October 17-20, 2019
Hillsborough Community College - Brandon

Four days of field and boat trips, expert seminars, keynote speakers, a special turtle symposium, and a great nature expo!

  • Dr. Mark Madison
    U.S. FWS National Historian
  • Denver Holt
    Owl Research Institute
  • Kenn Kaufman
    Kaufman Field Guides
"Lost in the Florida Scrub" ©2018 Peter R. Gerbert, Acrylics
Come celebrate the wonders of the birds, wildlife, and natural lands that we enjoy in West Central Florida.

A four-day festival offering presentations workshops keynotes field trips boat trips a nature expo a turtle symposium
where you can learn from renowned professionals, experience peak migration, and shop unique products...


Festival registration is $30 per day or $45 for "all days."

Expert Seminars

Three rooms of informative, entertaining, and popular topics from birds to mammals to the conservation of their habitats. Look over the schedule to not miss your favorites!

Turtle Symposium

Co-sponsored by the Florida Turtle Conservation Trust, a special one-day symposium with 7 seminars exploring Florida's rich turtle diversity. Saturday only from 9 am to 5 pm.

Nature Expo

Free of charge, our Expo Hall will be full of nature organizations, original artwork, and more. Come meet the groups working hard to protect the environment, and shop! Open 9 am to 4 pm Fri-Sat.

Silent Auction

Donations have come in from vendors, individual supporters, and more. Items will be on display, and winners will be announced on Saturday at 4 pm. (You must be present to receive.)

Field & Boat Trips

After registration, add-on a field or boat trip (Thu-Sun) - many of which will take you to sites not normally accessible to the public - for $20 to $50. Many of our popular trips sell out, so get your tickets now!

Keynote Events

At 5 pm on Thu, Fri & Sat, come enjoy a buffet dinner and then listen to renowned experts give a keynote. Check the schedule details to discover Dr. Mark Madison, Denver Holt, and Kenn Kaufman.

Book Your Room

We have special Festival rates of two of Marriott's nearby hotels - the Courtyard by Marriott and Fairfield Inn & Suites. Use the link further down to book before Sept 17!

All the details...

Lunch will be available for purchase from 11 am to 2 pm on Friday and Saturday.
Parking is free at the Festival. HCC is a non-smoking campus. Pets must be leashed, picked up after, and are not allowed inside.
Scroll down for the Schedule Overview and use the button for the full Schedule Details. And click right below to meet this year's experts!

A Schedule Overview

The 2019 Florida Birding & Nature Festival

THU Day-1 Oct-17
5:00 PM
Opening Social Hour Begins
6:30 PM
Keynote Begins
FRI Day-2 Oct-18
7:00 AM
First Field Trip Begins
9:00 AM
Nature Expo Opens
9:00 AM
Seminars Begin
5:00 PM
Keynote Presentation and Dinner Buffet
SAT Day-3 Oct-19
7:00 AM
First Field Trip Begins
9:00 AM
Nature Expo Opens
9:00 AM
Seminars Begin
5:00 PM
Keynote Presentation and Dinner Buffet
SUN Day-4 Oct-20
8:00 AM
First Field Trip Begins

New for 2019 - Special Saturday Turtle Symposium!

Exploring Florida's Rich Turtle Diversity

A symposium co-sponsored by the Florida Turtle Conservation Trust   

  • 9:00 AM Saturday

    Dr. J. Sean Doody

    (University South Florida St. Petersburg)
    Why are Turtles the Most Threatened Species of Animals on Earth?
  • 10:00 AM Saturday

    George L. Heinrich

    (Heinrich Ecological Services)
    Identification of Florida Turtles
  • 11:00 AM Saturday

    Dr. Jeff Goessling

    (Eckerd College)
    Conservation Ecology of Gopher Tortoises from the Core to the Periphery
  • 1:00 PM Saturday

    Chris Lechowicz

    (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation)
    Habitat Use and Island Movements in the Jewel of Sanibel (The Florida box turtle)
  • 2:00 PM Saturday

    Dr. Jerry Johnston

    (Santa Fe College)
    The Suwannee Cooter: Lessons Learned from a Long-term Study in the Santa Fe River
  • 3:00 PM Saturday

    Dr. Ben Atkinson

    (Flagler College)
    Ornate Diamondback Terrapins: Muddy Gems in Levy County
  • 4:00 PM Saturday

    Kelly Martin

    (Florida Leatherbacks Inc.)
    Florida's Living Dinosaurs: Monitoring Florida's Endangered Leatherback Sea Turtles



The Florida Birding & Nature Festival could not exist without our wonderful sponsors who generously contribute financial aid and in-kind services!

(Click on a logo to open their website in another tab.)


Hillsborough Community College

HCC Brandon Campus

Address: 10451 Nancy Watkins Dr, Tampa, Florida, 33619, United States

Get Directions

Marriott Festival Hotels
We have a great discounted rate with both Courtyard by Marriott and Fairfield Inn & Suites! Make sure to book with the "FESTIVAL HOTELS" button before September 17, 2019.

Other Hotels Map
Audubon Florida
Florida Ornithological Society, Inc.
Tampa Audubon Society
Tampa Bay Refuges
Quest Ecology
Owl's Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife
Eagle Audubon
Redstart Birding
Peter R Gerbert Art
Wild Birds Unlimited Tampa
Carole Devillers Photography
Sarasota Audubon Society
Florida Nature Tours
Birding with David Simpson
Beautiful Ponds
Egmont Key Alliance
Valley Nature Center
Everglades Birding Festival
Tampa Bay Estuary Program
Inbound Cuba
Holbrook Travel
Heartwood Preserve


Would You Like to Volunteer?

Our kindhearted Festival volunteers get free access to the seminars or a keynote talk - outside of their shift(s).

Day shifts also get a free lunch. Most shifts are 4-hours, and you can volunteer on more than one day.

Volunteer spots are assigned on a first-sign-up basis. Sign up now to grab the spot(s) you want.

Volunteer Sign-up Now Open!

Grab Your Spots!