Top 9 Wildlife Watching Festivals To Attend In The USA

Top 9 Wildlife Watching Festivals To Attend In The USA

This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.

Wildlife watching festivals offer unique experiences for nature enthusiasts across the USA. These events are perfect for those who love observing animals in their natural habitats.

They provide an excellent opportunity to connect with nature and learn about different species. Whether you are an avid bird watcher or fascinated by marine life, there is something for everyone.

The festivals are held in various states, showcasing diverse wildlife and beautiful landscapes. They not only celebrate nature but also promote conservation efforts

Plan your next adventure around one of these incredible wildlife watching festivals. It’s a chance to witness breathtaking moments and create lasting memories.

Get ready to explore the best festivals that highlight the wonder of wildlife in the USA.

What To Expect At A Wildlife Festival?

At wildlife watching festivals, expect a blend of adventure, education, and conservation. You’ll have the chance to join guided tours, birdwatching sessions, and wildlife photography workshops.

Expert naturalists and biologists often lead these activities, providing valuable insights into local flora and fauna. Many festivals also feature educational exhibits, talks, and presentations on conservation efforts and wildlife behavior.

Families can enjoy kid-friendly activities such as scavenger hunts, crafts, and interactive displays. Vendors often sell nature-themed merchandise, local crafts, and food.

These festivals foster a sense of community among nature lovers, offering opportunities to meet like-minded people.

Whether you’re a seasoned wildlife enthusiast or a curious beginner, wildlife watching festivals provide a memorable experience connecting you with nature’s wonders.

1. San Diego Bird Festival

Wildlife Watching

The San Diego Bird Festival, organized by the San Diego Audubon Society, is a must-attend event for bird enthusiasts.

This festival aims to promote birdwatching, educate the public about birds and their habitats, and raise awareness about bird conservation. Held over several days in late winter or early spring, the festival coincides with the peak of bird migration or nesting season.

Visitors can enjoy guided birdwatching tours, photography workshops, and educational seminars led by experts.

The event attracts a diverse crowd, including nature lovers, educators, families, and anyone interested in learning more about birds and wildlife. 

Besides promoting tourism and appreciation for San Diego’s natural beauty, the festival also supports conservation efforts.

Funds raised during the festival benefit local Audubon programs and help protect bird habitats and ecosystems.

Whether you’re a seasoned birder or a curious beginner, the San Diego Bird Festival offers something for everyone.

2. Southeastern Wildlife Exposition

Wildlife Watching

The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (SEWE) is a premier event that attracts around 40,000 attendees annually.

This festival provides a unique opportunity to get an up-close view of sporting demonstrations, such as dog trials, falconry, and retriever showcases.

Visitors can also explore a wide range of exhibits featuring wildlife art, conservation organizations, and outdoor gear.

SEWE offers a platform to learn about today’s pressing issues of wildlife conservation through informative talks and presentations by experts in the field.

Families and nature enthusiasts alike can enjoy interactive activities, wildlife shows, and educational seminars. The event not only highlights the beauty of wildlife but also emphasizes the importance of preserving natural habitats.

With its blend of entertainment, education, and conservation, the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition is a must-visit for anyone passionate about wildlife and the great outdoors.

3. Spring And Fall Wildlife Conservation Expo

Wildlife Watching

The Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN) hosts its renowned Wildlife Conservation Expos twice a year, in the spring and fall.

These expos are designed to foster insightful conversations and feature fascinating presentations by leading conservationists.

Attendees can expect to engage with around 60 exhibitors, each showcasing efforts and innovations in wildlife conservation.

The expos offer fun activities for all ages, making it an ideal event for families and wildlife enthusiasts. Highlights include wild bird demonstrations, where visitors can see birds of prey up close and learn about their behaviors and habitats.

Additionally, art and photography exhibits provide a visual celebration of the natural world.

The Spring and Fall Wildlife Conservation Expos are perfect for those who want to deepen their understanding of wildlife conservation and connect with a community dedicated to protecting our planet’s biodiversity.

4. Jackson Wild Summit

The Jackson Wild Summit is an inspiring annual gathering of filmmakers, conservationists, and scientists dedicated to producing groundbreaking nature films.

Held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, this event aims to educate people about the world’s most critical environmental issues through the powerful medium of film.

Nature filmmakers at the summit work tirelessly to create impactful documentaries that raise awareness and inspire action.

The event is monumental in connecting educators with content creators, fostering collaborations that drive environmental improvement.

