northwest Recreation Center, 3710 Jason Dwelley Parkway, Apopka, FL 32712
      Join us in Apopka, Florida for a weekend highlighting the outdoor lifestyle! The Old Florida Outdoor Festival will feature birding, fishing, hunting, shooting sports, Highwaymen art, kids activities, a local farmer's market, backyard chili cook-off, DockDogs, and Florida Barbecue Association BBQ cook-off. Evenings at the Festival will be celebrated with national country music recording artists performing concerts at Northwest Recreation Center's Amphitheater.
      Join St. John's River Water Management and Orange Audubon Society for tours of Lake Apopka Restoration Area and the Lake Apopka North Shore. Considered one of the top observation areas for inland, wetland birds in the state, Lake Apopka's North Shore will be showcased as part of Old Florida Outdoor Festival. Bird diversity is unparalleled, and includes more than 348 species observed. Visitors can also anticipate seeing other wildlife including alligators, turtles, otters and bobcats.
      Bird tour participants must register in advance at http://www.oldfloridaoutdoorfestival.com/birding_registration.html.
      Contact: Ashley L. Moore: 407-703-1809; AMoore@apopka.net

February 20, 2016, Christmas
ORLANDO WETLANDS PARK FESTIVAL

      9:00am - 3:00pm -- The Wetlands is a 1,650 acre world renowned example of Wetlands Engineering providing an oasis for flora, fauna, and feathered friends.
      The festival originates at Ft. Christmas Park in Christmas, Florida. It features include birdwatching tours, photo shoots, bicycle tours, native plant walks, bird banding and mist-netting demonstrations, wildlife shows, live music, and bus tours will travel along the wetland berms. Contact Mark Sees, (407) 568-1706. Website.

February 25, 2017, Cape Coral
S.W. FLORIDA 12th ANNUAL BURROWING OWL FESTIVAL

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. • Rotary Park Environmental Center, 5505 Rose Garden Road, Cape Coral FL 33914
      Cape Coral FL is home to the largest known population of the Florida BURROWING OWL with over 2500 documented burrows. These pint sized birds burrow underground where they nest from late February through July and are now the official city bird of Cape Coral.
      Highlights of the festival are lectures about the Burrowing Owl and other nature orientated topics, nature hikes to observe the varied habitats and wildlife at Rotary Park, guided bus tours to observe the Burrowing Owl habitats, as well as dozens of local artists showing and selling nature related arts and crafts. Various guest speakers will be on hand to give informative talks on various wildlife topics. One of the highlights of the festival is the newly dedicated interactive butterfly tent exhibit. This exhibit was dedicated to Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife member Tom Allen, who passed away in 2010 and was the driving force in getting this butterfly exhibit built and stocked.
      Admission is suggested donation of $5 for ages over 16.
      For directions or information call Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife at 239-980-2593 or visit www.ccfriendsofwildlife.org. Co-sponsored by Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife & the City of Cape Coral.

February 28, 2015, Titusville
FLORIDA SCRUB-JAY FESTIVAL

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. 10:00am - 3:30pm
      Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is hosting the sixth annual Florida Scrub-Jay Festival on Feb. 28, 2015 from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm. The event celebrates the endangered scrub habitat and Florida Scrub-jay, a threatened species found only in Florida. The event and all activities are free. The festival will offer live music, nature tours, live animals displays, and childrens' activities and games. Please call 321-861-5601 for information.
      The main event will take place at the refuge visitor center located on SR 402, 5 miles east of the Intersection of U.S. 1 and Garden Street (SR406) in Titusville. From the intersection of U.S. 1 and Garden Street, head east over the Max Brewer Bridge and continue to the fork in the road. Bear right at the fork and continue 2 miles to the entrance to the visitor center.
      Please call 321-861-5601 to make reservations. The Visitor Center is located on SR 402, 5 miles east of U.S. 1 in Titusville.
      WEBSITE


March

March 8 & 9, 2014, St. Petersburg -- CHANGED - Update coming for 2016
10th ANNUAL WILDLIFE WEEKEND AT BOYD HILL

      Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, 1101 Country Club Way South, St. Petersburg
      This nature festival is a community event which targets teachers, non-formal environmental educators, students and especially our local community. The event is free to the public as well as exhibitors and vendors. A pleasant surprise in urban St. Petersburg awaits you on the shores of Lake Maggiore. This preserve has 6 miles of trails and boardwalks, plus lakefront access, hardwood hammocks, pine flatwoods, upland scrub, freshwater swamp and a freshwater marsh.
      WEBSITE • Boyd Hill Nature Preserve: 727-893-7326.

