Although it may seem like the season for bird festivals in North America is over, such annual festivals occur throughout the year, highlighting different species which congregate during certain periods.    These festivals offer a variety of activities for both hard core birders and families, from field trips, workshops, and presentations to children’s games and the enticing offerings of many vendors.  Although a couple well known events, like the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival in Harlingen, Texas, and the Festival of the Cranes in New Mexico, have already taken place this November, there are more to come.  If you live in the Washington D.C. area and are looking to get out into nature this Thanksgiving holiday, you can make the short trip to attend Waterfowl Weekend at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia during November 22-25.  The Wildlife Loop Trail there is open during that weekend for extended access, and these four days are the only time each year that the public can enjoy the Special Drive along the refuge’s 7-mile Service Road.  Birders will relish seeing the thousands of Snow Geese, and other species, which overwinter at the refuge.   It is important to show support for your local birding festival, to demonstrate how vital the highlighted habitats are both for the birds and as an economic engine for your community.


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