Kenn Kaufman to be 2012 San Diego Bird Festival Keynoter

The San Diego Audubon Society invites you to San Diego for the 16th annual San Diego Bird Festival, March 1 to 4, at the Marina Village Conference Center. This years banquet keynote speaker is Kenn Kaufman.

In 2008, Kaufman was presented with the highest honor of the American Birding Association, the Roger Tory Peterson Award for a lifetime of achievements in promoting the cause of birding. He is a field editor for Audubon magazine and a contributor to every major birding magazine. Most of his time, however, has gone into writing books, such as Kingbird Highway, Flights Against the Sunset, and Lives of North American Birds. His own Kaufman Field Guides series now includes volumes on birds (in English and Spanish), butterflies, mammals, insects, and the latest addition (2011) on advanced birding. He and his wife, Kim, keep busy with birds and rock music from their home base in northwestern Ohio.

The 2012 Bird Festival offers four pelagic trips, Thursday through Sunday, March 1 through 4. Swarovski Optik and SeaWorld San Diego are pelagic trip sponsors. Pelagic birding maestro Terry Hunefeld leads the trips and his co-leaders include Steve Howell, Paul Lehman, Guy McCaskie, and Todd McGrath.

If you are a beginning birder or have never been to a bird festival, there are three events that are planned for those with limited experience. These are combined workshops and field trips that will introduce you to common birds of San Diego and then take you on short field trips to see them. The three events will cover our local shorebirds and songbirds.

In addition to keynoter Kaufman, internationally acclaimed birder and photographer Richard Crossley, author of the new field book series The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds, and The Shorebird Guide, is a special festival guest. He will lead a combination workshop and walk on Beginning Shorebird ID, where he will share his secrets for successful bird identification and lead a walk to the San Diego River Estuary for field observation.

Long-time festival favorites such as social mixers, the keynoter banquet, the silent auction, and the Birding & Optics EXPO are returning in 2012. EXPO is free and open to the public from 12 to 5 daily. The social mixers are on Thursday and Friday, 5 to 8 pm each night. The keynoter banquet with Kaufmann is scheduled for Friday, March 4, 5:30 to 8:30 pm.

Family Free Day

Additional festival events include a special day for families and children on Sunday, March 4. Kid-friendly activities include a Beginning Bird Art Workshop, the Raptor Rap Workshop, a Community Bird Painting Project, and a Bird Calling Workshop. All family events on Sunday are free with no pre-registration needed, although we do ask you to check-in at the San Diego Audubon Society registration desk at festival headquarters upon arrival for handouts and important information and announcements about Family Free Day events.

Early-bird Registration

Early-birders attending the 2012 San Diego Bird Festival might also wish to take advantage of a popular festival feature: pre-registration. Early-birders are invited to stop by festival headquarters on Wednesday, March 1, 4-8 pm, in the Seaside Room, Marina Village, to pre-register while enjoying free drinks and snacks.

Post-Festival Trip to Costa Rica

Extend your West Coast festival birding experience with a specially priced post-festival trip to lush and birdy Costa Rica, March 5-12. Although Costa Rica is a small country, it is in the bird-rich neotropical region and has a huge number of birds recorded for its size, 894 species, more than all of the U.S. and Canada combined. The trip is sponsored by the San Diego Audubon Society and operated by Holbrook Travel.

The Costa Rica trip is booked directly with Holbrook Travel. Contact Debbie Sturdivant, Debbie@holbrooktravel, or call toll-free 866-748-6146, or visit Holbrook Travel's Website.

  • Printable 2018 Bird Festival Brochure [PDF]
  • Printable 2018 Registration Worksheet/Mail-in Registration Form [PDF]
  • Complete list of sightings from 2017 Festival [PDF]
  • 2018 Silent Auction Donor Form (coming soon)
  • A listing of our Ethical Birding Guidelines

Contact Info

4010 Morena Blvd
Suite #100
San Diego, CA 92117
(858) 273-7800

Office Hours

Our office is staffed by volunteer receptionists. Please call (858) 273-7800 before planning your visit to ensure someone will be there to assist you.