Wildlife Enthusiasts Converge for the 11th Annual Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival

Share Article

11th Annual Florida's Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival kicks off Jan. 23, 2008, with seminars, workshops and field trips led by the top naturalists and ornithologists in the field.

This event appeals to birders of all levels. Since its inception, the festival has attracted both inquisitive beginners and seasoned experts from around the world.

Attracting wildlife enthusiasts from across the globe, the 11th annual Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival, Jan. 23 - 27, 2008, showcases an impressive collection of world-renowned keynote speakers and all-encompassing seminars, workshops and field trips. Wildlife experts will present keynotes and seminars based on field accounts, photography and new birding techniques, such as Kevin T. Karlson's revolutionary process of identifying birds by impression, rather than plumage.

"The lineup of keynote speakers and presenters brings this year's festival to a new intensity," said Laurilee Thompson, founder and chairwoman of the Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival. "This event appeals to birders of all levels. Since its inception, the festival has attracted both inquisitive beginners and seasoned experts from around the world."

Presented by Nikon Sport Optics and headquartered at Brevard Community College Titusville Campus, the Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival includes five days of interaction with the world's leading ornithologists, wildlife biologists and naturalists. This year's keynote speakers include: John Acorn, Canadian naturalist and star of television show "Acorn, The Nature Nut;" John Moran, photographer and author of Journal of Light - A Photographer's Search for the Soul of Florida; raptor expert Jeff Bouton and naturalist Jeff Gordon, both of Leica Sport Optics; and Kevin T. Karlson, wildlife photographer and co-author of Shorebirds by Impression.

Seminars will cover a wide variety of topics, including Penguins of the World and Parrots of South Florida, and exotic locales such as Galapagos, Peru, Panama, Madagascar and Mexico, as well as the Windover Site, an archaeological dig where the remains of more than 100 7,000-year-old individuals were excavated between 1984 - 86.

Off-site ventures take participants into the marshes and woodlands of nearby natural conservation areas, landfills and even sewer ponds in search of rare birds, such as the Mangrove Swallow, whose first U.S. sighting was recorded at the Viera Water Reclamation Facility during the 2002 festival. Additional field trips include kayaking at several sites representing a variety of habitats; a visit to the Marine Science Center, complete with sea turtle tanks, 5,000-gallon artificial reef and manatee, whale and fish exhibits; and a tour of the Canaveral National Seashore, which includes three Native American shell mounds and a Florida pioneer home.    

Workshops include identification lessons on warblers, shorebirds, sparrows, gulls, raptors and seabirds and tips on how to select the best optics. Seven world-renowned wildlife photographers will conduct classroom sessions, presentations and outdoor field workshops, while Jonathan Wood will present The Raptor Project, a riveting, nationally acclaimed show that features one of the world's largest traveling collections of birds of prey.

The Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival is a family event created in 1997 to promote the unrivaled nature, wildlife and technology along Florida's Space Coast and to provide an opportunity for education, environmental and conservation experiences. Pre-registration is required for all field trips and costs vary, with some activities free to the public. Specific times and fees for seminars and exhibits, directions and registration forms are found on the festival website, http://www.nbbd.com/fly or by contacting Brevard Nature Alliance at (800) 460-2664.

Florida's Space Coast features more than 72 miles of Atlantic shoreline, two inlets, a national seashore and four national wildlife refuges, in addition to the nation's most biologically diverse estuary and Florida's longest freshwater river with associated lakes and marshes. Featured among Money magazine's "Best Places to Vacation," the Space Coast is comprised primarily of area cities Titusville, Cocoa Beach, Melbourne and Palm Bay and is only 35 miles east of Orlando attractions.

To explore and learn about birds and wildlife, contact Florida's Space Coast Office of Tourism at (800) 93-OCEAN or visit http://www.space-coast.com.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Amity Gay

(850) 668-2222
Email >
Visit website