Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Festival of Birds at Rookery Bay

Keynote speaker, Dr. Jerry Jackson with a cormorant. | Submitted Photo

Join Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve for the Festival of Birds, an annual event that allows guests to explore the local environment through guided field trips to wildlife hot spots around Southwest Florida. The event also features programs at the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center (ELC) from January 18 through 20, 2019.

Dozens of field trips, including birding walks, buggy rides and boat tours will be offered by area partners. Trips range in price from $0-$150. Registration for field trips is required. Some of the new trips being offered this year include:

  • Isles of Capri Paddlecraft Park: Mangrove Tunnel & Mudflat Kayak Tour
  • Keewaydin Island: Sunset to Starlight Boat Tour
  • Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge: Kayaking with the Birds
  • Tigertail Beach: Beach Birding for Beginners

Also new this year is the Festival Pass, which costs $45. It is required for entry to the ELC for all on-site events and to book field trips. It includes:

  • Admission to ELC and on-site programs (guided trail walks, Estuary Encounter, bird films) on both Friday and Saturday, 9 AM to 4 PM
  • Featured speakers on Friday and Saturday, 1-2 PM and 3-4 PM
  • Souvenir goodie bag filled with information from participating partners
  • Lunch vouchers for Friday 11 AM-1 PM (JewBan’s Deli Dale food truck) and Saturday 11 AM-1 PM (Brit Pit food truck) — includes meal plus drink

Featured Speakers are as follows:

Friday, January 18, 2019:

  • 1-2 PM Anne Mauro: The Flamingo, Florida’s Forgotten Wading Bird
  • 3-4 PM Randy McCormick: My 40-Year Love Affair with Birds

Saturday, January 19, 2019:

  • 1-2 PM Alli Smith: Florida Burrowing Owl Research and Conservation
  • 3-4 PM Adam DiNuovo: The Amazing Black Skimmer

Keynote Reception on Friday, January 18, features Dr. Jerry Jackson, who will present “Birds are Cool: Fascinating Flexibility and Far-out Adaptations of Birds in Our Changing World” from 6-7 PM. The cost to attend is $10. Jerome A. Jackson is Professor Emeritus of Ecological Sciences and former Whitaker Eminent Scholar in Science at Florida Gulf Coast University, and Professor Emeritus at Mississippi State University. Jerry’s expertise focuses on forest and coastal ecosystems, bird management issues associated with aviation, and the history of ornithology. He is author/editor of 24 books and more than 300 articles in the professional and popular literature. Doors open at 5:30. Refreshments provided.

Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center is located at 300 Tower Road, Naples. Register at

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