3rd Annual Indian River Birding fest
& Nature Art Show
October 13-15, 2017

The Pelican Island Preservation Society hosted the third annual Indian River Birding Fest & Nature Art Show, in partnership with the Pelican Island Audubon Society.  Our festival was held in conjunction with the National Wildlife Refuge Service's "National Wildlife Refuge Week," October 8-14, 2017.

Activities included local birding tours and lectures, Nature Art Show that included a plein air paint-out at the PIAS campus, and a sunset pontoon boat cruise on the Indian River Lagoon to Pelican Island.

The event was held at the PIAS campus located at 195 9th Street SE (Oslo Road), Vero Beach, Florida.  Juried art entries were on display and for sale, at the Audubon House.  For more information about the PIAS, visit their website at

The video below is a slideshow of photos taken on the Sunset Cruise to Pelican Island by PIPS Board member Sandy Peterson.  Wildlife seen on the trip include brown and white pelicans, white and glossy ibis, great blue herons, cormorants, black vultures, wood storks, white egrets, osprey and dolphin.  The tour was lead by Master Naturalist Heather Stapleton.

Sunset Cruise to Pelican Island - 2017 Indian River Birding Fest & Nature Art Show

Please download the Festival brochure (see the link below), and the tour descriptions below, for the full details of events and activities.  The Pelican Island Audubon Society also held a special Audubon House "Mural Dedication Mini Gala" on Friday, October 13th.

Click on the image at left to download a copy of the IRBF brochure with the full list of events and activities.

Tour Descriptions

Pokemon Bird Walk - Friday, October 13, 4 - 6pm, free

Meet at Pavilion at Memorial Island, Riverside Park, Vero Beach - Pokemon and birding seem like very different hobbies, but they actually are remarkably similar. Join Dee Simpson to find out how similar they are, why you should do both, and how birders and Pokemon trainers can help each other grow! Before the class, birders, please download the (free) Pokemon app onto your smartphone and create a login. Pokemon trainers, please download the (free) eBird app and create a login.  Free event

Owl Prowl - Friday, October 13, 8 - 10pm, $15

Meet at the Pelican Island Audubon House for an Owl Prowl on the Audubon campus with Dee and David Simpson.

Birding Fellsmere Grade (Stick Marsh) - Saturday, October 14, 7 - 11am, $35

Meet tour leaders Dee and David Simpson at Marsh Landing Restaurant, 44 N. Broadway St. Fellsmere.

Birding North Sebastian Inlet - Saturday, October 14, 8:30 - 10:30am, $20 plus park admission

Meet tour leader Juanita Baker at the North Sebastian Inlet State Park.  Catch the migrating shorebirds at Sebastian Inlet State Park at low tide when they gather to feed in early morning light. Enter the North Gate to the parking lot on the right which is closest to the Tide Pool where we will meet. (Requires normal park entrance fee.)

Florida's Bats - Saturday, October 14, 1pm, free

Shari Blisset-Clark, Florida Bat Conservancy, debunks common myths and misconceptions about
bats along with having live bats to show.  Fun for kids and families.  Free event held at the Audubon House.

Intro to Birding, Saturday, October 14, 3pm, free

Free birding talk and walk with tour leaders Dee and David Simpson at the Audubon House.

Sunset Cocktail Cruise to Pelican Island - Saturday, October 14, 5 - 7pm, $45

Meet at Capt. Hiram's, 1606 Indian River Dr. Sebastian.  Enjoy a wine, cheese, and fruit cruise with tour leader and Mater Naturalist Heather Stapleton, to Pelican Island.

Keynote Presentation - Saturday, October 14, 7:30pm, free

Sebastian Yacht Club, 820 Indian River Dr., Sebastian - Join Cathy Allen on a trip through the National Wildlife Refuge System and learn about its origins, functions, and management as well as the challenges it currently faces.  Cathy will share pictures & stories from her visits to more than 50 National Wildlife Refuges from Alaska to Oklahoma to Delaware and more. Together, we will explore how and why each of our 566 NWRs was established and what we can do as citizens supporters to make sure the system stays strong for current and future generations of people
and wildlife.

Photography Tour of the West Regional Wastewater Treatment facility - reschedule for Saturday, Nov. 4, 8 - 10 am, $20 (the facility is currently flooded)

Meet tour leader Bob Montanaro at the wastewater facility, 8405 8th St., Vero Beach for a casual stroll through the facility, allowing photographers to catch wildlife in early morning light.  This is one of the best birding spots on Indian River County.

Birding the Indian River Lagoon by Kayak - Sunday, October 15, CANCELED

Capt. Forster's Hammock Preserve - Sunday, October 15, 1 - 3pm, $25.  Change of tour meeting location - due to flooding on Jungle Trail, meet tour leader Will Johnson at the Environmental Learning Center, 255 Live Oak Drive, off the route 510 causeway.