Prepare to be amazed by nature. So reads the brochure for the upcoming Bird and Wildlife Festival, held Aug. 13 to 17 at Riverpark Inn, 350 S. Freeway. (That's west of Interstate 10 and south of Cushing Street.)
The festival has a plethora of activities, including full- and half-day field trips, workshops, a nature expo and a birding cup. The festival starts on Wednesday with the birding cup, a competition where teams compete to observe the most bird species in 24 hours. On Thursday, there are workshops, a nighttime social and preview of the nature expo. The nature expo offers talks, shopping opportunities for gifts, books and optical equipment, plus the chance to get a close view of live birds, reptiles and insects.
Friday through Sunday's activities include a choice of several field trips to places including Madera Canyon, Willcox and Mount Lemmon. Keynote speaker Robert Mesta covers "Forty Years of the Endangered Species Act" on Friday evening, and Steve N.G. Howell discusses "Shift Happens: Rare (Vagrant) Birds in North America—Why, Where and Whence?" on Saturday evening.
The festival is free to attend. Registration and a $15 fee are required to attend field trips, workshops and evening programs. Field trips and evening speakers have additional fees. Visit tucsonaudubon.org/festival for a complete schedule.