The Bird Migration Festival is an innovative initiative set up by Aves Cantábricas S.L. in 2007 which is held every year on the third weekend of September in the Santoña, Victoria and Joyel Marshes Nature Park (Cantabria) and is now a leading national event for birdwatchers and nature lovers in general. The Festival was set up with the overall aim of making the public aware of the bird migration phenomenon, which is particularly useful as an awareness-raising tool in the field of nature conservation.

From a socioeconomic point of view, the primary objective of the Bird Migration Festival is to promote the importance of the Santoña, Victoria and Joyel Marshes Nature Park as an engine for local development, whilst getting the local population involved in the conservation of natural resources and their promotion as an economic resource.


Organised jointly with the Cantabrian Regional Government and the Santoña Town Council, each edition has been supported by various public and private institutions which have enabled it to continue throughout this time.

During the whole weekend, from Friday afternoon to midday on Sunday, there is a varied programme of free activities for everyone. These have included keynote speeches by leading national researchers, guided boat and walking tours, a photography competition, an ornithological marathon, birdwatching stations, children’s workshops, a photography workshop and a scientific bird ringing demonstration, as well as many other activities over the years, such as a performance of the theatre show CICLO, flights in an observation balloon, a music concert and kite workshops.


The average annual participation in the Festival is around one thousand people, with the number of participants ranging from 700 to 1500 depending on the year.