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Top 5 birding festivals for February 2014

Early February is a slow time for birding, but as the month deepens the birding heats up with some great February festivals. If you want to celebrate birds this month, here are five top events it's not too late to take advantage of.

Sax-Zim Bog Birding Festival
Where and When: February 14-16 in Meadowlands, Minnesota

Get your fill of owls, winter finches and boreal visitors with this northern festival. With experienced guides and unique habitats to explore, this is a great opportunity to get the best of winter birding without a trip to the Arctic.

Eagle Expo
Where and When: February 20-22 in Morgan City, Louisiana

Nesting bald eagles are the stars of this festival, and it can be a rare privilege to see both adults and fledglings so intimately. A raptor show and other bayou tours are also part of this event celebrating southern heritage.

Whooping Crane Festival
Where and When: February 20-23 in Port Aransas, Texas

The whooping crane is a highly sought after target bird for many birders, and tours at this festival offer unparalleled opportunities to see these large endangered cranes. Expert lectures, seminars and a trade show round out the offerings here.

Burrowing Owl Festival
Where and When: February 22 in Cape Coral, Florida

The borrowing owl is one of the most charismatic owls and never fails to delight visitors to this one-day event. Van tours offer great looks at the owls, and a native plant sale and educational lectures can help anyone learn more about these urban raptors.

San Diego Bird Festival
Where and When: February 22-March 2 in San Diego, California

One of the largest February festivals, the San Diego Bird Festival offers tours to a wide range of habitats, as well as unique choices for birding by kayaks or bikes. Pelagic birding tours are also popular, and there are activities for all ages, including an amusing puppet show.

Not seeing a festival that works for you? Check out this comprehensive directory of more than 15 festivals throughout the month, and you're sure to find a birding event you can enjoy!