Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Photo by Doug Parrott
So Many Birds—So Many Bird Festivals
By Christine Southwick
Did you know that Washington is on the migration routes of Snow Geese; Trumpeter Swans; Bald Eagles; Sandhill Cranes; hundreds of thousands of shorebirds; many raptors such as Peregrine Falcons and Northern Saw-whet Owls; and is part of the Pacific Flyway for many of North America’s songbirds?
To celebrate these amazingly beautiful displays of survival adaptations, Washington State has at least eight annual bird festivals.
Right now hundreds of Bald Eagles can be seen on the Skagit River eating the salmon which have died after spawning their next generation of salmon. You can see them by just driving up the Skagit River to the town of Concrete. Every weekend in January, Concrete has the Skagit Eagle Festival activities.
On the Skagit flats, around the Mt. Vernon area, there are thousands of Snow Geese, with some Trumpeter Swans mixed in. The Port Susan Snow Goose Festival is February 23-24.
|Bald Eagle dines on fish|
Photo by Patricia Damron
The first weekend of April there are two bird fests: The Othello Sandhill Crane Festival, where you can watch Sandhill Cranes perform their mating dance; or you can go to Sequim to the Olympic Peninsula Bird Fest and see the migrating song birds that use the Olympic Peninsula.
Hundreds of thousands of shorebirds stop to feed and rest in the Grays Harbor Estuary on their migration northward. This spectacular event, the Grays Harbor Shorebird Festival, is April 26-28. Our beaches and mudflats areas are vitally important feeding grounds for these long-distance migrators, and this festival helps maintain healthy resting/feeding coastal areas.
May 16-19th, Leavenworth holds their bird festival, the Leavenworth Spring Bird Fest, This is a great opportunity to see higher elevation birds.
September 6-8th, Edmonds has the Puget Sound Bird Fest which watches birds on their southward bound migrations. And further down the Washington coast, the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge has its fall migration bird fest in October.
|This bird will be in the backyard count|
Migrating Golden-crowned Kinglet stopping for bath
Photo by Christine Southwick
And this year, during the Great Backyard Bird Count, February 15-18th, the Puget Sound Bird Observatory (PSBO) will be leading a “progressive backyard bird count, which will be great fun and let you see how other birders encourage birds into their yards.
International Migratory Bird Day, May 11th, PSBO will be leading a local activity to celebrate the 2013I” Life Cycle of Migratory Birds: Conservation Across the Americas.”
Protect the prairies, farmlands, watering holes, forests and coastal beaches, and you will be helping these birds. Go to our local festivals and you will be helping our economy.