March 11 - 16, 2015, Hendry County
BIG "O" BIRDING FESTIVAL

      The Big "O" Birding Festival is a Hendry County event organized to showcase the migratory and resident birds located in rural South Central Florida. We're home to more than 250 species of birds, including Limpkins and migratory Swallow-tailed Kites plus Painted Buntings which pass through during October and April. New this year will be trips to Audubon's Lake Okeechobee Sanctuary which is only accessible by airboat and photo workshops with Don Hamilton.
      Nine Great Florida Birding Trail sites are within the region: Dinner Island Ranch and Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest, and Spirit of the Wild which are Wildlife Management Areas, and Stormwater Treatment Area #5 (STA5) in Hendry County, and Fisheating Creek Wildlife Management Area—East & West in Glades County.
      Expect to see ducks including Fulvous Whistling-Ducks and Mottled Ducks; shorebirds like Black-necked Stilt; waders such as Roseate Spoonbill, Wood Stork and Least Bittern; and specialty raptors including Crested Caracara, Snail Kite, and Barred Owl. Come and help us search for South Florida's specialty birds.
      e-mail: bigobirdingfesitval@gmail.com, call 863-675-0444. www.bigobirdingfestival.com/

MARCH 18, 2017, Sebastian
PELICAN ISLAND WILDLIFE FESTIVAL

10:00am - 4:00pm, Riverview Park -- 600 US Highway 1, Sebastian, Florida.
      Benefiting the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge: "1st refuge in the nation" — Free Parking – Free Admission – Free Activities
      Live Wildlife Shows, Bird Tours, Kayaking available, Refuge Tours, Environmental Exhibits, Food Vendors, Boat Tours to Pelican Island, Amateur Photo Contest, Kids' Educational Activities by Disney's Vero Beach Resort, T. Roosevelt impersonator, Arts & Crafts Exhibits, Historical Reenactments, Live DJ All Day, & More Family Fun.
      Call 772-202-0697, www.firstrefuge.org.

March 20-23, 2014, Brooksville
NATURE COAST BIRDING & WILDLIFE FESTIVAL

      Chinsegut Conservation Center in Hernando County: 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
      Formerly known as the Chinsegut Birding and Wildlife Festival. Make plans to celebrate the rush of migrating wings north along the Atlantic flyway over Citrus, Hernando and Pasco counties during the 2nd annual Nature Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival. This four day event will feature a variety of programs, activities and field trips highlighting the special birds and wildlife along Florida's Nature Coast. Pre-registration is required for General Admission, all field trips, keynotes and programs.
      Chinsegut Nature Center, 23212 Lake Lindsey Road, Brooksville, FL 34601; WEBSITE • Festival Contact: Andy Wraithmell • 850-488-9453.

April

April 15 - 18 2016, Marianna
CHIPOLA FEATHER FEST II

      Come join us for a 4-day celebration of birds and wildlife in the beautiful Florida Panhandle, home to the world's largest population of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers. The Chipola Feather Fest will provide you with the opportunity to see this iconic species plus many other sought after birds such as Bachman's Sparrow, Swallow-tailed Kite, Mississippi Kite, Swainson's Warbler, Least Bittern, Snowy Plover, and Purple Gallinule.
      Festival Highlights
  • Visit Apalachicola National Forest home to the world's largest population of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers.
  • National hummingbird expert Fred Bassett will be delivering a fascinating Keynote speech at the historic Russ House in Marianna. Food & Drinks are included.
  • Go on a Night Safari to Apalachee Wildlife Management Area to search for nocturnal birds and creatures using night vision binoculars!
  • Join North American Butterfly Association experts Dean and Sally Jue for a fun field trip to the Chipola River Greenway.
  • Visit Florida's biggest Cliff Swallow colony.
  • Enjoy spring migration and nesting Snowy Plovers on St. George Island, one of Florida's premier biding hotspots.
      This event is brought to you by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida, Jackson County Tourist Development Council, and Chipola College; in cooperation with the Florida Park Service, Jackson County Parks, the City of Marianna, Jim Woodruff Powerhouse Lock & Dam, and the National Forest Service.
      For more information and/or to register for this exciting event please visit the FESTIVAL WEBSITE OR the Festival FACEBOOK page.

April 18 - 20, 2014 - Gainsville
"OLD FLORIDA" BIRDING and WILDLIFE FESTIVAL

      Hosting the first annual festival April 18-20, 2014 with paddling, birding, hiking, nature photography, butterfly museum visit, seminars, and bat events! Join us to experience our springs, rivers, sink holes, conservation areas, and butterfly museum! This will also be Florida's only International Migratory Bird Day event, which we will celebrate with children's events Saturday and a celebration Saturday night! Check out our festival blog posts to follow the planning of the festival!
      Join us to experience our birding, nature, and southern, "Old Florida," charm and hospitality.

