6th Annual Bird Festival

6th Annual Bird Festival

When: Thursday, October 1, 2015 9:30 AM to Sunday, October 4, 2015 4:30 PM

Want to learn about South Florida's birds? Interested in becoming a birder? Or just want to start identifying our feathered friends? Then come to Fairchild's Bird Festival.

Download last year's festival program here!

The Bird Festival kicks off with two days of off-site tours of South Florida bird habitats led by Tropical Audubon Society experts. The Bird Festival then continues at Fairchild with activities for birders of all ages, including presentations by bird experts, bird walks and an amateur bird photo contest and exhibit. You will be able to purchase bird-attracting plants and birding merchandise and enjoy educational activities for the entire family. The 77th Annual Members' Day Plant Sale is held in conjunction with the festival, making it a uniquely special weekend of plants, birds and learning fun. 

Bird Festival at Fairchild admission is included with Garden admission. $25 for non members and free for Fairchild Members. Tickets for non members can be purchased the day of the festival or pre-purchased below.  

Birding Tours

All birding tours are led by Tropical Audubon Society (TAS) experts. Registration is required. All participants are asked to meet at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden's visitor center at 7:30 a.m.  If you would prefer to meet at the birding site, please indicate this preference on your registration.   All registrants are invited to attend our VIP Evening Reception Friday October 2nd at 6:30p.m. at the Garden.  

Thursday, October 1
Deering Estate at Cutler (Half-Day Tour) - Join a TAS leader as you explore a variety of coastal Biscayne Bay and upland habitats on the former estate of Charles Deering, including some areas not usually accessible to the public. Expect to see waterbirds, neotropical migrant songbirds and resident specialties including White-crowned Pigeon and possibly Mangrove Cuckoo. A rare Key West Quail-Dove was discovered on the property last winter! Transportation not included. Carpooling encouraged. 
Miami Exotics (Full Day Tour) - Join TAS leaders as they search for birds introduced to South Florida such as Egyptian Goose, Purple Swamphen, Common and Hill Myna, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Spot-breasted Oriole, Scaly-breasted Munia and over a dozen species of parrots, parakeets and macaws, including the spectacular Blue-and-yellow Macaw. Transportation and lunch included. 

Click here to register for Birding Tours

Friday, October 2
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park (Half-Day Tour) - Join a TAS leader on this walk through restored coastal habitats at the southern end of Key Biscayne. The tour will include a visit to Cape Florida's bird banding station. Expect raptors and neotropical migrant songbirds; the park's bird list also includes an impressive selection of Caribbean rarities, so anything is possible! Transportation not included. Carpooling encouraged. 
Florida Keys Hawkwatch at Curry Hammock State Park (Full Day Tour) -Join a TAS leader and the Florida Keys Hawkwatch team as they tally hawks, eagles, falcons and vultures migrating south through Florida's Keys. Over twenty species of raptors have been recorded at the hawkwatch site, including the highest Peregrine Falcon counts in North America! A variety of waterbirds and neotropic migrant songbirds are also likely during the tour. Transportation and lunch included. 

Click here to register for Birding Tours 

Weekend Festival Activities

The James A. Kushlan Keynote Speaker of the 2015 Bird Festival will be Kenn Kaufman.

photo by Jeffrey Gordon 

A lifelong passion for birds and nature captured Kenn Kaufman at the age of six and has never let go. Kenn burst onto the national birding scene as a teenager in the 1970s, hitch-hiking all over North America in pursuit of birds, an adventure later chronicled in his cult-classic book Kingbird Highway. After working as a leader of nature tours to all seven continents, he switched to a career as a freelance writer and naturalist. Most of his energy currently goes into book projects and into painting bird portraits. He has written a dozen books, including his own field guide series, Kaufman Field Guides, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt of Boston; his books have been published in three languages. In 2005 he moved from Arizona to Ohio, where his wife Kimberly is now director of the Black Swamp Bird Observatory. Kenn is a field editor for Audubon magazine, a fellow of the American Ornithologists’ Union, and the only person to have received the American Birding Association’s lifetime achievement award twice. 

Bird Festival Digital Photo Contests

Calling all photographers! Fairchild is now accepting entries for its annual Bird Festival digital photo contest!  Entering the contest is free and open to all amateur photographers. Winners will receive a Fairchild Family Membership. 
Click here to view the 2015 Photo Contest Official Rules and Entry Form

This year, we will have a separate contest for kids, ages 13 and under. Winners will receive a Fairchild Family Membership.
Click here to view the 2015 Kids Photo Contest Official Rules and Entry Form

Flights of Fancy: Watercolor Fun with Hillary Parker 

Pre-Registration is required. If you are a bird enthusiast who enjoys art, come join the fun! Surrounded by the abundant bird life at Fairchild, Hillary Parker, naturalist and watercolor artist, will offer a studio class which is open to all levels. She will demonstrate and instruct basic sketching and watercolor techniques, as she guides students to create studies of delicate feathers, nests, and eggs. All art supplies are included. Members:$40/Non-Members:$55. Click here to register.

Purchase the Birds of Fairchild book today

Written by renowned avian expert and author, James Kushlan and photographed beautifully by Kirsten Hines, this book is a comprehensive guide to the birds of South Florida with specific references to those birds you can find at Fairchild. The book features a detailed map of the Kushlan Bird Trail at Fairchild as well as practical information to make spotting our resident birds easily. You can order your copy here

Travel information

The Bird Festival takes place at Fairchild, located in Coral Gables, Florida, about 10 miles south of Miami International Airport, detailed driving directions can be found here. Nearby hotels include Sonesta Coconut GroveThe Biltmore Hotel and the Miami Marriott Dadeland

In partnership with

Thank you to our sponsors

The Fairchild Bird Festival is made possible by the generous support of the James A. Kushlan Bird Conservation Program at Fairchild. 

Become a sponsor today.

Support bird conservation at Fairchild

Adopt a Red-shouldered Hawk, an Anhinga or an Ibis today and support our conservation efforts. Learn more...

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