IMG_4527SMALLThe Essex region is a premier destination for birders from around the world. Our conservation areas make for great spots to take in the diverse species that call our region home. Click here for a list of conservation areas that are great for spotting birds.

Visitors can also purchase an annual pass for entry into our world-renowned birding areas. Click here for information about annual and seasonal passes.

Birding events

Festival of Hawks, September 10-11 & September 17-18, 2016
Holiday Beach Conservation Area
9am to 3pm

See migrating hawks with Holiday Beach Migration Observatory’s experts on the tower.  Hold and release a hawk or songbird at the HBMO adopt-a-hawk programs throughout the day. See live hawks and owls up close, shop for native plants, binoculars and more, take a hawk scavenger hunt, then make a nature craft at this top hawk watching site in Canada.

Ongoing programs and demonstrations include:

  • Hawk banding and adoptions by the Holiday Beach Migration Observatory
  • Live hawk display with Kingsport Environmental
  • Monarch Butterfly life cycle display
  • Blue Kestrel Cafe hosted by the Essex County Field Naturalists (first weekend) and an HBMO BBQ tent (second weekend)
  • Kids’ craft table, free face painting (first weekend only), and a raptor scavenger hunt
  • Ontario Purple Martin Association tent and programs
  • Pelee Wings Nature Store optics booth
  • Native Plants and Trees table
  • John R. Park Homestead pop up gift shop
  • Robert Bishop’s Artwork Wonders tent
  • Windsor & Essex County Plein Air Artists on-site throughout Holiday Beach

Event Documents

Program Schedule Week 1

Program Schedule Week 2

Click here for the Hawk Identification Sheet.

Click here for a map of Holiday Beach Conservation Area.

Entry fee is $15 per vehicle. Seasonal passes are available here.

For more information about birding festivals, contact ERCA Events Coordinator Alex Denonville at 519-776-5209 ext 367 or via email at