Everglades Birding Festival
GENERAL INFORMATION &
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
EVERGLADES BIRDING FESTIVAL
- Increase your skills and knowledge as expert guides encourage your participation and you learn the i.d.
- Opportunity to add life and year birds by visiting a variety of habitats and unique natural areas.
- Daily mini-workshops with handouts, applied in the field.
- Gain birding skills in a non-intimidating environment.
- SMALL GROUPS increase interaction with TOP GUIDES and seeing the bird.
- An intense excitement of finding new birds with fellow birders from around the country.
- Designed for birders at all levels but especially those interested in improving their birding skills..
- Have lots of FUN!!!
WHY JANUARY & WHAT ARE THE TARGET BIRDS
January is an excellent time to bird in South Florida due to the wintering species such as waterfowl, shorebirds and raptors. South Florida is one of the TOP 10 birding destination in the U.S. and has unique species that can be found only in our area. USE the 2009-2016 BIRD LIST to see on what field trips your target birds are most likely to be seen. The BIRD LIST will also show how many years each species has been seen to determine your chances of seeing it.
TARGET BIRDS - SNAIL KITE*LIMPKIN*WOOD STORK*PAINTED BUNTING*ROSEATE SPOONBILL*SHORT-TAILED HAWK *PURPLE GALINULE *COMMON MYNA*CRESTED CARACARA*BURROWING OWL*RED-WHISKERED BULBUL *PRAIRIE WARBLERS*EGYPTIAN GOOSE*SPOT-BREASTED ORIOLE*LESSER NIGHTHAWK*PARROTS & PARAKEETS*
ALL FIELDS TRIPS BEGIN AND END AT THE HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS
The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Ft. Lauderdale Airport West is centrally located four miles from the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). Our hotel offers free round trip transportation to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport call hotel for times & availability. Our convenient location offers easy access to all major highways including I-595, I-95, I-75 and the Florida Turnpike. Full-service features and amenities include a free full hot breakfast, fitness center and outdoor pool. This hotel provides spacious guest rooms, refrigerators, microwaves, coffee makers and 32in flat-panel HDTVs. For business travelers, this hotel provides modern conveniences like free high-speed Internet access in all suites (wired & wireless), spacious work desks, two-line telephones with voice mail and a business center.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Fort Lauderdale Airport West, 2540 Davie Road, Davie, Fl. 33317 ( 954) 585-7071
REGISTRATION OPENS OCTOBER 15
1. Download the registration form, Send payment to Patricia Cunningham, 5181 S.W. 27th Terrace, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. 3331
2. Make checks payable to Patricia Cunningham OR Cunningham Bird Adventure.
PRE-REGISTRATION IS HIGHLY RECCOMMENDED
MOST participants pre-register. Although it is not required we cannot guarantee you a place on a trip with on-site registration. All of the trips are first come, first serve. With on-site registration if the field trip you want to attend is full, you can drive your own vehicle but must cover the tolls and entrance fees when applicable. If space is available we can place you on another field trip in the van.
REGISTRATION is REQUIRED
Registration is required for all participants. The registration entitles you to attend the opening reception and dinner, ALL evening program keynote talks (Thursday-Saturday), ALL a.m. birding mini-workshops, bottled water, snacks, birding handouts, program room, and additional materials.
The cooler winter months-January are when mosquitos are at their lowest. Wearing long sleeves and pants will also reduce your exposure. You can also apply mosquito repellent (but not in the van please). It is recommended at sundown during our Thursday Broward Hot Spots trip and at Lucky Hammock during our Everglades National Park trip. It you don’t want to Owl or look for Whippoorwill you can stay in the building (Thursday) or van (Sunday). Each van will have some repellent for general use. IF the ZIKA VIRUS continues to spread, dusk birding for Owls, Lesser Nighthawk and Whippoorwill may have to be curtailed.
The weather in January can vary so please check the 5 day forecast before coming. Temperatures averages 66 F, ranges low 55 F to high 72 F. Check for the possibilities of cold fronts where weather can change and get colder and windier. Layers of clothes work the best and windy days need a windbreaker.
FIELD TRIPS INCLUDE
Full day field trips on Friday, Saturday and Sunday include van transportation, yummy lunch, bottled water, snacks, expert guide and candy for life birds. Thursday and Monday include van transportation, bottled water, snacks, expert guide and candy for life birds. EACH VAN includes a day pack with first aid kit, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, a few rain ponchos, and MOSQUITO REPELLENT.
WHAT TO BRING
Binoculars, Sunscreen, Sun protection, hat, covered shoes. Each van will have some sunscreen for general use. Mosquito repellent is optional. EACH GUIDE CARRIES a SPOTTING SCOPE, consult them as to what trips lend themselves for your personal spotting scope and which trips do not.
