News Releases

Wildlife and birding festival this weekend

News Release

Monday, March 17, 2014

Media contact: Gary Morse, 863-648-3852

Wild about wildlife or just want to know more? Either way, come join the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and partners at the Nature Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, March 20-23 in Citrus, Hernando and Pasco counties.

The four-day event, for which the Spring Hill Holiday Inn Express is the hub, features off-site birding tours, evening programs featuring keynote speakers and a Saturday event designed for the whole family. It’s not too late to register.

Evening programs Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, respectively, feature:

  • Author Jeff Klinkenberg, who will introduce his newest book, “Alligators in B-Flat.”
  • Mark Kiser, FWC biologist and Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail coordinator, who will offer an introduction to the world of bats, followed by an event people won’t want to miss: Brazilian free-tailed bats leaving their roost at Chinsegut Conservation Center in Brooksville.
  • Dinner with Greg Miller, who crossed the continent, traveling 130,000 miles, in an effort to see as many birds as he could while holding down a full-time job at a nuclear power plant.

On Saturday, family and friends are invited to uncover “The Mystery of the Sandhill” at Chinsegut Conservation Center. Festivities run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and include live animals, displays, hands-on exercises in wildlife observation forensics and a variety of other topics, including a “Masters of Disguise” adventure. Activities are geared to the entire family. Admission to the center on Saturday is free to those under 17 and $5 for adults.

Registration is required for all events. Find the registration link at the bottom of the Nature Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival Web page or call Chinsegut Conservation Center at 352-754-6722.

Chinsegut Conservation Center is located just north of Brooksville off U.S. 41. at 23212 Lake Lindsey Road. From Interstate 75, take State Road 50 west to Brooksville, go north on U.S. 41 for 7 miles to County Road 476, and then go west 1 mile to the entrance gate on the left.

If you would like more information about Chinsegut Nature Center and other programs they host, visit

FWC Facts:
Brown hoplo, a nonnative, armored catfish, is found throughout central and south Florida. They can survive in low-oxygen backwaters and ditches, where they gulp air at the surface.

Learn More at AskFWC