When I was a very new birder, and barely knew the birds in my backyard, I attended an event that changed my life.

I had found an ad for the Cape May Spring Weekend, and I found it so intriguing I quickly took the plunge and signed up for this birding festival.

I really knew nothing about birding, all I knew was I had gotten bitten by a bug to learn more. So off I went with a cheap pair of binoculars that I found out were mostly worthless and a desire for knowledge. I was like a sponge, soaking up every tidbit of knowledge I could gather.

I spent 4 wonderful days looking at birds from dawn until dusk and attending lectures and workshops in the evening. And then I sat with my field guide until late in the night studying all of the birds I had seen each day. It was heaven (especially after I purchased my first grown-up pair of binoculars and saw all the things I had been unable to see before).

What I didn’t know about this birding festival before I went are really the things that make Cape May a premier birding destination for birders around the world:

  • I did not know that some of the best birders in the world live in Cape May and regularly lead field trips and workshops there.
  • I did not know that Cape May is a major spot for both spring and fall migration and that huge numbers of many different kinds of birds pass through this spot every year.
  • I did not know that I would gain some expertise in identifying the notoriously difficult shorebirds and warblers by immersing myself in bird identification all day like this.

It’s that time of year now when you too can attend a birding festival and expand your knowledge of birds and learn about their life history and how you can help them in your wildlife garden.

For bird lovers and nature enthusiasts, birding festivals are a perfect way to explore the world of birds and connect with other like-minded individuals. These festivals provide a unique opportunity to learn about birds, attend guided birdwatching trips, and participate in workshops and presentations led by expert birders. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced birder, birding festivals are a great way to discover the joys of birdwatching and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.

One of the best things about birding festivals is the opportunity to see a variety of birds in their natural habitats. With guided birdwatching trips, you can visit birding hotspots and see birds up close and personal. This is a great way to learn about the different species of birds and their behaviors and habitats. Whether you’re interested in shorebirds, waterfowl, or songbirds, there’s sure to be a birding festival that caters to your interests.

Another great aspect of birding festivals is the opportunity to learn from experts in the field. With workshops, presentations, and lectures, you can gain a deeper understanding of birds and their behaviors, habitats, and migration patterns. Whether you’re interested in bird identification, bird photography, or bird conservation, there’s sure to be a workshop or presentation that caters to your interests.

In addition to learning about birds, birding festivals are also a great way to connect with other bird lovers and nature enthusiasts. With like-minded individuals from all over the world, you can share your experiences, knowledge, and passion for birds and nature. Whether you’re looking to make new friends or simply want to chat with others who share your interests, birding festivals are a great place to connect and network.

Here is a list of some of the most popular birding festivals, along with their dates and locations:

Great Texas Birding Classic: April, Texas

Cape May Birding Festival: May, Cape May, New Jersey

Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival: November, Rio Grande Valley, Texas

Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count: December 14th to January 5th, Nationwide

Oregon Shorebird Festival: September, Pacific Northwest

Great Backyard Bird Count: February, Worldwide

Delaware River Shorebird & Songbird Festival: May, Delaware River Valley, New Jersey

Pacific Northwest Birding Festival: September, Pacific Northwest

Mountain Bird Festival: June, New England

Birding and Blues Festival: March, Gulf Coast, Texas

Please note that dates may vary from year to year, so it is always a good idea to check the festival’s official website for the most up-to-date information. These festivals are popular destinations for bird lovers and nature enthusiasts, and provide a great opportunity to learn, explore, and connect with others who share your interests. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced birder, be sure to attend a birding festival and discover the joys of birdwatching for yourself!

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