Date: Early May, annually; May 8-17, 2020
Location: Oregon, Ohio (Northwest Ohio)
Summary: If there were ever a birding festival to call for no introduction, it’s Biggest Week. And if there were ever a time to use a “birders are flocking” pun, it’s now. The “Warbler Capital of the World” is right on the Magee Marsh boardwalk, where you can literally come face-to-face with warblers and other migrating passerines who use the area as a stopover to feed before crossing Lake Erie. It’s an incredible sight, and something every birder should experience! It’s also great for photographers and even a wonderful introduction to birding for any nature-lover—in fact, some folks come to enjoy the boardwalk without even bringing binoculars. But Biggest Week is more than just Magee Marsh—it’s spectacular spring migration birding all over the area, it’s a place to meet and hear from world-famous ornithologists and conservationists, and it’s a chance unlike any other to connect with the birding community.
My involvement: I’ve been attending Biggest Week since 2015, exhibiting for Bird Watcher’s Digest and other clients, and am attending in 2020 as a guide.
Quick tip: When you visit Maumee Bay Lodge (where you can browse vendors and attend the vast array of evening social events—check them out on the festival site), talk a walk on the boardwalk adjacent to the lodge. It’s much less crowded than Magee Marsh, but still a great place to get some exciting birds, like the Townsend’s Warbler that was found there last year!