ST. GEORGE — Hundreds of wildlife and outdoor enthusiasts flock to St. George in January to escape the cold and shake post-holiday blues. In Southern Utah, mild winter weather rarely thwarts birding efforts and with trees and shrubs devoid of leaves, it’s an ideal time to discover the 375 colorful bird species found in the area.
In its 14th year, the annual “Winter Bird Festival” provides members of the public, whether novice or experienced, the opportunity to discover the wonders of birding by participating in expert-led field trips and workshops. The event runs from Jan. 26-28 with the majority of events taking place at the Tonaquint Nature Center, 1851 S. Dixie Drive adjacent to the city’s All Abilities Park and Playground.
Activities are free to youth 17 and under and include a fun “Junior Birder Program” and “How to Build a Birdhouse” workshops. Both youth and adults can take part in exciting field trips like “Biking and Birding the Virgin River” and birding trips to Zion National Park and area state parks and reservoirs.
Becoming a birder is easy and engaging with daily lectures on species identification, banding, predators and photography.
Keynote speaker Rick Watson, a biologist from the Peregrine Fund since 1990, will discuss his fascinating international work with bird species including the endangered Madagascar fish eagle, the reintroduction of the bearded vulture in Kenya, cape vulture conservation in South Africa, crowned eagle conservation in the Ivory Coast and kite research in the Cape Verde islands.
See more: Birdwatchers brave rain for Winter Bird Festival; STGnews Videocast – 2015
Partner support for this annual event comes from the following: Red Cliffs Audubon Society; Bureau of Land Management, Arizona Strip District and St. George Field Office; Zion National Park; the Peregrine Fund; Hawk Watch International; Utah Department of Natural Resources and Division of Wildlife Resources; the city of St. George; Dixie Arizona Strip Interpretive Association; St. George Inn & Suites; The Home Depot; The Bell Tower Courtyard; Red Cliffs Mall; and Clik Elite.
- What: St. George Winter Bird Festival.
- When: Jan. 26-28
- Where: Tonaquint Nature Center, 1851 S. Dixie Drive, St. George.
- Cost: $10 per person for a 3-day general admission pass | $15 for a family pass | Free admission for youth 17 and under.
- Register: Online at Red Cliffs Audobon or St. George Birdfest.
- Contact: Telephone 435-673-0096.