Birding Festival: May 8, 2019 Events

16th Annual


May 13 - May 17, 2020

We're excited about the 2020 Birding Festival! Mark the dates on your calendar: May 13 - May 17, 2020. For an idea of the kinds of tours, lectures and bird sightings available, take a quick tour through our 2019 events.

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Events Scheduled for Wednesday, May 8, 2019

A raptor seen during the Birding Festival

Photo courtesy of Diane Cherbak

Festival Check-in, Cortez Cultural Center Gallery

Noon – 7:00 pm
Full Reg Fee & banquet  $65

Daily registration fee $15
  (no reg. fee req’d for teens)

Banquet only fee  $35

Lectures included with each day’s registration, otherwise $5 at door




Raptors Galore
Chris Schultz, Wildlife Biologist, US Forest Service

1:00 pm – 5:00 pm; $30
Commence the 2019 UMMV Birding Festival with our popular afternoon raptors tour. Observe nesting or soaring Bald & Golden eagles, falcons, hawks and many Four Corners migratory and resident species. (20 species, 2018) Easy.



Montezuma Land Conservancy

Wildflower Walk at Hawkins Preserve

David Faulkner, Natural Resource Biologist, Retired

2:00 pm – 4:30 pm; $20
Walk Hawkins Preserve’s trails during peak wildflower bloom. Protected for decades, these 122 acres within city limits incorporate vegetation of native habitats: sagebrush, pothole-slickrock, pinyon-juniper, riparian, rim rock and more. Specific species are emphasized for value as dye plants, medicine, wildlife browse, horticulture and bird habitat. Easy.

Birding Festival Photo

Water birds are frequently spotted this time of year. Photo © Tim Reeves


Brews, Bites & Birds Welcome Reception at Cortez Cultural Center Gallery

5:00 – 7:30 pm
Join us at the welcome reception for beer & hard cider tasting from local microbreweries, appetizers and a bird art show. $5/glass or $10 for unlimited tastings.



“Birding on the Border”
Erik Hendrickson, Engineer, National Park Service, Retired

5:45 pm – 6:45 pm
Navigating the Southwest border in pursuit of avian species presents interesting challenges. Our Keynote Speaker’s topic, Birding without Borders, prompted re-visiting birding hot spots from California to the mouth of the Rio Grande. Add a few awkward encounters with Border Patrol to flavor birding experiences.


Owl Prowl
Erik Hendrickson, Engineer, National Park Service, Retired

7:15 pm – 11:00 pm; $30
Depart after the evening presentation to listen for and possibly to sight some Four Corners owl species: Barn, Great Horned, Flammulated, Burrowing, Long-eared, Northern Saw-whet and Western Screech. (12 species, 2018) Easy.

songbird silhouetteBirding Festival General Information

  • The Ute Mountain Mesa Verde Birding Festival is the major fundraiser for the Cortez Cultural Center. All proceeds benefit the Center.
  • All tours require pre-registration.
  • A registration fee is required for all tours except as noted. Full registration includes keynote banquet and all lectures. Daily registration includes that day's lectures. Full registration is required in order to qualify for the free early bird t-shirt.
  • Unless otherwise noted, tours will return to the Center at approximately 3:00 pm.
  • Van transportation is provided except as noted.
  • Tour size is generally 13 or less.
  • Cancellations considered on a case by case basis up to 21 days prior to start of Festival. All cancellations subject to a processing fee.
  • Availability of restrooms depends on the tour. Nearly all guides scout out restroom locations as well as bird species. Some tours are in parks or other facilities that have established restrooms. Some have outhouses. Others, the only option are bushes. Usually the leader will mention the restroom plan at the beginning of the tour.
  • All tours depart from and return to the Cortez Cultural Center.
  • Tour times listed are the DEPARTURE time. Please arrive 15 minutes prior.

For Birding Festival information email

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