Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival - More Than Birds

This post uses language from a press release provided by the Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival.

The Verde Valley Birding & Nature Festival is being held this weekend at Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood. Join us on April 27th – 30th for a unique recreational experience to anyone interested in the natural world. The festival fosters awareness of the importance of habitat for the enrichment of all life in the Verde Valley.

Keynote Speaker - Friday, April 28

Keynote Dessert Reception will be held on Friday, April 28 at 6:30 - 9pm at the Cottonwood Recreation Center, 150 S. 6th Street. Register Online.

The Verde Valley Birding & Nature Festival is excited to bring Noah Strycker to the Verde River Valley for this special occasion. Join them for an evening of entertainment, delicious desserts and the opportunity to learn about the world of birding.


Noah's talk is titled "Bird World: Insights for Humans from the World of Birds". Noah is a 30-year-old writer, photographer, and bird man based near Eugene, Oregon. In 2015, during a quest spanning 41 countries and all seven continents, he set a world record by seeing 6,042 species of birds (more than half the birds on Earth) in one calendar year. He has written two well-received books: The Thing with Feathers (2014), about the relationships between bird and human behavior, and Among Penguins (2011), describing a summer in an Antarctic field camp. Noah is Associate Editor of Birding magazine and regularly writes for Audubon and other publications. He is a popular commentator on birds, having given hundreds of presentations. He was named the American Birding Association’s “Young Birder of the Year” in 2004.
Birds aren’t people, but just how different are they from us? They have the same basic requirements we do: food, shelter, reproduction. And they can do some amazing things! Approaching bird behavior from new and surprising angles, Noah explores the astonishing homing abilities of pigeons, extraordinary memories of nutcrackers, self-image in magpies, life-long loves of albatrosses, particle physics of starling flocks, and other mysteries---revealing why birds do what they do, and how we can relate. With humor and wit, and drawing deep from cutting-edge science and anecdotes from the field, Noah’s presentation will leave you with renewed inspiration about our close connections with birds.

Family Nature Fair and Open House - Saturday, April 29

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The four-day festival offers many opportunities to explore, learn, and discover various inhabitants in the Verde Valley - including a FREE Family Nature Fair and Open House on Saturday, April 29 with complimentary entrance into Dead Horse Ranch State Park. 

The Open House will include a festive "Flyway."  Similar to a fair's midway, you’ll find activities, games, prizes and fun from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Kids can enjoy crafts, bird house and feeder making, and a variety of things to do and explore.

Ruby Kauffman, recipient of a scholarship to the American Birder Association's Young Birder's Camp in Colorado, will be leading kids of all ages on two special beginner-level bird walks. The first one starts at 10:45am and the second starts at 1:45pm.   

Help Plant a Tree

Additional Migration Madness themed presentations will be held throughout the event including one by Wildman Phil, who will speak about coyotes, migrating birds, and Monarchs. Don't miss the planting of an Arbor Day/Earth Day Tree donated by Verde River Growers which will take place at 12:30pm.

This year, additional vendors and exhibitors will be located along the "Flyway" as well as in the big tent, offering the latest in binoculars, bird feeding equipment, books, art and information. The big tent will also feature live animals and birds - an opportunity to get up close and personal with some of Arizona's best from Game and Fish’s Adobe Mountain Rehabilitation Center in Phoenix. 

Raffle tickets are available for some amazing donated prizes in the big tent. Proceeds support scholarships for youth to attend the Arizona's Young Birders Camp in southern Arizona or the American Birding Association's Youth Camp in Colorado.

More information, registration and the full schedule can be found at or by contacting Barbie Hart 928-301-5516 or [email protected]

This full day of fun and activities is a great way to introduce the whole family to nature while enjoying the out-of-doors and all that the Verde Valley has to offer. 

Looking for more to do in and around Cottonwood and the Verde Valley?