Festival of Hawks

Come join us at this upcoming event

Festival of Hawks

Join local wildlife, bird and nature experts in celebration of local bird migration on Saturday September 17 2022 from 9am to 3pm at Holiday Beach Conservation Area for the Festival of Hawks! Watch thousands of birds of prey flying overhead, experience programs that cover a wide range of birding and local nature topics. A great family event for experts and amateurs alike. Festival admission is $15 per vehicle to gain entry into the Conservation Area.

Some helpful advice from Holiday Beach Migration Observatory, “These are things to consider taking to the Hawk Festival: folding chair, brimmed hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, insect repellent, water, coat, rain jacket, sun gloves, binoculars, bird book, notebook, pen, and camera. Always dress in layers for the weather. Binoculars (sized 8×35, 8×40) are essential for hawk watching but don’t buy them just for the first-time visit. Borrow them first.”

Please reach out to Gina Pannunzio, Partnerships and Outreach Coordinator with any questions at gpannunzio@erca.org or (519) 776-5209 ext. 245.

Directions to Holiday Beach Conservation Area: From Windsor, take Howard Ave (County Rd 9) south to its end approximately 21 km. Turn right (West) on County Rd 20, go 2.6 km. Turn left (South) on County Rd 50, go 2 km. As you go around the curve, you will see the entrance to Holiday Beach on the South side. Address is 6952 County Road 50, Amherstburg, ON N0R 1G0.

Download the Festival Of Hawks Event Map 2022

Download the Eastern migrant raptor flight guide (provided by Bob Pettit, HBMO)

Festival of Hawks Event Schedule

Schedule Location Details
8am to 3pm Open area between portable parking and beach washroom Essex Region Conservation Authority

Since 1973, Essex Region Conservation has been enriching and sustaining the Windsor-Essex County-Pelee Island region as the Place for Life. ERCA staff/volunteers will be present for guest experience inquiries and learn more about our programs and volunteer opportunities this fall.

9am to 3pm Hawk Tower Holiday Beach Bird Migration Observatory

Hosted by Holiday Beach Migration Observation

At Hawk Fest people may help support HBMO by “adopting” a banded hummingbird or raptor and help release them back to the skies above. Starting at $20 and ranging up to $200, people who adopt also get a certificate of adoption with their name on it along with the bird’s band identification number. The adoptee will be notified should the same bird ever be caught in the future anywhere in North America

9am to 3pm Parking lot by the portable classroom Scotty’s BBQ

Enjoy a variety of lunch friendly BBQ options, chips, and a drink for under $10!

9am to 3pm Parkview John R. Park Homestead Gift Shop

The John R. Park Homestead is a conservation area along the Lake Erie shoreline that takes visitors back to the 1850s. The house and farm buildings of John and Amelia Park are restored to bring the nineteenth century to life. There will be items of the past and a pop up gift shop to peruse this year at the festival.

9am to 3pm Parkview Windsor of Change

Windsor of change is a non-profit that aims to empower the Windsor-Essex community, through education and engagement, to act and adapt to climate change and define its own unique climate action identity. Meet members of the Windsor of Change team, share your thoughts on climate action in the region and pick up a scavenger hunt sheet to fill out as you walk through the park!

9am to 3pm Parkview Pelee Wings Nature Store

Pelee Wings is a must see and visit for birders and naturalists, kayakers and canoeists, and everyone who enjoys nature as a part of their lifestyle. Visit them at the Festival of Hawks!

9am to 3pm Parkview Native Trees and Plants Nursery

NTP specializes in trees, shrubs, vines, wildflowers and water plants that are native to the Carolinian Zone of Southern Ontario. Visit their booth to purchase exclusively native plants to your garden this fall!

Ontario Purple Martin Association

Visit the Ontario Purple Martin Association booth to learn about the largest swallow in North America! Ontario Purple Martin Association members helped over 1000 martin pairs in the 2020 year adding over 4200 fledglings to Ontario’s swallow population.

9am to 3pm Parkview/ERCA tent FLAP (Fatal Light Awareness Program) Canada

Did you know, each year in Canada around 25 million migratory birds die as a direct result of collisions with buildings? FLAP Canada advocates and raises awareness of conservation efforts to keep birds safe from deadly collisions with buildings. Visit the ERCA tent to read some of their outreach materials and learn how you might get involved.

