FAIRHOPE – Registration opens Monday, Aug. 9, for hundreds of people from throughout the United States and Canada who will come to the Gulf Coast in October for the 17th Annual Alabama Coastal BirdFest. Online registration for the birding and nature festival opens Aug. 9 at 8 a.m.
BirdFest features guided birding and nature trips, boat excursions into Mobile Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, workshops and seminars on hummingbirds, beginner and advanced birding, nature photography, building a backyard habitat, planning a national or international birding tour and other activities.
The festival takes place from Gulf Shores to Dauphin Island, from Bon Secour to the Mobile Tensaw Delta and points in between. Each day is filled with walking trips, kayak trips, sunset cruises, and field workshops. Day four of BirdFest features a free, family-oriented Bird and Conservation Expo on the grounds of Coastal Alabama Community College in Fairhope. BirdFest headquarters is the 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center on Battleship Parkway.
“After having to cancel BirdFest in 2020, we are very excited to be planning an event for the fall,” Diana Brewer, South Alabama Land Trust development and communications coordinator, said. “While the history of BirdFest speaks for itself, we are going the extra distance this year to plan new trips and workshops that showcase the beauty and diversity of bird watching, along with the amazing diversity of plants and wildlife in the coastal counties.”
Brewer said she hopes some of the new offerings will appeal to locals as well as the people who travel to BirdFest from outside the region.
“The workshop titled ‘Building a Backyard Habitat’ can appeal to anyone who would like to transform their yard into a beautiful habitat that attracts birds and other wildlife,” Brewer said. “There will also be a new field workshop at Meaher State Park on the Causeway led by two excellent nature photographers who will guide participants on where and how to capture the best nature shots.”
The BirdFest schedule and a link to the registration site can be found online at southalabamalandtrust.org/birdfest/. Registration opens Aug. 9, and trips and workshops will be filled on a first come first served basis. For more information, call South Alabama Land Trust at 251-990-5004.