With the COVID-19 pandemic cancelling many events, the Down East Spring Birding Festival returns for 2021, albeit with a few changes. Hosted by Cobscook Institute and supported by many regional organizations and volunteers, we are thrilled to welcome people from near and far to join us for the 18th Annual Down East Spring Birding Festival May 27th-30th. This continues a nearly two decade tradition of locally guided world class birding experiences during spring migration and the breeding season. Due to COVID-19, we are hosting a smaller festival this year, but with both in-person and virtual events. To find a full list of events and to register, please visit https://cobscookinstitute.org/birdfest, and be sure to follow Down East Spring Birding Festival on Facebook for the latest updates. Space is limited on in-person trips, so register soon. An exciting change for 2021 - There are no registration fees and we have scholarships available to local residents interested in participating in boat trips! If you have never been birding before and are looking for an exciting new hobby for all ages, this is a great year to join us and explore some of the beautiful bird habitat in Washington County. The Down East region is home to some of the greatest variety of habitats on the East Coast, including boreal and northern hardwood forests, bogs, fresh- and salt-water marshes, grassy and shrubby fields, streams and lakes, steep rugged headlands, extensive tidal flats, and coastal islands. As such, it offers rich birding experience: Black-legged Kittiwake, Great Cormorant, Atlantic Puffin, Gray Jay, Spruce Grouse, 25 species of Warblers, boreal species, and the American Woodcock draw birders to the region. To ensure maximum public safety, there will be no indoor events or gatherings. For in-person events, we ask that all participants please follow current CDC guidelines on masking and social distancing. This year’s festival is made possible due the generous support of the Onion Foundation and many regional volunteers. Plans are in the works to offer additional events over the summer and fall, and we will return with a bigger and better festival in 2022!