Sunday, August 10, 2014

Don't Miss the Tucson Bird & Wildlife Festival This Week

Whether you're flying out, riding the new Modern Streetcar over, exiting I-10, walking or biking, be sure to make it to the Tucson Bird & Wildlife Festival at the Riverpark Inn this week! 

 The festival kicks off with 24-hours of birding during the team competition, the Sky Islands Birding Cup on Wednesday, August 13th. Register your team at or donate to cheer on these extreme birders, like teams Birding the Midnight Oil or the Border Petrels, here.  

The festival is packed with fun, free activities open to the public all weekend long during the Nature Expo. Just stop by, August 15-16, 10am-6pm, or Sunday, August 17 from 10am-2pm.

Get up close to live birds and animals from community partners like Game & Fish, Tucson Wildlife Center and Wildlife Rehabilitation of Northwest Tucson (they're bringing the festival logo bird, the adorable Elf Owl for the Nightlife Social on Thursday night). 

Find a perfect gift, or explore a new birding tour destination, at the exhibitor booths at the Nature Expo. Five birding tour companies, four artists, five optics companies, and nature exhibitors will be on display and ready to greet you!

If you want to learn about binoculars or are considering a new pair, then Optics Day is not to be missed. At 11, festival lead sponsor Zeiss Sports Optics will be giving a Binoculars for Birding talk, and at 3pm Zeiss, Leica, and Swarovski will lead digiscoping demos. All day long, the knowledgeable optics reps, and Tucson Audubon's expert binocular volunteers, will be on hand for you. Zeiss will also be raffling a pair of Terra binoculars to one lucky Optics Day guest! 

Credit Chandra Taylor Smith

We're really excited for the stellar lineup of free talks...a full itinerary for any nature enthusiast!
Friday, August 15
10AM Secrets of the Spotted Cats:  Jaguars and Ocelots in the Southwest with Pinau Merlin
11AM Special Optics Day talk in Sabino Room Binoculars for Beginners with our lead sponsor Zeiss Sports Optics
11:30AM How We and Our Avian Friends See the World:  Similarities & Differences with Michael McNulty
1PM Bears in Sierra Vista Post-Monument Fire: A Case History with Mark Hart
2:30PM Bats with Ted Fleming
4PM The Mighty San Pedro River with Jennie MacFarland


10AM Sonoran Desert Reptiles with Kevin Bonine

11:30AM Roadrunner Family with Doris Evans

1PM Desert Adaptations: Live Animal Presentation for Kids with Sam Huselton

2:30PM HUMMINGBIRDS: Flying Jewels of Arizona! with Karen Krebbs

4PM Saving Our Birds One Bite at a Time with Paul Green


10AM Biodiversity of the Alamos Tropical Deciduous Forest in Sonora Mexico with David and Jennifer MacKay

11:30AM Tucson Wildlife Center: Rescue, Rehab, Release! with Joan Cass 

1PM Sky Islands and Valleys: Beyond Madera Canyon and Other Usual Places with Doug Moore

Many activities have sold out in record time this year, but there are still plenty of fun festival programs that you can register for now. You can learn all about the basics of birding, urban gardening and attracting hummingbirds to your backyard in workshops that have openings. Snag one of a few spaces left for Robert Mesta's Friday dinner program, "The 40th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act” with special guest, Congressman, Raul Grijalva. 

Be sure to bring the whole family on Saturday and Sunday! There will be hands-on activities for kids from 10am-3pm on Saturday & 10am-2pm Sunday. On Sunday, youth ages 8-18 (and their parents) are invited to the Youth Birder Outing from 6-9am at Sweetwater Wetlands. Just email festival coordinator, Julie Pulliam, at or 520-209-1809 to sign up.

For all things festival, visit from the festival go to Tucson Audubon’s conservation and environmental education projects in Southeastern Arizona. 

So whether you're coming from down the road or one of 24 states and multiple countries already reporting in, you will be sure to enjoy this celebration of the Sonoran Desert and Sky Islands. 

See you at the Riverpark Inn, 350 S. Freeway...Tucson Bird & Wildlife Festival headquarters!

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