15th Annual Birding & Photo Fest

Wednesday – Sunday, April 26 – 30, 2017 at Guana Tolomato Matanzas NERR

Over a hundred workshops, outdoor excursions, classes and seminars make this annual event a must-do for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts.

505 Guana River Road, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, 32082
(904) 209-4422
  • Now in its 15th year, Florida's Birding & Photo Fest has gained international acclaim among nature lovers and photography enthusiasts, with attendance growing every year. Headquartered at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas Research Reserve, the event runs from Wednesday, April 26, to Sunday, April 30, 2017, and features well over 100 events, classes, and outdoor excursions this year.

    Each day is jam-packed with activities, with a variety of field workshops on birding and nature photography clinics. The nature tours this year include sunrise and sunset outdoor adventures and everything in between. Specialized tours focus on photographing wildlife at beaches, from boats, and even from horseback.

    Photography classes range from beginners-level lectures on digital asset management and basic Photoshop or Lightroom skills to advanced seminars on digiscoping techniques and much more.

    The opening reception speaker this year will be the highly respected travel portraitist Bobbi Lane, and the keynote speaker will be wildlife photographer Lewis Kemper.

    Speakers and Presenters

    There will be 16 speakers and presenters at the 15th Annual Florida's Birding & Photo Fest, including Joe Brady, Vinny Collucci, Annette Collucci, Maxis Gamez, Charles Glatzer, Stephen Ingraham, Kevin Karlson, Lewis Kemper, Roman Kurywczak, Bobbi Lane, Kevin Loughlin, Tim McEver, Mike Moats, Jack Rogers, Deb Sandidge, Lee Varis, and Brett Wells.


    Numerous programs will take place throughout the festival including kayaking excursions, boating excursions, birding and walking excursions as well as several events at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. Each day offers events throughout the day, beginning at dawn and continuing through the evenings. Some of the presentations are free, but classes and excursions vary in price from $20 to $125.

    Here are links to the full schedules for each individual day: Wednesday, April 26, Thursday, April 27, Friday, April 28, Saturday, April 29, and Sunday, April 30.   

    2017 Photo Contest

    Every year, Florida's Birding and Photo Fest sponsors a photo contest for all participants. They offer monetary prizes for 1st – 3rd places as well as a People’s Choice award. The deadline to get photos in for the contest is Friday, April 7, 2017. Please visit here for contest details. A Young Birders photo contest is also offered for anyone 17 or under. The submission deadline is the same (April 7, 2017), with a parent’s or guardian’s permission.


    Early Bird Registration is available for just $10.00 through January 6, 2017. After that, there is a one-time registration fee of $25.00. All classes, workshops, and activities have their own cost, which is listed on the schedules. All participants are required to pay the registration fee in order to be placed on the 2017 festival guest list (any persons who have not pre-registered will be required to do so on-site).

    When: Wednesday, April 26 – April 30, 2017. The opening reception will be on Wednesday, April 26, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., and the keynote & dessert reception will be on Saturday, April 29, 6:30 – 9:00 p.m. Both receptions will take place at the Pioneer Barn at 259 San Marco Ave. in St. Augustine FL 32084. Individual events will take place throughout the area; visit the festival website for complete information.

    Where: The festival is headquartered at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas Research Reserve, located at 505 Guana River Rd. in Ponte Vedra Beach, about ten miles north of historic downtown St. Augustine.

    For more information on this event please call (904) 209-4422 or visit here.

    The GTM Research Reserve is dedicated to the preservation of an unspoiled and undeveloped natural treasure, supporting a vibrant ecosystem and subsystems. Sea turtles, land tortoises, porpoises, manatees, roseate spoonbills, North Atlantic right whales … all these and many more live here year-round or are seasonal visitors.

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