Thursday, October 30, 2014

Space Coast : The Place to Be Jan. 21-26, 2015


What began as a friendly birding competition in 1997, Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival has evolved into one of the best-known birding festivals in the U.S. Combining an ideal location with excellent facilities, world-class educators, and an impressive array of opportunities for birders and photographers, this festival needs to be on your calendar, tout de suite!

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For many of us, late January is a perfect time to be in a place other than our own wintery environs. And yes, that includes our feathered friends. You just get yourselves down to Florida--the birds will be waiting for you! Space Coast has field trips, boat tours, classroom presentations, and speakers aplenty to help you immerse yourself in all this unique area has to offer. You'll be walking alongside, listening to, and learning from some of the most knowledgeable people in the birding industry. Sounds like a once in a lifetime experience, doesn't it? Yet once you go, you'll want to return year after year. This festival is habit forming!

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There are diverse habitats in the Titusville/Merritt Island area: estuaries, islands, creeks, mangrove canals, and rivers are legendary for birds (Space Coast boasted 200 species spotted in 2011), but also wildlife study and observation. Therefore, you could well be treated to viewings of Bottle-Nosed Dolphin, manatees, alligators, and other mammals and reptiles. The nearby Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is not to be missed; it's an important sanctuary, and home to the threatened Florida Scrub-Jay, a species found only in this region. Bring your binocular, spotting scope, and camera and prepare to take your birding to the next level. Meet new friends from far and wide who have come for the same reasons. That's what Space Coast is all about!

According to the festival website, "The featured bird of the 2015 festival is the Red-cockcaded Woodpecker – an endangered species that makes its home in mature pine forests. The Red-cockcaded Woodpecker is best seen in Brevard County at the St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park and nearby Orange County at Hal Scott Regional Preserve & Park. Classroom presentations and field trips will introduce you to these interesting birds that have an ecological niche in the life of our pine forests."

A proud, long time sponsor of the festival, Eagle Optics will be there again this year, ready to show you optics from almost every major manufacturer. Stop by our booth in the vendor area, try out a spotting scope, and treat yourself to the astonishing details scopes can provide. Need a binocular upgrade? We have what you need, along with the expert advice and friendly service you deserve.

You know, the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival might just be the highlight of your winter. Check out the festival website and make plans to attend this January. We'd love to see you in Florida!

Nina Cheney
Eagle Optics Staff
Binoculars: Bring them. See what they bring you.

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