April 18, 2015 - Titusville
EARTH DAY FAMILY FUN FESTIVAL IN THE ENCHANTED FOREST

      Enchanted Forest Nature Sanctuary. 10:00am - 3:00pm. Guided walks, music, stories, games, displays, exhibits by many nature and conservation organizations. www.nbbd.com/godo/ef/earthday/

April 15, 2017, Wakulla Springs
WAKULLA WILDLIFE FESTIVAL

      The Wakulla Wildlife festival is a celebration of the area's wildlife and is intended to be especially inviting for children and the child in everyone. Local music, a Student Art Show (Aspiring Artists), children's activities, outdoor and wildlife exhibitors, and wildlife tours in a neighborhood family atmosphere make the festival an area favorite. The festival is held the third Saturday in April each year.
      Please visit www.wakullawildlifefestival.com/ for more information.

April 26 - 30, 2017, St. Augustine, FL
FLORIDA'S BIRDING & PHOTO FEST

      We are once again spreading our wings to present a world-class birding and outdoor photography event.
      The Festival features more new world-renowned photographers, more new rare birding opportunities, and even more new in-field programs and technical training opportunities than previous events.
      Equally as impressive is the confirmed return of perhaps the greatest collection of upper echelon international nature and wildlife photographers in the world — a collection which continues to solidify Florida's Birding & Photo Fest as one of the premier and prized events in all of North America. And of course the community of St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra, & all of Florida's Historic Coast is welcoming bird lovers and photography aficionados with all the gracious, friendly hospitality one would expect from the Nation's Oldest City and Florida's most world-class destination.
      So without further ado, we welcome you to this Birding & Photo Fest—an event which glorifies the love we have for birds, nature, phtography and Florida's unique offering of the great outdoors. It will be yet another auspicious St. Augustine event which is destined to go down in History.
      For more information go to the Festival website at www.floridashistoriccoast.com/bird_festival/. This year's event will be held at the GTM Research Reserve Environmental Education Center, located at 505 Guana River Rd, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL (904) 823-4500. (Just 10 miles north of downtown St. Augustine).

May

May 20-22, 2016 - Amelia Island
WILD AMELIA NATURE FESTIVAL

      This exciting 3-day festival of our bioregion around Amelia Island, includes numerous nature tours led by area naturalists and Park Rangers, nature photography workshops taught by local professionals, a nature-based / green business expo, The 'Kids Niche' nature-based activities for children, critters from the Jacksonville Zoo and more! This year's Wild Nites seminar schedule is complete.
      www.wildamelia.com
      For questions, contact Jody Hetchka 904-251-0016 (days).

June

June 10, 2016, Titusville
4th ANNUAL TITUSVILLE SEA TURTLE FESTIVAL

      Sponsored by: the City of Titusville & Canaveral National Seashore: 321-403-9334.

Featuring: Turtle Watch Programs each evening. Rangers will provide a unique opportunity to view a loggerhead sea turtle laying her eggs.

Friday: Volunteer Beach Cleanup, Titusville Merchant's Sidewalk Sale, Sea Turtle lecture, Art Social and Music.

Saturday: Junior Ranger Program. Downtown Festival where booths, games, food and fun are just waiting for you.
Visit the website for details.

September

September 23 - 28, 2014, Florida Keys
FLORIDA KEYS BIRDING & WILDLIFE FESTIVAL

      Our 16th annual six-day event will get you birding in spectacular natural areas throughout the entire Florida Keys. The 2014 festival includes a fantastic selection of birding experts who will lead morning walks, midday workshops and evening presentations. Witness the spectacular fall migration of falcons, hawks, songbirds and other magnificent avian species.
      Immerse yourself in our tropical habitats that are home to beautiful endemic plants and wildlife. Participate in a multitude of guided walks, boat adventures, photography lessons, citizen science and keynote speaker events. We have four national wildlife refuges, 10 state parks, three national parks, a national marine sanctuary and many other natural areas just waiting to be explored!
      Contact Kristie Killam at 305-872-0774 or 305-304-9625; flkeysbirdfest@gmail.com. Visit www.keysbirdingfest.org

October

September 29, 2016, Coral Gables
BIRD FESTIVAL AT FAIRCHILD TROPICAL BOTANIC GARDEN

      Want to learn about South Florida's birds? Interested in becoming a birder? Or just want to start identifying our feathered friends? Then come to the Bird Festival at Fairchild!
      This year's keynote speaker will be Kenn Kaufman, lifelong naturalist and the originator and editor of the Kaufman Field Guides series. The festival begins with two days of off-site tours of South Florida bird habitats led by Tropical Audubon Society experts. The festival continues at Fairchild on Saturday and Sunday with activities for birders of all ages, including presentations by bird experts, bird walks, amateur bird photo contest and exhibit.
      For more information please visit the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Bird Festival Page. Contact: Vanessa Cook Email: vcook@fairchildgarden.org, phone 305-667-1651 ext. 3377, 10901 Old Cutler Road Coral Gables, FL 33156.

