Spring is upon us and so are many local birding festivals! Check out the list below for some upcoming Pacific Northwest birding festivals! Don’t forget International Migratory Bird Day is coming up and many events will be taking place on the weekend of May 13th to celebrate migratory birds, the journeys they make, and the stopover sites that they use.
Yakima River Canyon Bird Fest | May 12-14, 2017
Come learn and explore the Yakima River Canyon Scenic Byway by birding with the Kittitas Environmental Education Network, Kittitas Audubon Chapter, Kittitas County Field and Stream, and Central Washington Color regional visitor’s guide. This is the first annual festival! Paul Bannick, award-winning wildlife photographer and author, will be the keynote speaker. Kittitas County features diverse and spectacular habitats – snow-capped mountains, thousands of acres of public forest, lush riparian corridors and endangered shrub-steppe open space. The Yakima River Canyon is an Audubon Important Bird Area (IBA) with some of the highest densities of passerines and birds of prey in the state, some of them obligates to the shrub-steppe habitat. Weekend Bird Fest pass is only $25 with some additional free and fee events. Register early! Event headquarters are at Helen McCabe State Park and check out the full program and schedule – bird migration map and species lists, presenters, events, breweries and wineries map, shrub-steppe conservation sites, and more!
Leavenworth Spring BirdFest | May 18-21, 2017
Celebrate the return of migratory birds in the midst of peak wildflower season while enjoying field trips, events and free family activities for all ages and abilities in Leavenworth, Washington and throughout the Wenatchee River valley. The idyllic setting of the village and the majesty of surrounding mountains and roaring rivers is spectacular – add birding, wine-tasting, kayaking, river-rafting, hiking, and beautiful local arts on top of that and you just might grin so hard, so long, your face will freeze like that! The Wenatchee River Institute is Bird Fest Central and has partnered often with eBird Northwest to offer eBird app and online training at their Red Barn Reserve classroom – their beautiful site has a nice easy loop to hone your eBird app skills! Download the app for free before you go. The full program of opportunities can be found here – some events require registration, others are completely free! See also the Audubon Great Washington Birding Trail app to enhance your trip.
Wenas Audubon Campout | Memorial Day Weekend – May 26-29, 2017
EVERY Memorial Day Weekend, members of Washington State’s Audubon Chapters and their friends gather in the Wenas Valley, located on the east slope of the Cascade Mountains between Ellensburg and Yakima, near the Larrison Tree along Wenas Creek within the Wenas Creek Campground. Camping is primitive, but it’s about as nice a place for group camping as there could be. The Wenas Valley is a beautiful area that supports a fascinating assortment of spring flora and fauna, and offers the spiritual fulfillment of simply being outdoors in the spring. Everyone whether members of Audubon chapters or not is welcome to join us for this outing, which is attended each year by around 200 men, women and children and a large number of birds which, we like to think, enjoy being watched ever as much as we enjoy watching them. There are “campfire”* programs on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings, and field trips (birding, bats, and botany!) scheduled Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. You must have a Washington Discover Pass – for more details on the camping and field trips, check links at the Wenas Audubon website.
Rogue Valley Bird Day | May 13, 2017
Rogue Valley Bird Day takes place at North Mountain Park in Ashland. This local celebration of International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) which celebrates one of the most important and spectacular events in the life of a migratory bird, its journey between wintering and breeding grounds. This year’s theme: “The Importance of Stopover Habitats”. Events will run from 8am-12pm and is free of costs, all ages are welcome. Events include bird walks, bird banding demonstrations, live birds for prey and even a bird calling contest.
Klamath International Migratory Bird Day | May 14, 2017
The Klamath International Migratory Bird Day Festival is a free event that is a day of fun and learning for the entire family. Activities include guided bird walks, a mist-netting station, bird house construction, live birds of prey, many children’s activities, bird-related displays, arts and crafts, live music, and good food. The primary focus of the event is to expose kids and adults alike to the wonder of migratory birds. The event is held at Veterans Park, along Lake Euwana in downtown Klamath Falls. Follow the event’s Facebook page for details.
Tualatin River Bird Festival | May 21, 2017
The Friends of the Refuge, in conjunction with Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge are hosting the 20th annual Tualatin River Bird Festival, a free all day birding festival. This event will offer multiple guided birding walks, a chance to get behind the scenes to betting understand refuge management as well as art activities such as decoy painting, building bird houses and Japanese fish printing. To view a list of all these free events visit their website.
Ladd Marsh Festival | May 19-21, 2017
This festival is held at the Ladd Marsh just outside of La Grand and offers birding stations around the marsh staffed with experts to help identify the local birds, guided field trips, birds of prey presentations and activities for kids all weekend long. For a full list of activates and information on registration visit their website.
The Dean Hale Woodpecker Festival | June 1-4, 2017
The Dean Hale Woodpecker Festival is held in the beginning of June in Sisters. The festival is sponsored by the East Cascades Audubon Society and focused its theme on 11 native woodpecker species that occur in central Oregon. The festival hosts a range of birding trips in the central Cascade Mountains and often finds over 200 bird species. Check out their website for details.