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Festival of Birds at Rookery Bay

Festival of Birds at Rookery Bay Photo
Festival of Birds at Rookery Bay Photo
Festival of the Birds Photo 2
Festival of the Birds Photo 2
Festival of Birds at Rookery Bay Photo 3
Festival of Birds at Rookery Bay Photo 3

Rookery Bay Research Reserve's 20th annual Festival of Birds, which this year adds a four-day Wildlife Conservation Film Festival.

The festival runs Jan. 12 to 21 and features almost two dozen eco-tour field trips for birding walks, bike rides, a swamp walk, a swamp buggy tour, and boat cruises at sunrise and sunset to watch hundreds of birds fly in and out of roosting islands.

Field trip locations include Big Cypress National Preserve, Bunche Beach Preserve, Clam Pass Park, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Donna Fiala Eagle Lakes Community Park, Harns Marsh, Rookery Bay Research Reserve, Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, and Tigertail Beach.

The Wildlife Conservation Film Festival, held since 2010 in New York City, moves to Naples this year and showcases more than 40 films, all making their Florida premiere and four making their world premiere. Award-winning documentary filmmakers from around the world will be at the event to discuss their films.

The film festival showcases eight regions – Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, Oceans, Polar, and South and Central America – and animals such as cockatoos, elephants, gorillas, jaguars, koalas, killer whales, manatees, monkeys, ocelots, and more.

The documentaries range from 5 minutes to 74 minutes, averaging about 30 minutes.

The films will be shown from 12 to 3 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. on Jan. 17 to 21 at the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center, 300 Tower Road, Naples. Tickets are available to each series individually.

Actress Holly Marie Combs, a Wildlife Conservation Film Festival board member best known for her roles of Kimberly Brock in Picket Fences and Piper Halliwell in Charmed, will give the keynote welcome during the awards presentation and film viewing from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18.

Field trips start at $10. Individual film series are $15 each, including the evening that includes the awards presentation. All event tickets include admission to the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center during regular hours from Jan. 12 to 20 on the day of ticketed event.

Preregistration is required for all activities at Festival of Birds  or by calling 239-530-5972.