As birders, spring is perhaps our favourite time of year. We once again have the opportunity to really enjoy the great outdoors and everything it has to offer, without the below-freezing temperatures. As local bird populations begin to increase due to the spring migration, we are treated with lovely songs and acts of courtship all around us by our feathered friends.
Aside from getting out and enjoying the spring birding season, we are beginning to round the corner into bird festival season! Across North America field naturalists, outdoor and birding clubs organize festivals that bring together avid birders in some excellent locations to view some of their favourite birds.
The month of May is no stranger to birding festivals, boasting a long line of events coming up in most areas. The province of Ontario is home to two of the larger events that have seen tremendous growth over the past number of years.
Huron Fringe Birding Festival
Named after the migration corridor running along the Bruce Peninsula of Lake Huron, this festival gives birders a great opportunity to discover both birds and the nature around them in the spring. Activites include guided hikes, workshops on a variety of topics like photography and bird identification. The festival also features a banquet evening featuring a guest speaker.
This festival is held annually on the first two weekends following the Victoria Day long weekend. This year’s festival takes place on May 22-May 25 and May 28-May 31, 2015. For more information visit the Friends of MacGregor Point Park website.
Dorian’s Canyon Country Birding Festival
Originally started back in 2009, the Dorian’s Canyon Country Birding Festival continues to grow in attendance numbers year over year. Each year the festival organizes well-known and knowledgeable guides to lead daily hikes into the wilderness while tallying each species spotted.
This year the guest speaker will be Rob Rempel from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Rob works as a research scientist for the ministry at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario. His previous experiences with Ducks Unlimited has formed his course of study and made him one of the most respected names in Ontario conservation.
The Canyon Country Birding Festival kicks off the weekend of May 23rd. For more information, visit their website here.