Festival of Birds | Rookery Bay Research Reserve

A Month Devoted to Birds!

January 1-31, 2022

This 18th Annual event is hybrid, so you can join Rookery Bay Research Reserve from wherever you are! A Festival Pass is REQUIRED to attend the field trips and lectures, and includes free admission to the Environmental Learning Center all month long!

Included with your Festival of Birds Pass – $45
9 Featured Speakers
Keynote Presentation
Virtual EDscursions- Live from the Field
Trivia Time
FREE Admission to Environmental Learning Center
Children’s Book Author Signing
Bird Banding Demonstration
15% Discount on Eco-Tours
Access to 24 trips to Area Hotspots (additional fees may apply)

  • Step 1 Purchase Your Festival Pass
  • Step 2 Use Your unique Festival Code to Register for Each Lecture/Event
  • Step 3 Use Your unique Eco-Tour Code to Receive 15% Off Boat and Kayak Tours

Recordings of lectures and EDscursions will be made available exclusively to Festival Pass Holders.



David & Tammy McQuade

Tammy and David McQuade | Festival of Birds | Rookery Bay Research Reserve

January 27, 2022

5:30PM - 7:00PM

Birding Coast to Coast: The Life of a Big Year Birder

David and Tammy drive over 66,000 miles, stay over 120 nights in a hotel, fly on more than 100 flights and spend at least 25 days at sea each year, all while working full-time! All for the birds!!! Please join us as they share about the wild adventures, beautiful locations, and fabulous birds that are all a part of doing a Big Year!

*Festival Pass Required*

Have your Festival Pass?


January 1-31, 2022

Voted #1 Best in USA Today

For the month of January only get 15% OFF with Festival Pass of kayak and boat tours at Rookery Bay Research Reserve with our ecotour affiliated partner – Rising Tide Explorers. Discount code provided with Festival Pass purchase.

*Festival Pass Required for discount*
Eco-Tours | Boat and Kayak Tours | Kayak Rentals | Rookery Bay Research Reserve


Field Trips | Festival of Birds | Rookery Bay Research Reserve
EXPERIENCE Boardwalk Tours, Kayak Trips, Sunset Cruises, Swamp Buggy Rides, Birding Walks, Car Caravans!

  • Kayaking Tour ($10)
    • January 7, 2022 8:30AM – 2:00PM
  • Bear Island Bike Ride ($10)
    • January 8, 2022 8:30AM – 2:00PM
  • Birding Car Caravan and Boardwalk ($10)
    • January 15, 2022 7:00AM – 1:00PM

  • Bunche Beach Preserve ($10)
    • January 9, 2022 9:00AM – 12:00PM

  • Birding the Boardwalk ($10)
    • January 7, 2022 8:30AM – 12:30PM
    • January 20, 2022 8:30AM – 12:30PM

  • Morning Bird Walk ($35)
    • January 8, 2022 8:00AM – 11:00AM
    • January 12, 2022 8:00AM – 11:00AM
  • Backcountry Swamp Buggy Trip ($160)
    • January 14, 2022 8:00AM – 11:00AM
    • January 22, 2022 8:00AM – 11:00AM

  • Birding for Beginners ($10)
    • January 18, 2022 8:15AM – 10:00AM

  • Lehigh Specialties Birding Walk ($10)
    • January 30, 2022 7:00AM – 11:00AM

  • Birds of the Beach Workshop ($40)
    • January 12, 2022 12:30PM – 4:00PM
    • January 24, 2022 9:15AM – 12:45PM
    • January 28, 2022 12:30PM – 4:00PM
    • January 29, 2022 1:30PM – 5:00PM
  • Sunset Roost Cruise by Conservancy of Southwest Florida ($40)
    • January 13, 2022 4:00PM – 6:00PM
    • January 22, 2022 4:00PM – 6:00PM

  • Lagoon Birding ($10)
    • January 10, 2022 11:00AM – 12:30PM
    • January 19, 2022 8:00AM – 9:30AM
    • January 26, 2022 12:30PM – 2:00PM


  • Sand Dollar Spit Bird Hike ($10)
    • January 15, 2022 3:30PM – 5:30PM
    • January 22, 2022 8:30AM – 10:30AM
    • January 25, 2022 11:30AM – 1:30PM
    • January 28, 2022 2:30PM – 4:30PM


Virtual EDscursion

Live from the Field
Edscursion Live from the Field | Lectures and Classes | Rookery Bay Research Reserve


11:00AM - 11:45AM
Join Rookery Bay Research Reserve staff in the field and get a closer look into the coastal habitats and beautiful natural areas within our 110,000 acres. With a focus on research and conservation, our educators and scientists take you behind the scenes to observe how species and habitats in the Reserve are monitored and conserved for future generations.

Briggs BoardwalkJanuary 11
Bird BandingJanuary 19
Motus TowerJanuary 26

Essentials of Digital Photography

Essentials of Digital Photography | Promo Banner | Rookery Bay Research Reserve

January 15, 2022

9:30AM - 12:30PM
If you want to get the best pictures possible and truly understand your camera’s features, the Essentials of Digital Photography: How to get the most from your digital camera workshop is for you.

A Bird in Hand: Songbird Banding Demo

with Collette Lauzau
Collette Lauzau | Bird Banding | Festival of Birds | Rookery Bay Research Reserve

January 22, 2022

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
How old does a Catbird live in the wild? Where do the birds go when they aren’t in our backyards? For over 100 years biologists have been using bird banding to answer questions like these, and many more. Join us for a songbird banding demo and learn how and why scientists at Rookery Bay and around the world are joining forces to learn more about the birds in our area.

