Registration Link Will go to external site SignUp Genius
Google questionnaire link This is a required second step to hold your slot
Registration Information for First-time Attendees
The NORTH SHORE BIRDING FESTIVAL (NSBF) offers highly affordable field trips with no additional festival registration fee!  With so many local birders crazy about the Lake Apopka North Shore, the festival always attracts many great leaders resulting in a fantastic ratio of leaders to trip participants.
Field Trip gathering at McDonald Canal area before taking off in carpools or own cars, 2019 festival. This was pre-pandemic. Trips have been smaller in recent festivals. Photo: Deborah Green
​​​​​​​Trip Start Location
There is no central registration site or exhibit hall. You will meet your trip leaders at the field trip start sites. Your trip leader or a volunteer will check you in at the trip start time. The address of your field trip start location is included in the registration materials and on the Locations and Lodging page. As a courtesy, detailed directions to the sites will be emailed to participants.
The McDonald Canal Pavilion will be a starting place for about half the trips offered. Lake County provides access to bathrooms at that facility. Participants should bring their own personal supply of sanitizer and disinfectant. 
Cancellation policy
If a trip leader decides that a trip must be cancelled due to safety concerns, the trip fee will be refunded, or participants may transfer to an alternate field trip depending on space availability. Participants may also opt to donate their refunds to support the Festival. 
If you have your own reason to cancel, you can receive a full refund, minus a $5 per trip handling fee, up to a week before the first day of the festival. Requests for full refunds must be received by email on or before November 23rd (Thanksgiving). 
For requests from Nov 24-Nov 28, a registrant can receive a refund of 50% of the cost of the trip.
All refunds will be made after the festival. Please consider if your fees can remain a donation to Orange Audubon Society and the festival (fund-raising toward a nature center and related educational programs). Address cancellation communications to 

Completing Registration
After selecting available trips and paying through our SignUp Genius registration program, to reserve your slot you must fill in a short survey (a Google questionnaire) providing  your emergency contact number and some information for our ecotourism impact analysis. Part of the questionnaire is a liability waiver that you are required to sign. If you have any questions, email or or call (407) 637-2525.
Things to note:
There are no buses. We will be driving unpaved back roads and parking alongside the road to get out and bird. ​​​​​​​
David Simpson leading trip, 2018 festival. Photo: Joyce Stefancic
In the past, to facilitate caravanning and reduce parking burden, we formed carpools. However, in the COVID-19 era, please follow your own current safe practices regarding any carpooling. 
Very important! You cannot leave a trip early because that would require one of the leaders to escort you to the entrance gate, which would be a detriment to the trip for all the participants.  Choose trips that fit your schedule. Also you must be there prior to the start time to check in. If you are more than 5 minutes late, you will be left behind. Please plan your route to be on time.
Bathroom availability is also indicated on the detailed trip description. Most of our field trip sites are remote, and all may not have facilities. 
The amount of walking for each trip is indicated in the trip description under the Schedule tab. 
If you are unable to do any walking, we recommend that you visit the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive which can be done entirely by caron your own.  The 11-mile one-way Drive is open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and most federal holidays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. with exit by 5 p.m. The address is 2850 Lust Road, Apopka, FL 32703.
Health Precautions
Following the pandemic, most field trips remain small and carpooling is optional. As part of registration each individual registrant, leader and/or volunteer (participant) will fill out the required Google questionnaire which includes signing a Participant Release and Waiver of Liability form (Release). 
Inviting participants to look through a spotting scope shall be the prerogative of the trip leader and participant. Some leaders may be able to use cleaning wipes to use between shares. In general, we will avoid sharing of optics.
Lunch at the McDonald Canal, 2019 NORTH SHORE BIRDING FESTIVAL. Photos: Deborah Green
Since many of our trip locations are remote from restaurants, box lunches are included with registration for Friday, Saturday and Sunday all-day or morning trips leaving from the McDonald Canal. This year we will not be including lunches for trips leaving from other locations, and ask that you plan ahead and bring your own provisions. 
Participants will indicate their lunch preference (non-vegetarian, vegetarian, or vegan) on the Google questionnaire For more restrictive diets, please bring your own.
If possible, participants should bring their own folding chair for lunches. 
The lunches in the past have been a social event and opportunity for Orange Audubon Society to sell its festival merchandise and possibly vendors to sell their wares. Currently the festival has no optics vendors, but we are trying to secure one.
Keynotes with dinners are held in the Dining Hall of the Youth Camp of Wekiwa Springs State Park. If you are interested in any of the evening trips on Friday or Saturday, you have to enter Wekiwa Springs State Park before the gate closes at 5 p.m. Park entrance fee is $4 [single]-$6 [up to 8]. 
Wekiwa Springs State Park is one of the crown jewels of Florida's award-winning state park system, so we suggest you enter early enough to look around. Even right at the Youth Camp you can see some great birds and along the road you will see white-tailed deer, Sherman's fox squirrels and gopher tortoises.
Dinner/keynote prices are $30 regular, $20 college student, $10 youth up to 18, plus. 4:30 p.m. - 6:15p.m. Dinner starts at 4:45 p.m. Talk at 5:15 p.m. 
Orange Audubon Society volunteers do a beautiful job presenting dinners, catered by the most delicious local restaurants. We hope you join us on Friday or Saturday! Advance registration required.
Trip Fees
The North Shore Birding Festival is run entirely by Orange Audubon Society volunteers. All proceeds from the festival benefit Orange Audubon Society's Nature and Environmental Education Center fund and related educational programs.
Trip fees are listed below with no additional registration fee.
$80 for all-day trips with box lunch included
$50 for morning half-day trips with box lunch included 
$40 for morning half-day trips without lunch included 
$40 for most afternoon half-day trips (lunch not included) 
$30 for evening trips and select morning and afternoon trips without lunch
College students and Young Birders (ages 8 to 18) can register for half price for many trips. You will use a separate SignUp, which will have limited slots that will decrease over time.  College students must use their .edu email address. If you do not want to use your .edu address, perhaps because it is not associated with your credit card, please email to provide evidence you are attending college.
Young Birders will be registered by their parent or guardian, who must sign the liability waiver.
For out-of-town college students, scholarships of up to $100 are available on a reimbursement basis, to help defray costs of lodging and travel. These scholarships are thanks to the generosity of some Orange Audubon Society members and other festival participants and are very limited. To apply, follow procedures outlined at this link.

