The course of the HOCR is a 2.81 mile stretch from the start at Each year a keynote speaker is chosen for the Florida Birding and Wildlife Festival like Rafael Galvez, leader of the Florida keys Hawkwatch that occurs annually in the fall at Curry Hammock State Park. Aside from providing the keynote speech speakers like Galvez may also provide tours throughout the festival.
Really get to know Florida’s birds on an all-day birding excursion to the Dry Tortugas National Park and Fort Jefferson to witness the excitement that is fall migration. There will be two guide-led groups which require pre registration, so sign up quickly and don’t miss out! Mark Hedden, a Florida Keys eco-tour guide, offers lovers of feathered creatures an opportunity to learn the role the isolated island plays in migration and nesting. Shadow wildlife photographers Dick Fortune and Sara Lopez to learn some of their special secrets to great professional wildlife photography.
The festival is full of activities, food, music and environmental booths suited for everyone, especially families. Explore numerous booths devoted the showcasing Florida Keys wildlife and environment. Kids and adults alike can participate in hands-on activities like a guided beach hike with keynote speaker Galvez or self-guided kayak tours. For a little bit of fun competition, everyone can put their detective skills to use in the scavenger hunt for a chance to win a festival t-shirt! In the evening, enjoy a free astronomy program from NASA Solar System Educator Elizabeth Moore.
During the boat trip and kayak to Nest and Duck Keys, people and kayaks are transported on a 26-foot pontoon boat for an up-close exploration on the Everglades’ only publicly accessible key, North Nest Key. Staying on the water note, participants will kayak the flats to South Nest Key and Duck Key where you can observe birds like roseate spoonbills and other wading birds in their natural habitats.
15th Florida Keys Birding & Wildlife Festival
Sept 23-28, 2014
Florida Keys, FL