Florida's Birding & Photo Fest
Photographers at Florida's Birding & Photo Fest
Paddling the waters of St. Augustine
Horseback riding on the beach
Classroom during Florida's Birding & Photo Fest
Photography workshop
Man working on a camera
Camera lenses
Beach photographers at sunrise
Florida's Birding & Photo Fest
Photographers at Florida's Birding & Photo Fest
Paddling the waters of St. Augustine
Horseback riding on the beach
Classroom during Florida's Birding & Photo Fest
Photography workshop
Man working on a camera
Camera lenses
Beach photographers at sunrise

Celebrate the Nature of Florida's Birding & Photo Fest

Events like the annual Florida's Birding & Photo Fest are just the beginning of the nature and outdoor experiences you can have in St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra Beach.

Each spring, an event that reveals the real Florida happens in the Nation's Oldest City.

It's the annual Florida's Birding & Photo Fest, typically held in April in and around St. Augustine and throughout Northeast Florida. This year's event is set for April 18-22, 2018.

Field trips, wildlife photography sessions, lectures and exhibitions take place across St. Johns and neighboring counties, from the Tolomato River to the sea and from Ponte Vedra to Washington Oaks Gardens State Park.

Photo buffs can immerse themselves with leading wildlife photographers in workshops combining skills training with conservation practices. Birders can hike nine miles of trails through Guana River Research Reserve, some of which winds beneath cedars forming low bridges through the bush and ends at oyster shell bars. Outdoorsmen can paddle 15 to 20 different runs through Anastasia State Park or south to Marineland, where—at low tide—flats of the Matanzas River rise like flapjacks poured from a lumpy batter.

Even the kids can get in on the festival fun, sifting sand sifting on a beachcombing excursion, then examining tiny seashells under a microscope, carefully handling stingray barbs and maybe finding the egg case—a "mermaid’s purse” —of a clear-nosed skate.

For optimal bird viewing, some gated sites open at dawn (something they don't do otherwise), while others at recently set aside conservation lands open to public groups for some of the first times ever.

Best of all, you don’t need to know the difference between a spotting scope and a spotted owl to have fun.