Book Signing

with Susan Levine
Susan Levine | Jenny's First Catch | Book Signing | Rookery Bay Research Reserve

January 29, 2022

11:00 AM - 1:00PM
Meet author Susan during her book signing at the Environmental Learning Center. She will be signing her book, “Jenny’s First Catch.” Named Editor’s Pick for favorite children’s book in April 2021 by Gulfshore Life. You and your kids are sure to enjoy this fictional story that includes fun fact boxes about common wading birds.

Trivia Time

Trivia Night | Festival of Birds | Rookery Bay Research Reserve

January 31, 2022

2:00PM - 2:45PM
Join Rookery Bay Research Reserve for Trivia Time and test your knowledge about the Reserve, birds and “all things” nature in Southwest Florida. The Rookery Bay team will be on hand to dole out the fun, fellowship and tabulate results. Trivia Time is interactive, fun and, of course, filled with opportunities to win cool Rookery Bay prizes.


Audubon Florida

Audrey DeRose-Wilson

Director of Bird Conservation
Audrey | Festival of Birds | Rookery Bay Research Reserve

January 5, 2022

2:00PM - 2:45PM

Red Knot Migration and Population Monitoring

Information on the Rufa Red Knot migration and the connection between Red Knot in Florida and the Delaware Bay northward migration stopover and population monitoring.

*Festival Pass Required*
Audubon Florida

Rochelle Streker

Southwest Florida Shorebird Manager
Rochelle Streker | Festival of Birds | Rookery Bay Research Reserve

January 6, 2022

2:00PM - 2:45PM

Brown Pelican Biology

Information on one of the Gulf of Mexico’s most charismatic species, the Brown Pelican, and their life history.

*Festival Pass Required*
Audubon Florida

Kara Cook

Tampa Area Rooftop Nesting Biologist
Kara Cook | Festival of Birds | Rookery Bay Research Reserve

January 7, 2022

2:00PM - 2:45PM

Audubon Florida’s Rooftop Nesting Program

Learn about Audubon’s Florida’s rooftop monitoring program, ways to get involved, and how Audubon protects the seabirds and shorebirds that nest on flat gravel rooftops.

*Festival Pass Required*
Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife

Jason Fidorra

Wildlife Biologist
Jason Fidorra | Festival of Birds | Rookery Bay Research Reserve

January 11, 2022

2:00PM - 2:45PM

Burrowing Owls of Washington

WDFW and partners monitor and maintain artificial burrows for nesting owls in the Pacific Northwest. Stories and strategies of Burrowing Owl conservation from the opposite corner of the Lower 48.

*Festival Pass Required*
Audubon Florida

Renee Wilson

Communications Associate
Renee Wilson | Festival of Birds | Rookery Bay Research Reserve

January 13, 2022

2:00PM - 2:45PM

Birds Need Natural Climate Solutions

Audubon Florida has worked for more than a century to protect birds and the places they need. Learn how these special places can be Natural Climate Solutions, creating a more resilient Sunshine State for birds and people in the face of a changing climate.

*Festival Pass Required*
Audubon Western Everglades

Brittany Piersma

Field Biologist
Brittany Piersma | Festival of Birds | Rookery Bay Research Reserve

January 18, 2022

2:00PM - 2:45PM

Battle of the Burrow

How Burrowing Owls and Gopher Tortoises are adapting to living in the urban environment of Marco Island.

*Festival Pass Required*

Adam DiNuovo

Seabird Biologist
Adam DiNuovo | Festival of Birds | Rookery Bay Research Reserve

January 19, 2022

2:00PM - 2:45PM

The Race to Save Seabirds Around the Globe

Seabirds are the most imperiled group of birds on the planet. In this talk, we will learn about the efforts of the National Audubon Society Seabird Institute to save the seabirds of Maine and how methods pioneered there are being used to restore seabird colonies around the world.

*Festival Pass Required*
Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Collette Lauzau

Avian Specialist
Collette Lauzau | Festival of Birds | Rookery Bay Research Reserve

January 20, 2022

2:00PM - 2:45PM

Bird Tracking

Migration has always seemed to be a mythical thing. For example, Aristotle believed that, rather than migrating, RedStarts turned into Robins for the winter. We now know that this is not the case. With the help of technology, we are able to track bird migration across the world. Join Collette as she discusses how birds have been tracked in the past and present and learn how you can watch for yourself.

*Festival Pass Required*
Florida Gulf Coast University

Dr. Jerry Jackson

Professor Emeritus
Jerry Jackson | Festival of Birds | Rookery Bay Research Reserve

January 25, 2022

2:00PM - 2:45PM

Feeders and Bird Baths: Center Stages for Learning about Bird Behavior, Plumages, Molt, and Migration

One of the best places to learn about and photograph bird behavior, plumages, molt, and migration may well be from a comfortable chair in front of a window through which you can see a feeder and or a bird bath. Dr. Jackson will share with you some usual and unusual behaviors, transitions from fledglings to adults, and the magic and significance of molts and plumages.

*Festival Pass Required*

Become a Member

Connecting people with southwest Florida’s dynamic coastal environment in support of Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Consider a donation to support the Reserve’s Education Department and all their amazing programs, including Festival of Birds!
Members Night | Call to Action | Become a Member | Friends of Rookery Bay | Rookery Bay Research Reserve