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Top 5 birding festivals for March 2014

This winter has seemed especially long, but March is an ideal birding season as it marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring, and with it, spring migration. Whether you want one last chance to see winter raptors or are looking forward to the return of your favorite migrants, there's a March birding festival for you, and these top events are only the beginning of a fantastic birding month.

International Festival of Owls
Where and When: March 7-9 in Houston, Minnesota

Take the opportunity to add owls to your life list with this northern event, or get up close and personal with the owl ambassadors who will make appearances. Owl pellet dissection and photography workshops are other great features that celebrate the beauty of these winter raptors.

Big "O" Birding Festival
Where and When: March 9-13 in LaBelle, Florida

The first spring migrants are already arriving in Florida, and you're sure to see them at this festival along the shores of Lake Okeechobee. Not only are birding tours offered, but you can choose tours by boats and kayaks as well, along with attending great presentations by expert speakers.

Bluebird Day
Where and When: March 15 in Mammoth Spring, Arkansas

Eastern bluebirds are one of the most popular songbirds and this free, one-day festival can help you attract bluebirds to your backyard and learn about becoming a bluebird landlord. Registration is required and can fill up fast, so don't delay.

Audubon's Nebraska Crane Festival
Where and When: March 20-23 in Kearney, Nebraska

Formerly the Rivers & Wildlife Celebration, this festival has a long history of celebrating Nebraska's phenomenal sandhill crane migration. Viewing opportunities are abundant during the festival, and other events include a banquet and a wide array of lectures, including an astronomy presentation.

Winter Raptor Fest
Where and When: March 29-30 in Fort Edward, New York

Even though spring will officially start before this festival begins, there's still one last opportunity to see amazing winter raptors in New York. Live raptors will be special festival guests, and snowshoe walks, sleigh rides and craft projects will all be part of the schedule – weather permitting!

Interested in even more options for your monthly birding? See this comprehensive directory of March Birding Festivals, with more than 15 events around the country and around the world to choose from!

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