The 2013 Florida Keys Birding and Wildlife Festival is over now. Boy was that fun! Rafael Galvaez, director of the Florida Keys Hawkwatch was instrumental in helping organize the festival and in getting me involved. We have big plans for next year! I hope to get more involved and maybe even do some of my own activities and talks next year. I will definitely be involved at some level.
There were a lot of local folks participating in the festival this year. Many were not aware of the amazing spectacle of bird migration that occurs every year in the Florida Keys. The Florida Keys Hawkwatch is the Peregrine falcon capital of the world, holding the World Record for single season and single day high counts of this species. Shorebirds, songbirds, herons, and other species make their way through the keys every year as well. The festival's talks and walks were designed to show off migration in the keys.
Currently the hawkwatch runs from September 15 to November 13. Before the hawkwatch begins at 9am, they run birding transects at Long Point State Park to monitor songbird migration. Next year, Rafael is thinking of starting the watches on July 15 and continuing to November 13. This would give the chance to document the Swallow-tailed kite migration that is mostly finished by the traditional start of the hawkwatch. We'll see what happens. I'll be down there as much as I can.