Owls highlight Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival


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This year’s Birding and Wildlife Festival will feature owl-themed activities.

SENIOR LIFE Courtesy of Jim Eager

The 22nd annual Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival will focus on Brevard County’s natural beauty. It will take place Jan. 23 through 28 at Eastern Florida State College’s Titusville campus at 1311 North U.S. 1.

“The Brevard Nature Alliance is proud to assemble a prestigious group of locally, nationally and internationally recognized scientists, biologists, photographers, ornithologists, naturalists, artists and authors,” organizers said in a press release.

The Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival recently was honored by the Southeast Tourism Society, proclaiming it to be one of the top 20 events in the southeast.

This year’s theme is owls. Owl-themed activities will help visitors understand more about the wise, old bird. The keynote speaker will be Denver Holt from the Owl Research Institute.

“The festival highlights ecotourism and nature tourism on the Space Coast,” said Tom Bartosek, the visitor information manager for the Space Coast Office of Tourism. “Considering the number of people who attend from other countries, it shines an international spotlight on the Space Coast. The festival has also become a model for other districts looking to bring similar events to their cities.”

Activities such as bird and wildlife watching, nature and technology tours, boat and kayaking trips, field trips, seminars, workshops, photography sessions and evening keynote speakers are on the agenda.

Jim Eager, the social media coordinator for the festival, has been leading field trips for 12 years.

“I love showing people Florida’s birds and wildlife,” he said. “It’s always a pleasure meeting new people and reconnecting with old friends.”

A free exhibit center is at the heart of the festival and visitors will be able to browse at more than 80 booths geared toward the birding, wildlife and nature enthusiast.

Proceeds from a silent auction will be used to fund a “Giving Back to Conservation” initiative. Last year, more than $5,000 was donated to Titusville’s Enchanted Forest. This year’s proceeds will go to the Florida Wildlife Hospital in Melbourne.

For information about admission costs, activities and scheduling, call 321-268-5224, go to festival@brevardnaturealliance.org, scbwf.org, or thedowntownartgallery.com/.