October 8, 2016, Umatilla
FLORIDA BLACK BEAR and Wildlife Conservation FESTIVAL

9:am - 4:pm -- Cadwell Park located at 4 Cassady St. in Umatilla.
      The purpose of the Florida Black Bear and Wildlife Conservation Festival is to increase awareness and promote the safe coexistence of humans and wildlife by fostering community appreciation of the Florida black bear and other native wildlife species, as well as Florida's unique ecosystems that serve as wildlife habitat.
      Learn about the Florida Black Bear and the importance of protecting Florida's natural habitats. Activities include field trips to the Ocala National Forest, presentations on Florida bears and other wildlife and a "Florida Authors Corner." Other activities include a kid's pavilion, food, arts & crafts, a teddy bear repair clinic, live music, a Florida Black Bear maze and educational exhibits. Field trips start at 9:30AM with the last one at 2:00PM. Contact 407-323-1298, Festival WebsiteFacebook

October 13-16, 2016, Tampa Bay Area
FLORIDA BIRDING AND NATURE FESTIVAL

      For birders, butterfly enthusiasts, and nature lovers, the Florida Birding and Nature Festival, scheduled for October 13-16, will offer a variety of talks, field trips, and nature-product booths topped off by key note speakers David Johnson, Director of the Global Owl Project speaking about Owls of the World and Carlton Ward, Jr., renowned nature photographer talking about the Florida Wildlife Corridor Project.
      The Festival is hosted by Hillsborough Community College, South Shore in Ruskin, a gold-ranked LEED Certified campus, the seven local Audubon chapters, the Suncoast Native Plant Society, and Hillsborough County. Field trip leaders include Florida's top birders and naturalists who will take participants to the best local sites for discovering a wide and varied spectrum of wildlife, habitats, and plant life.
      Contact: Melanie Higgins, melanie@questecology.com, 813.625-1271, Website: http://floridabirdingandnaturefestival.org/

Oct. 14-16, 2016, Leesburg
LAKE COUNTY WINGS AND WILDFLOWER FESTIVAL

      9 - 4 a.m. -- Venetian Gardens, 109 E. Dixie Ave., Leesburg -- Free (cost for various programs)
      The Festival will include Keynote speakers related to birding and wildflowers. Festival-goers will learn about the charismatic Florida Scrub-jay and the unique Florida scrub habitat. Other specialty field trips will be offered to area preserves and pristine public lands. Unique birding programs will be available by kayak, pontoon boats and seaplanes. For your dining experience, food trucks will be available. With Lake County's reputation as a premier birding location, it is the goal of this festival to enhance awareness and appreciation of Lake County's quality of life, and support environmental initiatives on behalf of citizens and visitors alike. We hope you can join us.       CONTACT: Call Yvonne Powers at 352-742-3925 or email ypowers@lakecountyfl.gov -- http://www.wingsandwildflowers.com

October 16-22, 2016, Sanibel Island
"DING" DARLING DAYS

      Mark your calendars for this year's "Ding" Darling Days birding and eco-festival at J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Florida, the week of Oct. 16-22, 2016.
      Family Fun Day kicks off the week with free activities on Sunday, Oct. 16. It features all-free refuge tours, live wildlife presentations, archery clinics, hot dogs, a touch tank and butterfly house, and kids' nature crafts.
      Conservation Art Day winds up the celebration on Saturday, Oct. 22, with visits from Federal Duck Stamp and Junior Duck Stamp winners and nature art workshops.
      Free and discounted birding, biking, kayaking, paddleboarding, sea life boating tours, and interpretive presentations will fill the week between the two events.
      The 27th annual "Ding" Darling Days celebrates the 140th birthday of the refuge's namesake, father of the Federal Duck Stamp program and Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, Jay N. "Ding" Darling. The refuge invites the public for free birthday cake and showing of the "America's Darling" documentary film starting at 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 21.
      The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS), and Tarpon Bay Explorers, the refuge's recreation concession, cosponsor "Ding" Darling Days with generous support from the local community and businesses.
      Visit www.dingdarlingdays.com for updates on events, information on sponsoring "Ding" Days, or to sign up for e-mail update bulletins. Contact Birgie Miller at 239-292-0566 or director@dingdarlingsociety.org to become a sponsor.
      As a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, DDWS works to support J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge's mission of conservation, wildlife and habitat protection, research, and public education through charitable donations and Refuge Nature Shop proceeds.
      To support DDWS and the refuge with a tax-deductible gift, visit www.dingdarlingsociety.org or contact Birgie Miller at 239-292-0566 or director@dingdarlingsociety.org.

