Top 10 Maryland Birding Events

Maryland welcomes wildlife watchers and photographers from across the U.S. and around the globe to experience world-class birding in a variety of easily-accessible habitats. 

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man with binoculars and camera
Image Credit: Audubon Baltimore Birding Weekend
painting of swans in water
The Long Stretch
Image Credit: Julia Rogers

From our Western Maryland mountains to the Chesapeake Bay to our Atlantic barrier islands, more than 450 species have been documented in the state (check out this impressive statewide species tally from our friends at the Maryland Biodiversity Project).

Each season brings with it exciting opportunities to witness the miracle of migration first-hand. The changes are dramatic from season to season, but there are beautiful, more subtle shifts every few weeks if you watch nature’s theater.

Maryland cares about birds. Our Department of Natural Resources works closely with federal and local government agencies and conservation partner organizations to make certain that the future for birds is bright in our great state. Maryland has been an international leader in the recovery of formerly endangered species, including the comeback of the Osprey, Peregrine Falcon, and our iconic national symbol, the Bald Eagle. Today, bird watchers, photographers and wildfowl hunters benefit from the dedication of Maryland’s conservation community.

Birding is fun here, too! Whether you’re birding from a dock bar in Ocean City or along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, or enjoying a post-birding “tally rally” at one of our Maryland wineries or craft breweries, Maryland is the perfect place for birders of every skill level.

If you’re new to birding or to exploring Maryland’s wildlife watching hotspots, our birding community welcomes you to join us and make new friends. Many of our local bird clubs, nature centers and conservation partners lead regular bird hikes all across the state, and most are no or low cost. Check out the event calendars of the Maryland Ornithological Society bird clubs and the Maryland chapters and centers of the National Audubon Society to learn more about these birding opportunities.

For travelers looking for a weekend or more of birding adventure, including internationally-acclaimed wildfowl art events, here is our Top 10 list of Maryland birding events (most are in calendar order):

Family enjoying the Waterfowl Festival in Easton Image Credit: Waterfowl Festival

1 Waterfowl Festival in Historic Easton

November 8-10, 2019
Autumn is the most spectacular time of year for the Eastern Shore and the Waterfowl Festival in historic Easton shows it off at its best. Thousands of geese fly overhead while thousands of visitors stroll the streets. Local hunting traditions and sportsmen’s goods and gear are highlighted in addition to the wildlife art, with the World Championship Goose Calling Contest®, the Mason-Dixon Regional Duck Calling Contest and Delmarva Dock Dogs® Competition taking place as well as retriever demonstrations, wine tasting pavilion, kids’ activities and much more.


More about Waterfowl Festival


Type:
Events


Location:
40 South Harrison Street
Easton, MD 21601
410-822-4567


Learn More
Bufflehead duck Image Credit: Frode Jacobsen

2 Winter Delmarva Birding Weekend

January 24-26, 2020
This event hosts field trips that provide great looks at the waterfowl, seabirds, shorebirds, raptors — and seals! — that are on full display on Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore during the winter months. Seasoned birders and newbies will have the opportunity to experience guided tours by boat and expeditions by foot, all led by local experts. After the field trips, birders can socialize at “tally rallies” hosted at local restaurants and breweries. Check the website for more information.     

Bald Eagle at Black Water Wildlife Festival

3 Eagle Festival at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

March 2020
Birds of prey programs featuring live eagles and other raptors, kids’ activities, kids’ bird box construction, eagle prowls, wildlife drive tours, wildlife exhibits, live bird exhibits, and food all day!  Check the website for more information.


More about Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge


Type:
Attraction


Location:
2145 Key Wallace Dr
Cambridge, MD 21613
410-228-2677


Learn More
Pair of ospreys on St.George Island Image Credit: BC Petrie Photography

4 Spring Delmarva Birding Weekend

April 23-26, 2020
This event celebrates the spring migration of thousands of warblers, shorebirds, waterfowl and raptors on Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore. Seasoned birders and newbies will have the opportunity to experience guided tours by boat and expeditions by foot, all led by local experts. After the field trips, birders can socialize at “tally rallies” hosted at local restaurants and breweries. Check the website for more information.


More about Spring Delmarva Birding Weekend


Type:
Events


Location:
Worcester County Tourism
Snow Hill , MD 21863
443-614-0261


Learn More
Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art

5 Ward World Championship Wildfowl Carving Competition and Art Festival

April 24-26, 2020
The World Championship is an international event where carvers, collectors, and visitors convene at the end of each April in Ocean City, MD. From highly decorative works of art to functional hunting decoys, about 1,200 different wildfowl carvings representing more than 150 species from around the world can be viewed at the premier competition in the world.

bird in tree Image Credit: Garrett County Birdfest.

6 Garrett County Birdfest

May 2020
This birdfest was created to help fairly new, but very interested birders become more accomplished at this challenging sport. Time is spent listening to and learning bird songs. Early May is the perfect time to see birds migrating through the area. Most migrants have returned but the leaves haven’t grown enough to block your view of the birds in the treetops. Check the website for more information.

man with binoculars and camera Image Credit: Audubon Baltimore Birding Weekend

7 Audubon’s Baltimore Birding Weekend

May 2020
This event, hosted by the Patterson Park Audubon Center, provides guided experiences that connect people to the Baltimore’s waterfront and green spaces, highlight the incredible wildlife diversity that can be discovered in our urban parks, wetlands, and ecological restoration sites, and have a fun time birding in, and exploring Charm City. Check the website for more information.

Maryland Yellowthroat Image Credit: Maryland Ornithological Society

8 Maryland Ornithological Society Annual Convention

For more than 70 years, the Maryland Ornithological Society (MOS) has hosted an annual convention where both members and non-members can meet, socialize, discuss conservation and natural resource topics, and enjoy guided field trips in various regions of Maryland. The convention is hosted at different venues and dates each year. Check the website for more information.

Baltimore Oriole Image Credit: [email protected]

9 Prince George’s Audubon Society “Mi Casa es Su Casa” Migration Celebration

September 2020
This migration-themed birding festival at Lake Artemesia Park in Berwyn Heights, MD, features live raptors, a bird walk for all skill levels, family bilingual scavenger hunt, children’s games, bilingual Spanish/English activity pages, and Monarch Migration station.

Couple with binoculars Image Credit: https://www.birdwatchersdigest.com/

10 The Big Sit Weekend at Wetlands Overlook Park

October 2020
This event features bird walks with guest leaders at Wetland Overlook Park and along the boardwalk, bird films at Town Hall, happy hour at a local restaurant, and a Sunday Big Sit event all day at Wetlands Overlook Park with a tally rally at a local restaurant. Check the website for more information.

Featured Places
decoy
01
Location:
40 South Harrison Street
Easton, MD 21601
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
02
Location:
2145 Key Wallace Dr
Cambridge, MD 21613
Prothonotary Warbler
03
Location:
Worcester County Tourism
Snow Hill , MD 21863
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