Florida's Birding & Photo Fest
Cancelled at St. Anastasia Catholic Church
Coronavirus Update: Florida's Birding and Photo Fest has been cancelled for 2020.
Now in its 18th year, Florida's Birding & Photo Fest has gained international acclaim among nature lovers and photography enthusiasts, with attendance growing every year. Headquartered this year at Celebration Hall at St. Anastasia on St. Augustine Beach, the event runs from Wednesday, April 22, to Sunday, April 26, 2020, and features some 130 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 are offered on area parks and beaches, on boat and kayak tours, and nature tours in several of the area's beautiful state and county parks.
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 address will be given this year by renowned photographer Rob Knight from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The Keynote Presentation on Friday, April 24 (6:30 – 8:00 p.m.) will be a session with Sigma Pro Roman Kurywczak.
Speakers and Presenters
There will be 17 speakers and presenters at the 18th Annual Florida's Birding & Photo Fest, including Dave Akoubian, Joe Brady, Chas Glatzer, Lee Hoy, Ken Hubbard, Lewis Kemper, Rob Knight, Roman Kurywczak, Bobbi Lane, Lisa Langell, Kevin Loughlin, Tim McEver, Jack Rogers, Lee Varis, Shiv Verma, Dan Walters, and Brett Wells.
Numerous programs will take place throughout the festival including kayaking excursions, eco boat tours, 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, while classes and excursions vary in price from $10 to $100.
From birding and walking tours and explorations into the intricacies of digital photography to eco boat tours and paddleboard excursions, the 18th Annual Florida’s Birding & Photo Fest offers nature lovers and photography buffs a unique opportunity to expand their horizons.
2020 Photo Contest
Every year, Florida's Birding and Photo Fest sponsors a photo contest for all participants. They offer valuable prizes for first through third places (first prize is a Sigma 100-400mm lens) as well as a People’s Choice award. The deadline to get photos in for the contest is Friday, March 27, 2020. Please visit here for contest details. A Young Birders photo contest is also offered for anyone 17 or under. In 2020, the contest is held in honor of Cameron Bespolka, a young man who was passionate about photography and birdwatching. The submission deadline is the same (March 27, 2020), with a parent’s or guardian’s permission. Register for the Young Birders photo contest here.
Hotels that offer special deals for guests attending Florida's Birding and Photo Fest include Beacher's Lodge Oceanfront Suites, Villa 1565 Historic St. Augustine, Home2Suites by Hilton St. Augustine I-95, Doubletree by Hilton, Pier Point South Oceanfront Condominiums, the Ponce St Augustine Hotel, and Sleep Inn St. Augustine.
For more information about host hotels and for details on special offers, visit here.
There is a one-time registration fee of $25. 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 2019 festival guest list (any persons who have not pre-registered will be required to do so on-site).
When: Wednesday through Sunday, April 22 through April 26, 2020. See the links for daily schedules to find out about specific classes, seminars, and excursions. The opening reception will be on Wednesday, April 22, from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m., and the keynote reception will be on Friday, April 26, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Where: The festival is headquartered at Celebration Hall at St. Anastasia Catholic Church, 5205 A1A South in St. Augustine Beach, FL 32080. Both the opening reception and keynote presentation will take place at the Whitney Lab Center for Marine Studies at 9505 A1A Beach Blvd. in St. Augustine Beach, FL 32084. Individual events will take place throughout the area; visit the festival website for complete information.
Other locations for specific classes and presentations include:
- Alpine Groves Park (2060 State Road 13, Fruit Cove)
- Anastasia State Park (200 Anastasia Park Rd.)
- Castillo de San Marcos ( S. Castillo Dr.)
- Gazebo at the Plaza (24 Cathedral Place)
- Frank B. Butler Park (5860 A1A South)
- Magic Beach Motel (50 Vilano Rd.)
- Marineland Rock Beach (9700 Oceanshore Blvd.)
- Municipal Marina (111 Avenida Menendez)
- River to Sea Preserve Park (5 miles south of Marineland)
- Ripple Effect Ecotours (101 Tolstoy Lane)
- St. Augustine Eco Tours (Municipal Marina at 111 Avenida Menendez)
- St. Augustine Alligator Farm (999 Anastasia Blvd.)
- St. Augustine Lighthouse (81 Lighthouse Ave.)
- St. Johns County Ocean Pier Park (350 A1A Beach Blvd.)
- Vaill Point Park (630 Vaill Point Rd.)
- Vilano Beach Pier (260 Vilano Rd.)
- Washington Oaks Gardens State Park (6400 N Oceanshore Blvd., Palm Coast)
- Whitney Laboratory (9505 N. Oceanshore Blvd.)
Visit here to download maps for all these locations.
For more information on this event please call (904) 209-4422 or visit here.