If you’re a lover of nature, photography, or the ruggedly beautiful northern Arizona landscape, you can find all three at the annual Verde Valley Birding & Nature Festival! If you’re lucky enough to visit during this time, you’ll find a vibrant, four-day festival where you can meet like-minded nature lovers and choose from a number of field trips, hikes, and workshops that will allow you to spot and photograph avian wildlife unique to the rich ecosystem of the Verde River.
The Vision That Inspired the Verde Valley Birding & Nature Festival
The Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival is put on by the local northern Arizona organization Friends of the Verde River, a non-profit that works year-round to preserve the stunning natural environment of the Verde River, including sustaining river and tributary flows, resorting habitat for wildlife, and encouraging community participation. The festival was founded upon these principles and was made to celebrate the Verde River’s impressive array of resident and migratory wildlife while gathering the community together for a few days to appreciate these natural wonders!
Four Days of Exciting Excursions and Wildlife Sightings
This four-day festival is hosted at Dead Horse Ranch State Park, which lies right along the lushly forested banks of the Verde River. The Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival is held right in the middle of the spring migration season, to better allow participants to see as many birds and wildlife as possible. The ranch sits in an ideal location that also has easy access to a number of the Verde River’s tributaries, such as Oak Creek and Sycamore Creek, and festival attendees can select from around 80 trips, hikes, and workshops. Learn more about certain types of wildlife like Monarch butterflies or hone your photography and binocular skills. More than 60 volunteers have a hand in putting on the festival, and they all have comprehensive knowledge about the area’s wildlife and habitat and make excellent guides for some of the festival’s excursions! Take a canoe or kayak trip with an experienced guide or take an easy trail on your own with a few friends. The festival fun doesn’t end at the exciting excursions. You’ll also find a number of local vendors selling birding supplies, coffee, a keynote speaker and an artwork showcase.
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