barn owl

barn owl

Things to Know About the Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival

Snowbirds aren’t the only ones migrating south

It’s that time of the year when the faithful snowbirds start migrating south to make the Space Coast their home for a few months. But they aren’t the only “birds” to make this place its home.  The egret, the roseate spoonbill, and the bald eagle, to name a few, are native to the area and catching the majestic sight of these birds is one of the many reasons why thousands of birders and nature enthusiasts flock to the coast every January. Another reason why people visit the Space Coast in January is because of a long-standing festival that is your launch pad to Florida’s wildlife and is one of the Southeast Tourism Society winners for 2019’s Top 20 Events, and you don’t want to miss this.

The 23rd Annual Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival will take place January 23-28, 2019 and is host to one of the largest birding and wildlife festivals in the United States. This year’s festival theme is all about the owl and with the line up of nationally renowned speakers, you’ll walk away with a newfound appreciation for these beautiful creatures, as well as learn from experts and thought-leaders in the areas of wildlife, birding and conservation. Other features include incredible nature-based experiences from world-class photographers, workshops, and other presentations and activities that highlight the Space Coast’s wildlife and natural resources.

This year’s keynote speakers are bar none:

  • Denver Holt – Adaptation in Owls
  • Iain Campbell – Are Birders Having an Identity Crisis?
  • Scott Weidensaul – Caught in the SNOWstorm
  • Mac Stone – Everglades: America’s Wetland

Other Spotlight Speakers are as follows:

  • Clay Taylor – Birding South Texas: Adding to our North America List
  • Kevin T. Karlson – Birds of Prey of the Southeastern U.S.
  • Sam Fried – Owls of North America
  • Kevin Loughlin – Owl All Over the Place
  • Gina Kent – Great Horned Owls the Ultimate Predator: A Kite’s Perspective
  • Dr. Richard Raid – Barn Owls: Nature’s Mousetrap

You’ll definitely want to make sure you sign up for these workshops and classes and not miss out on hearing from the best in their fields.

The 2019 festival also adds several new field trips options with over 25 to choose from either on land or on water, as well as environmentally endangered lands (EEL) field trips. Here are a few of the many diverse trips you can go on that suits your fancy:

Water Trips:

  • Barrier Island Center and Pelican Island Sunset Fly-In
  • Port Canaveral/Lagoon Boat Tour
  • Offshore Birding and Wildlife Adventure

Land Trips:

  • A Walk at Blue Heron Wetlands
  • Florida Scrub-Jay & Scrub Fire Ecology
  • Playalinda Beach: Sea-Birding from Shore

EEL Trips:

  • Birding by Ear
  • Owls of Florida
  • Malabar Scrub Hiking Tour

These are just a few of the many outdoor adventure options to choose from. For a full listing and descriptions, check out the field trip options here.

As you can see, there is a reason why this annual birding and wildlife festival gathers people from all over. There is so much to experience and learn about right here on the Space Coast. For more information on this festival and all that it offers, grab a warm drink of choice and check out the festival guide here.

Additional Activities

Want to take advantage of having a bit of summer during the winter? Make this getaway well-rounded and one to remember by adding stops to our famous beaches, the Valiant War Bird Museum, the American Police Hall of Fame, Kennedy Space Center, just to name a few. And if you’re lucky, you may even be able to catch a rocket launch at one of the top viewing sites. There are plenty of things to do here on the Space Coast so start your planning now with these helpful links:

No matter if you are a longtime bird and wildlife watcher or just starting to appreciate the beauty of nature, come out and discover why this festival is one of the top events to experience here on the Space Coast. Grab your binoculars and plan for a great time in the outdoors and have an adventure here on the Space Coast.

We want to see your birding and festival adventures so take pictures and videos and make sure you follow and tag us using #SpaceCoast  

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Instagram: @floridaspacecoast


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