The Winter Bird and Bat Festival takes place every January at the Rio Grande Nature Center.
Birds are plentiful along the Rio Grande bosque, and the festival provides a chance to not only learn about the birds and bats in the area but also to see some live. Guided walks and talks provide an in depth look at the nature of the area.
The Bird and Bat Festival takes place at different points at the Nature Center.
There will be activities in the Visitor Center, which contains an observation deck that overlooks the pond, and interpretive displays about the bosque and the wildlife it contains.
Since January weather is almost always sunny and cold, there will be plenty of outdoor activities as well. There will be tables set up where kids can do arts and crafts activities, and others with information about the birds and animals of the bosque.
Take a walk with the master naturalists who volunteer at the center to learn about the cottonwood forest. They'll teach you how to look for scat and when you can tell it belongs to a coyote, for example. They'll teach you what kinds of creatures live under the mounds of dirt you see in the forest. They can help you identify the many birds who live in the bosque, and tell you whether they live there year round or seasonally.
So when you go to the festival, be sure to dress warmly, and in a way that makes sense for the temperatures and weather, as some of the activities take place inside, but many take place outside as well.
Admission to the festival is free. Parking is $3, free for Friends of the Rio Grande Nature Center members.
The event is presented by the Friends of the Rio Grande Nature Center.
The Rio Grande Nature Center is located at 2901 Candelaria Road NW. Take Candelaria west from Rio Grande Boulevard to the end of the road.