The Space Coast welcomes birders, wildlife watchers, nationally recognized naturalists, scientists, biologists, photographers, ornithologists, artists, and authors to the 18th Annual Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival (SCBWF) scheduled for January 21 26, 2015.

10850106_656664367782379_6633982584328570851_nConsidered the premier birding festival in the country, SCBWF offers six days of field trips and workshops, classroom and keynote presentations, the World Digiscoper Meeting, a Pelagic boat trip, nature-based Exhibitors, Silent Auction and the 14th Annual Art Show & Competition presented by the Titusville Art League. Daily performances are offered during the week by the Raptor Project, a group of rehabilitated owls, eagles, falcon and hawks. Rendezvous with the Raptors is a special Festival Fundraising Event scheduled on Saturday, January 17 at the Brevard Zoo. Meet these incredible birds up close and personal. Register on the festival web site (url listed below).

The Festival is a community-based event that encourages Brevard County resident attendance by families with children, home-schooled kids, those who are disabled that enjoy outdoor and nature-based programs, folks who are experienced or new to bird and wildlife watching, photographers at any level of interest, artists, crafters or those of any age that enjoys getting outdoors and learning about activities available on Florida's Space Coast.

Florida's Space Coast home of the largest collection of endangered wildlife and plants in the continental United States offers natural, distinct settings for destination visitors from throughout the United States and many foreign countries. Headquartered at Eastern Florida State College in Titusville, festival field trips and workshops reach into five surrounding counties via partnerships with the St. Johns River Water Management District, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail and Florida Forest Service. Partnerships for use of local land sites include: Canaveral National Seashore, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, St. Johns National Wildlife Refuge and the Environmentally Endangered Lands properties. Many of these locations are not normally open to the public, but are made available only during the festival. Unique to the bird and wildlife watching experience in Brevard County are water reclamation systems located at Viera Wetlands and Blue Heron Wetlands.

Pre-registration is required for all field trips, classroom and keynote presentations and fees vary. Specific descriptions , times and fees for events as well as directions, exhibits, Art Show, Silent Auction, registration format and local information can be found on the festival website: www.spacecoastbirdingandwildlifefestival.org