DIFFICULTY OF FIELD TRIPS
ALL TRIPS ARE EASY on boardwalks, asphalt trails, dirt roads, or grass. Being Florida the terrain is flat. The only exception is the boardwalk trail at Corkscrew. It is two miles long and the birding takes 3-4 hours so the bathroom access is limited. The STA 5 trip has a bathroom at the beginning of the trip around the dikes, but returning to it is limited during the birding.
On Friday and Saturday night a Quick Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. before the Evening Program in the meeting room. The dinner will include an entrée, salad, roll and desert. Wine and drinks will also be provided. This dinner has been developed because there a short amount of time between returning from the field trips and the evening program. PLEASE sign up for it on your quick dinner on your registration form or notify Paddy, Event Coordinator at least 24 hours in advance. Only a few extra meals will be available for the last minute. A Vegetarian option will be available. Thursday’s dinner is provided at the opening reception. Sunday’s dinner is on you own at a Mexican restaurant during the Everglades National Park trip.
May not be necessary in that ALL FIELD TRIPS leave and return from the festival site. The Holiday Inn Express provides an airport shuttle upon request. Arrange it with the hotel desk.
RESTURANTS & QUICK BITES
There is a Waffle House next to the hotel. South on Davie Road Ext. is a variety of fast food places-Burger King, Dairy Queen and Wendy’s. There is also a variety of dining restaurants. On the next exit west on I-595, University Dr. there are more than 20 restaurants of national chains and more. PLEASE NOTE-If you are staying in the hotel your breakfast is provided. Lunch is included on all full day field trips (Fri.-Sun.) with the exception of Monday where we will be eating at the famous Alabama Jack’s. If you plan on attending the evening programs it may be difficult to go out for dinner and return on time, in that there is a short time between returning from the field trip and the talk. The Quick dinners ($10) are provided to solve that problem.
A full refund is provided for those who cancel 1 month prior to the event (Dec. 12th). A half refund will be returned if you cancel by Jan. 1, 2017. There will be no refund for those cancelling after Jan. 1. Any money not refunded can be applied towards any future Everglades Birding Festival if applied by Jan. 1 of that year.
South Florida offers many amazing opportunities to photograph birds due to open vistas and large size of the wading birds. The field trips that are recommended for photographers are Thursday-Broward Hot Spot, Friday-Palm Beach Wetlands, Saturday-STA 5, Sunday-Everglades National Park and Monday-Upper Keys. Due to the pace of these field trips, they lend themselves for more opportunities to take photos. If possible we will try to match photographers together in the same van to match the pace of the field trip. PLEASE NOTE we ask you to be courteous to those around you so not to block the view of fellow birders or disturb the birds.
The EBF is sponsored by Birding Adventures, a small birding company run by Paddy Cunningham that takes birders throughout Florida and the tropics on exciting getaways. It also provides a variety of bird classes locally and at other birding festivals. It is Co-sponsored by Birding by David Simpson, Obsessive Compulsive Birding and TV’s Birding Adventures which are companies owned by the guides/speakers at the festival. We greatly appreciate the expertise and time provided from these leaders and we encourage you to use their services in the future. It is also co-sponsored by South Florida Audubon Society and we appreciate their support in promoting birding here in Broward County.
1. It is strongly suggested that you use the 2009-2016 Bird List which is a downloadable spread sheet to determine which is the best field trip to find the target birds you seek. For example Snail Kite is only likely to be seen during the STA 5 trip. Red-whiskered Bulbul and other exotics only on the Dade Exotics trip.
2. If you plan to attend the Evening Programs it is recommended to take the Quick Dinners in that it has been difficult in the past to get washed up, eat dinner and get back to the festival site in time for the show (unless you have a vehicle and eat fast food).
3. Most field trips do not completely fill up but with the exception of Corkscrew. If this a field trip you want, you should register early.
4. Ask the guides for the snacks, repellent, sunscreen, candy for life birds, etc.. They are so busy finding the birds, they forget they have them.
5. Vegetarians: each lunch has a variety of fruits and a salad. Most lunches include a vegetarian option. There will be natural peanut butter and jelly with whole wheat bread each day, but you might have to ask for it. It’s in the lunch bag.
6. It is strongly suggested that you stay at the festival site hotel-Holiday Inn in that all field trips leave and return from there. The morning mini-workshops and evening programs (Fri. & Sat.) are there. Although we wished the hotel cost could be less, this is HIGH SEASON for South Florida and Ft. Lauderdale is a very popular cruise ship destination so prices are high. MAKE YOUR RESERVATION with the Everglades Birding Festival block.
7. It is strongly suggested that you attend the mini-workshops at 6:30 a.m. each morning. It will greatly enhance your learning advanced birding skills. These skills will then be applied on the field trips. All of the handouts that go with the workshops are in a folder provided for you at registration.