Fri, May 24

Birding & Nature Festival flies into Verde Valley this April

Photo by Friends of the Verde River

Photo by Friends of the Verde River

— The Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival celebrates 18 years of Birding in the Verde Valley, April 26-29, at Dead Horse Ranch State Park.

Hosted by Friends of the Verde River, the birding festival will bring more than 400 birders and 1,000 community members to see hundreds of bird species across the Northern Arizona region.

The Verde River’s vast watershed is habitat for one of the largest concentrations of resident and migratory birdlife anywhere in the Southwest.

“Symphony on Wings,” is this year’s festival theme. Keynote speaker Nathan Pieplow will share some of his most remarkable audio from over a decade of recording birds in the field.

Each year, the festival features artwork by an Arizona artist. This year’s winning art, “Sonoran Debate,” was painted by Gary Binder of Scottsdale.

The original painting is for sale through Friends and a percentage of the sale supports Friends of the Verde River. Direct inquiries to Laura Jones,

The festival aims to provide a unique recreational experience to anyone interested in the natural world while fostering awareness of the importance of healthy habitat for the enrichment of all life in the Verde Valley.

Whether an experienced birder, a general nature lover, or the curious and adventurous, this outdoor festival offers something for everyone.

Participants can choose from more than 50 field trips led by experienced birders.

Other activities such as walks along the Verde River Greenway, the Sedona Wetlands and arm chair birding provide a wide array of birding opportunities for every level of birder.

Saturday, April 28th, the festival will welcome families to Dead Horse Ranch State Park with free admission to the park for the Family Nature Fair. There will be opportunities for everyone to participate in interactive programs and to learn about the importance of birds to our lives.

This year Family Nature Festival will include kayak rides on the lagoons at Dead Horse Ranch State Park and much, much more.

For more information about the festival, special events and to register for field trips and workshops visit:

Plan to go ...

What: Verde Valley Birding & Nature Festival

When: Thursday, April 26th – Sunday, April 29th, 2018.

Where: Dead Horse Ranch State Park, 675 Owl Road, Cottonwood, AZ 86326,

Registration Contact: Jeri Higgins, 928- 282-2202,

Volunteer Contact: Chris Jensen,

Event Coordinator: Laura Jones, (928) 451-6860,

Friends of the Verde River, (Friends), is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that envisions a healthy, free-flowing Verde River and tributaries that support our unique environment, a vibrant economy, and quality of life for future generations.