Delta Birding Festival, Spain

Held in Delta de l’Ebre in Catalonia, Spain in September each year. The Delta Birding Festival attracts bird watchers and photographers from around the world. During the festival there are conferences, talks and courses available for visitors to attend. The proceeds from ticket sales go back into the conservation of local birds and wildlife. The Delta is well known as a key Mediterranean bird watching site. It is home to flamingos, ibis and breeding ground for the largest colony of Audouin’s gull in the world. Over 90 species for bird breed in the Delta and more than 300 are sighted stopping over in the wetlands on migratory routes.

The area is so naturally remarkable that it has been designated as an EDEN site. EDEN in this context stands for European Destination of Excellence. The area has long been protected by locals. Recognising it’s ecological importance, people living in the Delta mobilised in the 1980’s. A peaceful occupation was held in the area to ensure it became a protected reserve. Thus this natural habitat and invaluable ecosystem has been preserved for future generations.

Tundra Swan Festival, USA

If you are able to visit Cusick in Washington state this spring you might see migratory swans. Held annually in March this 1 day festival draws attention to the migration of the Tundra Swan. These beautiful, graceful birds stop in the Pend Orielle River Valley every year on their way to the Arctic tundra. Once there, they will breed, ensuring the regeneration of the flock.

The festival includes talks, swan photography workshops and all day information is available. 

Belize Birding Festival, Belize

Head down to South America for the Belize Birding Festival if you can! The event is held annually in San Ignacio, just south of Belize city, in October. Over 590 species of bird call this area home including Scarlet Macaws, Keel Billed Toucans, Jabiru Storks, Azure-crowned Hummingbirds, Amazon Kingfishers, and Red-Capped Manakins to name just a few!

The Belize Birding Festival attracts visitors from around the globe hoping to spy out some of these beautiful creatures. The event includes speakers, art exhibitors, guided tours and other special activities. Whilst in the area you can also support the NGO Belize Bird Rescue, a rehabilitation centres for rescued parrots and other species of bird.

The British Birdwatching Fair, UK

Across the pond you’ll find The British Birdwatching Fair held at Rutland Water. The event spans 3 days in August. During this time visitors can enjoy plenty of talks from experts and wildlife conservationists, the results of the Bird Photographer of the Year Awards, and lots of fun shows too. Birds you are likely to spot here include Rutland Ospreys, nightingales, turtle doves, cuckoos, sandpipers, and many more.

Please note that due to covid most global bird watching festivals are cancelled in 2020 and possibly 2021, but many offer a virtual birdwatching alternative.

And of course, check out the key migratory routes for top birdwatching.

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