October 21 - 23, 2016, Vero Beach
INDIAN RIVER BIRDING FESTIVAL (& NATURE ART SHOW)

      Pelican Island Preservation Society partnering with Environmental Learning Center.
      Juried Art Show opens Friday 5-8pm at the ELC location at 255 Live Oak in Vero Beach.
      Birding Tours that evening with a lecture
      Saturday opens with birding tours at 6am Art Show at 9am-5pm
      Sunday opens with birding tour at 7am Art Show at 10am-4pm
      For more information see https://www.facebook.com/TreasureCoastBirdartshow/. To enter the Art Show email debbieainvero@gmail.com. All forms of art accepted.

October 25, 2014, Gainesville
9th Florida Annual Bat Festival

      10:00am until 4:00pm. at Lubee Bat Conservancy, 1309 NW 192nd Ave, Gainesville, Florida, 32609.

      The 8th Annual Florida Bat Festival offers an opportunity to view giant fruit bats and enjoy the great outdoors while learning about how beneficial bats are to Florida"s environment and ecosystems worldwide. Brian Pope, Director of Lubee Bat Conservancy, explains that the festival provides an opportunity to educate everyone on the importance of bats in a unique and exciting atmosphere. According to Brian, "we are the only festival in the southeast that offers a chance to view the diversity of fruit bat species while learning about the importance of bats here in Florida and all over the world. People get a chance to see giant fruit bats with a 6' wingspan eating a variety of fruits and vegetables while interacting with numerous enrichment toys, a truly unique sight." The festival offers fun opportunities for the whole family. Whether you are viewing live fruit bats, sitting in on an education presentation, or visiting a vendor"s booth, the festival offers relaxation and recreation.
      For further information and to sign up for our newsletter please visit our website: www.visitgainesville.com/attractions/bat-festival/

November

November 7, 2015 - Titusville
Forest Festival

10:00am to 3:00pm -- Enchanted Forest Nature Sanctuary.
      The activities will include Florida wildlife presentations, live music, guided hikes, environmental exhibitors, native plants for sale by the Florida Native Plant Society and more. There will also be children's activities, and face painting. Food will be available for purchase. This is a free event for all ages.
www.nbbd.com/godo/ef/events/

November 25, 2016, Naples
Florida Panther Festival

      Make plans to join us for this family-friendly event to celebrate our local wildlife including the endangered Florida panther. Along with all regular zoo activities, you'll enjoy outdoor exhibits by area conservation partners, fun activities for kids, guided nature walks on the Gordon River Greenway, and practical talks about living with wildlife presented by experts.
      Free Admission for Collier Residents: November 5 is a Naples Zoo Free Saturday for Collier County residents. Just bring a driver's license with a Collier County address or other proof of residency. http://www.floridapantherfestival.comCLICK HERE FOR THE FACEBOOK PAGE.

November 21, 2015, Charlotte Harbor
Charlotte Harbor Nature Festival

10:00am - 3:00pm — Charlotte County Sports Complex, 2300 El Jobean Rd. (SR 776), Port Charlotte, FL.
      The Charlotte Harbor Nature Festival is a regional family-friendly celebration where people can learn about topics affecting the natural environment of southwest Florida. This is accomplished through a wide variety of activities for both adults and children, which include guided walks in Tippecanoe Environmental Park, hands-on activities, exhibits and vendors, music, a Children's Discovery Zone and more. A committee of volunteers, who represent a diverse group of organizations, is dedicated to making this Festival exciting and informative. Admission and parking are both free. To learn more, watch the short videos we've posted on YouTube: 2013 at http://youtu.be/3D91LooaX2k, 2012 http://youtu.be/ojqzl0w45J0 and 2011 http://youtu.be/DxwPusoDB6k.
      Contact is Maran Hilgendorf with the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program, tel: 941/575-3374 and email: maran@chnep.org. The Web site is: www.CHNEP.org.

December






7/1/97