To Register
Step 1 - Figure out which events interest you
Under the Schedule tab are details about the Field Trip Locations, fees, maximum participants, and the Possible Sightings for each trip. The downloadable at-a-glance pdf contain the schedule listing.
Read about your Trip Leaders under the Speakers & Leaders tab.
Step 2 - Go to the registration site
To register, you will go to an external link (SignUpGenius).  To return to this festival website, use the back button or History tab on your browser.
On the SignUpGenius site, go to new member registration, and simply enter your name and email address and create a password. After registering for trips, you can later add additional trips. Past participants can use their same login credentials.
Up to two participants can register in a transaction. 
Step 3 - Pay and register
Payment must be made through SignUpGenius, which will redirect you to pay securely by a credit card. You will automatically receive an email from SignUpGenius confirming that you have successfully registered.
Step 4 - Confirm
To confirm reservations, participants must:
Fill out the Google Questionnaire providing emergency contact information and other information. As part of the Questionnaire, this year you will sign the liability waiver within the form.
Online registration for field trips closes at the end of Thanksgiving weekend Sunday, November 26, 2023. Note that many field trips will fill up quickly, so early registration is encouraged.
Step 5 - Book your lodging
Out-of-town participants should be sure to book your lodging early, since winter is "High Season" in Central Florida. Hotel and camping suggestions, including information on renting a cabin at the Wekiwa Springs State Park Youth Camp, are on the Locations & Lodging tab.

Thank you for joining Orange Audubon Society in celebrating the Lake Apopka North Shore, an Important Bird Area! And for exploring other Central Florida birding hotspots. We look forward to meeting you soon!
Sign up for festival updates at this link
The North Shore Birding Festival is organized by Orange Audubon Society, a Florida nonprofit [501(c)(3)], to promote an Important Bird Area and to demonstrate the economic value of birding ecotourism. All proceeds benefit Orange Audubon Society’s Nature and Environmental Education Center fund, target site: the Lake Apopka North Shore area, and related educational programs.
Donations to Orange Audubon Society, Inc., a Florida nonprofit [501(c)(3)] organization, are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Division of Consumer Services by calling toll‐free, 1‐800‐435‐7352, within the state. From outside of Florida call 1‐850‐410‐3800. Visit for help. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval or recommendation by the state. Registration no. CH2330
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