Join thousands of birders and nature enthusiasts as they flock to Florida’s Space Coast for the 20th anniversary of one of the country’s foremost birding festivals. The Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival — set for January 25 – 30, 2017 — will include six days of workshops, field trips, boat tours, presentations, panels and exhibits.  

This year’s festival honors one of the most diverse estuaries in North America — the Indian River Lagoon. Home to more than 3,000 species of plants and animals, the Indian River Lagoon features one of the most diverse bird populations in America. Led by a panel of leading researchers, attend a presentation that will explore the ecological challenges facing this estuary. 

You’ll have a chance to get up close and personal with nature through various field trips and tours that will be offered throughout the week. Register for the Offshore Birding and Wildlife Adventure, and soak in the coastal scenery as you scout birds, jellyfish, sea turtles, dolphins and, if you’re lucky, maybe even Humpback and North Atlantic Right whales. Or, you can explore Port Canaveral and the Lagoon by boat to catch sight of rare bird species, dolphins and manatees. 

Additionally, the event’s line-up of keynote speakers includes nationally renowned experts and thought-leaders in the areas of wildlife, birding and conservation. You’ll have the opportunity to: 

  • Discover what’s going on in the minds of animals.
  • Explore how radar can be used to better understand bird migration.
  • Learn why we need to embrace a new way of thinking about water.
  • Hear about a unique coast-to-coast birdsong adventure by bicycle. 

New for 2017, festival goers will have the chance to relax and unwind in the quaint atmosphere of Titusville’s Downtown Historic District at the Saturday Night Live Festival Street Party, set for January 29. You will have the opportunity to mingle and check out the city of Titusville and its local merchants, festival exhibitors, food trucks and live music.

If you’re looking for a place to stay during the festival, the Quality Inn Kennedy Space Center Hotel in Titusville had been named the official host of the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival for 2017. The hotel offers complimentary 3 a.m. breakfasts for early birders, free Wi-Fi and a heated pool with a waterfall. There are also a number of other options for lodging, but make sure to book early!

So, whether you are a beginning or an experienced bird or wildlife watcher, a photographer, an artist or craftsman, or you simply enjoy spending time in nature, grab your binoculars and come learn about the world we live in and the species that inhabit it — all while experiencing the exciting outdoor adventures Florida’s Space Coast has to offer. 

Pre-registration is required for all field trips, classroom and keynote presentations and fees may vary. For times and fees for events, as well as directions, tips on what to wear, class descriptions and lodging information, visit SCBWF.org