Attendees can expect to engage in insightful discussions, watch innovative films, and network with leading figures in the conservation and filmmaking communities.

5. New Jersey WILD Outdoor Expo

Wildlife Watching

The New Jersey WILD Outdoor Expo is an annual event designed to empower visitors to embrace various forms of outdoor recreation.

Organized by the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, with support from various partners, the expo offers activities ranging from rock climbing to kayaking and wildlife watching.

Attendees can enjoy water retriever demonstrations, birds of prey exhibits, and informative seminars on the snakes of New Jersey.

Tree and bird identification walks provide a hands-on learning experience about the state’s rich biodiversity. The event celebrates New Jersey’s natural resources and wildlife diversity, making it a perfect outing for families and nature enthusiasts.

6. Ohio Outdoor and Wildlife Expo

Wildlife Watching

The Ohio Outdoor and Wildlife Expo is a fantastic event that educates the entire family on birding and other outdoor activities.

Held over a weekend in the spring or summer, this free expo features live animals native to Ohio, offering a unique opportunity to learn about local wildlife.

Visitors can enjoy hands-on activities, interact with experts, and participate in educational sessions designed to deepen their connection with nature.

The event encourages community involvement and is perfect for adults and kids alike. With ample space for outdoor exhibits and activities, the expo provides an engaging and informative experience for all attendees.

7. National Wildlife Week

Wildlife Watching

National Wildlife Week, organized by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), is an annual event held during the first full week of March.

As one of the largest conservation organizations in the United States, the NWF uses this week to focus on a specific theme related to wildlife conservation each year.

This event encourages participation from individuals of all ages and backgrounds, offering a unique opportunity to learn about local wildlife.

Activities include educational programs, wildlife-themed workshops, and community projects aimed at raising awareness and fostering a connection with nature.

National Wildlife Week is an excellent chance for people to engage with their environment, gain valuable knowledge about conservation efforts, and take actionable steps to protect wildlife. 

8. Wildlife Conservation Film Festival

The Wildlife Conservation Film Festival (WCFF) aims to raise awareness about global conservation challenges and inspire action to protect wildlife and natural habitats.

Organized by Wildlife Conservation Film Festival, Inc., a nonprofit organization based in New York City, this festival is a must-attend for anyone passionate about environmental issues.

Held over several days, the festival features film screenings at various venues in New York City, including theaters, cultural centers, and educational institutions.

Attendees can enjoy panel discussions with filmmakers and conservation experts, networking opportunities, and special events focused on wildlife conservation.

The WCFF attracts a diverse audience, including filmmakers, conservation professionals, educators, students, and wildlife enthusiasts.

By showcasing powerful films and fostering insightful discussions, the WCFF aims to foster a deeper appreciation for wildlife and the natural world.

The festival empowers individuals and communities to take meaningful action to protect biodiversity and ensure a sustainable future for all species.

9. Yellowstone Wildlife and Birding Festival

Wildlife Watching

The Yellowstone Wildlife and Birding Festival, held in West Yellowstone, Montana, serves as the gateway to Yellowstone National Park.

Organized by local conservation organizations, wildlife experts, and community partners, this festival is a highlight for nature lovers and birding enthusiasts.

Spanning several days in late spring or early summer, the festival encourages community involvement and attracts locals, visitors, and wildlife enthusiasts.

Attendees can participate in guided birdwatching tours, wildlife photography workshops, and educational seminars led by experts.

Beyond celebrating the region’s diverse wildlife, the festival emphasizes the importance of conservation efforts to protect habitats.

It provides a platform for learning about the vital role of conservation in maintaining the natural beauty and biodiversity of Yellowstone. 

Final Thoughts

These wildlife watching festivals across the USA offer unforgettable experiences for nature enthusiasts of all ages.

Each event provides unique opportunities to learn about wildlife, engage in conservation efforts, and connect with like-minded individuals. 

Whether you’re an avid bird watcher, a wildlife photographer, or simply someone who enjoys the great outdoors, these festivals are not to be missed.

Mark your calendar, gather your family and friends, and embark on a journey to explore the wonders of nature.

Join the movement to appreciate and protect the incredible wildlife that calls our country home.


Greetings from Discover Outdoors, where each step we take is part of a wider journey towards immersive nature exploration and eco-tourism. I'm Julia, and I'm eager to lead you on this sustainable adventure.

You might also like:

Leave a Comment

Download the E-Book