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Fairchild's Bird Festival
Fairchild's Bird Festival

Note: This event has already taken place. If you are interested in learning about current and upcoming Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Events, click here.

When: Thursday, October 4, 2012 - Sunday, October 7, 2012 from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Thursday and Friday, October 4 and 5, will be two days of off-site birding tours around the South Florida Community.

Saturday and Sunday will take place at Fairchild and will be full of activities to inspire life-long ‘birders’ and bird novices alike. Leading ornithological experts will give presentations and answer your bird questions. Take a Bird Walk with an expert birder, buy bird attracting plants for your garden and learn all about our feathered friends at Fairchild’s South Florida Birding Festival!

Off-site Birding Half-day Birding Tours (end before lunch) 

Thursday, October 4   

Matheson Hammock Park–John Boyd will lead this walk in the park adjacent to Fairchild Garden. Expect neotropical migrant songbirds and raptors as well as resident exotics including Hill Myna and several species of parrots.                

A D Barnes Park–Brian Rapoza will lead this walk in this migrant hotspot where nearly forty warbler species have been recorded. Expect neotropical migrant songbirds; resident exotics including Hill Myna, Spot-breasted Oriole and parrots are also possible. 

Friday, October 5     

Crandon Park–Jim King and Rangel Diaz will lead this walk on Key Biscayne. A wide variety of shorebirds, gulls and terns may be seen on Crandon Beach (Lesser Black-backed Gull and Piping Plover are regular), while both neotropical migrant songbirds and an eclectic assortment of exotics may be found in Crandon Gardens. 

Cutler Bay Area–Trey Mitchell leads this tour of several hot-spots in the Cutler Bay area. At Bill Sadowski Park, expect neotropical migrant songbirds. Waders, waterfowl and shorebirds are likely at Cutler Wetlands and Dump Marsh. Mangrove Cuckoo is possible at Black Point Park. 

Off-site Full-day Birding Tours (end mid/late afternoon) 

Thursday, October 4

South Florida Exotics–Paul Bithorn leads this search for birds introduced to South Florida, including Common and Hill Myna, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Spot-breasted Orioles and over a dozen parrot species.                

Big Cypress National Preserve–Jeff Weber leads this tour to South Florida's swampy interior, where you may see Snail Kite, King Rail, Purple Gallinule, Limpkin and other wetland specialties.

Friday, October 5     

Lucky Hammock/Everglades National Park–John Hutchison and Russ Titus leads this trip to hot-spots in the national park, including Anhinga Trail, Long Pine Key and Mahogony Hammock, plus a stop at Lucky Hammock, in the agricultural area adjacent to the park's entrance.                

Florida Keys Hawkwatch at Curry Hammock State Park–Join raptor expert Rafael Galvez as he tallies 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! 

All field trips are led by Tropical Audubon Society Leaders and will meet at 7:30 a.m. at the Visitor Center at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and leave as a group.

Download a field trip application for prices and to register. Please email your appication to Natlie White at nwhite@fairchildgarden.org. Call  305.663.8091 for more information.


The James A. Kushlan Keynote speaker of the Bird Festival will be Pete Dunne.

Pete is Director of the Cape May Bird Observatory, V.P. of NJAS Natural History Information, and founder of the World Series of Birding. He is a regular columnist in a number of birding publications and is a well known author and co-author of numerous books about birds and birding. 


Saturday October 6, Garden House     

10:30 a.m.     Paddy Cunningham, South Florida Naturalist
                        Ascend to Better Birding
11:30 a.m.     Fabiola & Al Forns, Photographers
                        A Photographic Tour of the Birds of Alaska
1:00 p.m.       James A. Kushlan Keynote Lecture
                        Pete Dunne, Dir. Cape May Bird Observatory
                        Small-headed Flycatcher: Seen Yesterday, 
                        He Didn’t Leave His Name
3:00 p.m.       Brian Rapoza, Tropical Audubon Society
                        The Atlantic Flyway

Random Acts of Gardening Tent, Garden House Lawn

11:00 a.m.     Glenn Huberman, Master Gardener          
                       Growing the plants that attract birds, hummingbirds and
                       butterflies to your South Florida yard
2:00 p.m        Jeff Wasielewski, FTBG          
                        Encouraging Wildlife Habitats at Home 

Sunday October 7, Garden House

10:00 a.m.      Dr. Don Harris, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
                         Exotic Birds and Other Animals of S. Florida
10:30 a.m.      Paul Marcellini, Photographer
11:30 a.m.      Rafael Galvez, Tropical Audubon Society
                         Raptors and Other Migrating Birds of South Florida
1:00 p.m.        James A. Kushlan Keynote Lecture
                         Pete Dunne, Dir. Cape May Bird Observatory
                        The Art of Phishing
3:00 p.m.       Joe Barros, President, Tropical Audubon Society
                        Birding 101 

Random Acts of Gardening Tent, Garden House Lawn

11:00 a.m.     Glenn Huberman, Master Gardener          
                       Growing the plants that attract birds, hummingbirds and
                       butterflies to your South Florida yard
2:00 p.m        Jeff Wasielewski, FTBG
                        Encouraging Wildlife Habitats at Home            

Kids Activities

Take flight and learn the challenges birds face each year on the migration, discover bird song and other hands activities designed to educate kids of all ages about our favorite winged creatures. 

1:00 p.m. Sunday in the Butterfly Garden
Book Signing and Reading of The Last Egret by Harvey E. Oyer III. The Last Egret chronicles true life stories of a young explorer and has been chosen by Miami Dade Public Schools to enhance the learning for children across the Districts’ fourth grade classrooms.

Photo Contest

Are you interested in sharing  your bird photographs and wining a Fairchild Membership or renewal? Then enter our bird photo contest. Download contest guidelines and a registration form and get snapping.

Bird Vendors

Pick up the latest in bird house and bird bath designs, or grab handmade jewelry and scarves designed for the inner bird lover in all of us! 

Plant Sales

Looking to encourage wildlife at home? Pick up trees and plants that will surely attract the finest birds each year. 

Bird Walks

Join birding experts from the Tropical Audubon Society and discover what birds have made it to Fairchild during the fall migration and which birds inhabit the Garden year round. 

7:00 a.m.       Begins at the Visitor Center

11:00 p.m.    Children’s Walk, begins at the Butterfly Garden

4:00 p.m.      Begins at the Garden House

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Adopt a Fairchild Bird

Adopt a Red-shouldered Hawk, an Anhinga or an Ibis today and support Fairchild.
Find out more information.

Fairchild's South Florida Birding Festival is made possible with the generous support of the James A. Kushlan Bird Conservation Program. 

We would also like to thank our event partners:

Admission: Free for Fairchild Members and children 5 and under.

Non-members: $25 for adults, $18 for seniors 65 and up and $12 for children 6-17. 

Eco-discount: If you walk, ride your bike or take public transportation to Fairchild, receive $5 off admission for adults and $2 off admission for children. Members, remember to bring your Rewards Card to earn your gift passes! 

Military Discount: We are pleased to offer active military personnel free admission. In addition, admission for spouses is $20 and children $10. Please present Military IDs.


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