9am to 3pm Parkview Birds Canada

Birds Canada is a non-profit, charitable organization built on the enthusiastic contributions of thousands of caring members and volunteer Citizen Scientists. Data and observations collected by Citizen Scientists alongside targeted research projects, are used to identify significant bird population changes and help direct conservation planning. Visit the Birds Canada outreach booth to learn more about their programs!

9am to 3pm Parkview Windsor and Essex County Plein Air Artists

Watch artists painting “in the open air” capturing scenes at Holiday Beach!

9am to 3pm Parkview WE SEE

Visit the WE SEE (Windsor Essex Storm and Environment Enthusiasts) booth to meet local storm chasers, check out their amazing photography and learn about weather in our region.

12pm to 3pm Trout Pond Fish at the Trout Pond

Hosted by Just Fishin’ Friends

Join Just Fishin’ Friends at the Trout Pond and try your hand at casting, dropping, and reeling a line! Fishing will be catch and release. Children twelve and under can fish license free. Those twelve and older must have a fishing license issued by the Ontario Government to participate.

10am to 10:45am Outdoor classroom Monarchs 101: Uncover the mystery behind our local icon

Hosted by Essex Region Conservation Education Staff, Sara Tremblay

Learn about the mysterious and locally iconic Monarch Butterfly.

11am to 11:45 Indoor classroom WE SEE

Hosted by Windsor Essex Storm and Environment Enthusiasts

Learn about the work that WE SEE is doing in the community to raise awareness about weather in the region, what severe weather means and how to prepare yourself when weather events are warned, and watches are issued.

12pm to 12:45pm Indoor classroom Accipiters, Falcons, Buteos, Oh My! Identifying hawks in flight

Hosted by HBMO, Bob Pettit.

Learn about hawk identification in flight.

1pm to 1:45pm Steve Biro, Nature Photography

Join Steve Biro, a well traveled nature photographer at the indoor classroom!

2pm to 2:45pm Take your Best Shot

Hosted by Ted Kloske, Henry’s Windsor

Nature photography tips from a local pro!

10am to 10:45am Parkview/ERCA tent Beginner birder hike

Hosted by Essex Region Conservation Education Staff

Are you new to ‘birding’? One way to expand your knowledge of local birds, bird watching, and bird identification is to join a more experienced bird watcher and go for a walk! Join us as we identify some birds along our walk. Meet at the ERCA Guest Experience tent in Parkview.

11am to 11:45 Parkview/ERCA tent Explore Prothonotary Warbler Habitat

Hosted by Dean Ware

Prothonotary Warblers have made Holiday Beach their home. Dean Ware has years of experience monitoring the local population. Join him on a walk in their habitat! Meet at the ERCA Guest Experience tent in Parkview.

12pm to 12:45pm Parkview/ERCA tent Forest connection walk and meditation

Hosted by Bright Yoga, Janet Ellis

Experience the rejuvenating practice of spending time in the forest to support health and wellbeing. Join Janet Ellis from Bright Yoga and deepen your connection to yourself and nature. Meet at the ERCA Guest Experience tent in Parkview.

1pm to 2pm


Parkview/ERCA tent Tree walk and talk

Hosted by Essex Region Conservation Education Staff

Explore a forested trail along Big Creek in Holiday Beach Conservation Area and learn about the trees that live there. Meet at the ERCA Guest Experience tent in Parkview.

2pm to 2:45pm Parkview/ERCA tent Insect hike: the bugs above and below

Hosted by Paul Desjardins

Join Paul Desjardins on an insect hike! Meet at the ERCA Guest Experience tent in Parkview.

6:45pm to 7:45pm;

8:30pm to 9:30pm

Indoor Classroom Festival of Hawks Evening Owl Prowl

Hosted by Essex Region Conservation Education Staff, Kris Ives

Join us to learn about the owls of southwestern Ontario, their adaptations, physiology and more. Then, enjoy a guided hike through Holiday Beach Conservation Area, looking and listening for these majestic birds of prey.

Due to the nature of this event, it is best suited for guests aged 7 and up. All children should be accompanied by an adult. Attendees should remember to dress for the weather. Boots are recommended; flashlights are not necessary. Spaces are limited and pre-registration is required. Register early to avoid disappointment. Please plan to arrive at the park 10 to 15 minutes ahead of the event start time to drive to the classroom, park and check-in. Registration: https://hawkfestowlprowl2022.eventbrite.ca. For more information, please contact Kris Ives, kives@erca.org.