The British Birdwatching Fair, held every August at Rutland Water in the UK Midlands, is the oldest celebration in the world of all things avian. But there are other international birdfairs to be found, all supporting important conservation projects. Here are nine of the best-known bird watching events from around the globe.
Photo credit: Al Henderson, Ebro Delta Birding, Greater Flamingo
Delta Birding Festival
Now in its sixth year, the Delta Birding Festival takes place in the Ebro Delta in Catalonia, northeastern Spain. The Delta de l’Ebre is the second largest wetland in the western Mediterranean, and a large part of it is a national park through which more than 300 bird species pass on migration.
New this year, festival-goers will be able to vote on which conservation projects will receive funds from the festival.
More information at: www.deltabirdingfestival.com
Next date: 20-22 September 2019
Photo credit: Wild Doñana, Spanish Imperial Eagle
Three days of lectures, workshops, bird ringing, guided walks, photography and painting with more than 40 stands selling birdwatching equipment, books and clothing, all set in the beautiful natural park of Doñana in the far south of the country.
More information at: www.donanabirdfair.es
Next date: TBC, but likely to be late April 2020
Photo credit: Javier Mendez Chavero, Balearic Shearwater
Sagres Birdwatching Festival
Timed to coincide with the autumn migration, the Sagres Birdwatching Festival is a celebration of the area’s biodiversity and landscapes. This point of land in southwest Portugal is a migration hotspot and the festival offers field and boat trips, lectures and courses and activities of all sorts for adults and children.
More information at: www.birdwatchingsagres.com
Next date: 10-13 October 2019
Photo credit: Al Henderson, Ebro Delta Birding, Purple Heron
Unlike many of the other birdfairs, the ObservaRia Birdwatching Fair in Estarreja, south of Porto in northern Portugal, is a biennial event. The fair offers a host of lectures, seminars and workshops, exhibitions and stands with well-known names from around the world contributing.
More information at: www.bioria.com
Next date: April 2021
Photo credit: Babita Tours, India, Green Bee-eaters
Indian Birding Fair
The Indian Birding Fair is held annually on the shores of Man Sagar Lake in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Each year, the fair focusses on a different species or habitat or conservation issue. Apart from talks and stands there are birding trails to follow, the lake reserve to explore and lots of information about Indian bird species and conservation projects, including not only birds and habitats but also tigers.
Next date: 6-7 February 2020
Photo credit: Wilson Diaz, Green Tours, American Oystercatchers
American Birding Expo
Held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Centre in Philadelphia USA, this event is a gathering of specialist tour operators, clothing and equipment manufacturers, and clubs and birding organisations from around the world. Following the death of its founder in early 2019, the American Birding Expo has not been planned for 2020, however organisers are hoping to hold it again in future years.
More information at: www.americanbirdingexpo.com
Next date: TBC
Photo credit: Birding Expeditions, Slaty-tailed Trogon
Belize Birding Festival
After the success of its inaugural event in 2018, the second Belize Birding Festival will take place in San Ignacio, southwest of Belize City. The birding festival features exhibitions, panel discussions, talks, booths, workshops and birdwatching walks highlighting the 587 bird species to be found in the country.
More information at: www.belizebirdingfestival.bz
Next date: 19-20 October 2019
Photo credit: Guyrapyta Birdwatching Uruguay, Chestnut Seedeater
Feria de Aves de Sudamerica
The Feria de Aves de Sudamerica takes place in a different South American country each year. It is a meeting place for lectures, forums, workshops and birding equipment suppliers, and an opportunity to see some of the magical bird species found on the continent. In 2019 the fair will be held at Punta del Este near Maldonado in southern Uruguay.
More information at: www.birdfair.net
Next date: 31 October – 3 November 2019
Photo credit: Manakin Nature Tours, Colombia
Feria Internacional de Aves de Colombia
With the highest avian diversity in the world, Colombia celebrates its wildlife each year with the Colombia Birdfair, which promotes the conservation of the country’s ecosystems and encourages birdwatching, academic, social and cultural activities. The fair takes place in Cali in western Colombia, known as the ‘city of birds’.
More information at: colombiabirdfair.com
Next date: 12-16 February 2020