WA Bird Festivals

So Many Birds—So Many Bird Festivals!

Did you know that Washington is on the Pacific Flyway? That means that we’re an important part of the migration routes of Snow Geese, Trumpeter Swans, Bald Eagles, Sandhill Cranes, hundreds of thousands of shorebirds, raptors such as Peregrine Falcons  and Northern Saw-whet Owls, and many of North America’s songbirds.

To celebrate these amazingly beautiful displays of survival adaptations, Washington State has at least nine annual bird festivals.

2013 Festivals
Date Festival Location
January weekends Skagit Eagle Festival Concrete
February 1-2 Arlington-Stillaguamish Eagle Festival Arlington
February 23-24 Port Susan Snow Goose Festival Skagit Flats
March 14-16 Wings Over Water Northwest Birding Festival Blaine
March 16 Tundra Swan Festival Calispell Lake
April 5-7 Olympic Bird Fest Sequim
April 5-7 Othello Sandhill Crane Festival Othello
April 26-28 Shorebird Festival Grays Harbor
May 16-19 Leavenworth Bird Fest Leavenworth
September 6-8 Puget Sound Bird Fest Edmonds
October 5-6 Ridgefield Bird Fest Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge
October 19 Birds at the Burke Burke Museum


About the Festivals

January Weekends: Skagit Eagle Festival

This month-long celebration takes place in Concrete, Rockport and Marblemount every Saturday and Sunday in January. The festival features a variety of free tours, walks, and educational programs where you can learn not only about these majestic birds, but also about the beautiful areas along the Skagit River where they return each year. Presentations arts & crafts, wine tasting, river rafting, music, dance and a wide variety of other outdoor and indoor activities makes this one of the most entertaining events of the year! http://concrete-wa.com/skagit-eagle-festival-2013/

February 1-2: Arlington-Stillaguamish Eagle Festival

The City of Arlington and the Stillaguamish Tribe announce the 6th annual Eagle Festival. The City of Arlington is taking this opportunity to invite visitors to Arlington to see the Eagles and take part in the many events they are hosting. Check it out – there’s something for everyone. www.arlingtonwa.gov/eaglefest

February  23-24: Port Susan Snow Goose Festival

On the Skagit flats around the Mt. Vernon area, there are thousand s of Snow Geese, with some Trumpeter Swans mixed in. http://www.snowgoosefest.org/

 March 14-16: “Wings Over Water” Northwest Birding Festival

This festival celebrates the abundance of wildlife and bird species of the Pacific Northwest in Blaine, Washington. It includes guided field trips, live raptor displays, workshops, educational activities, expert wildlife speakers, and more. It’s sponsored by many private groups and individuals, including the Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce, North Cascades Audubon Society, and Washington Brant Foundation, For more information, see http://wingsoverwaterbirdingfestival.com/index.html

March 16: Tundra Swan Festival

The Tundra Swan Festival is held at Calispell Lake in Northeast Washington’s Pend Oreille County, and is sponsored by the Kalispel Tribe Natural Resources Department, Pend Oreille River Tourism Alliance (PORTA), and others. Pre-and post-swan-viewing talks are at the Kalispel Tribe’s Camas Center for Community Wellness at Usk. For more information and registration, see http://www.porta-us.com/pages/activities/tundra_swan_day.asp

April 5 – 7: Olympic Bird Fest

Held in Sequim, Washington, this festival features birding cruises, “owl prowls”, wildlife photography workshops, raffles, auctions and a banquet. The festival is a partnership of the Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society, Dungeness River Audubon Center and Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, with grants from the Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau and Sequim Marketing Action Committee.  Proceeds from this festival help support the educational programs of the Dungeness River Audubon Center. http://www.olympicbirdfest.org/

April 5 – 7: Othello Sandhill Crane Festival

In Central Washington’s Columbia Basin, this festival celebrates the spectacular spring migration feeding and resting stopover of thousands of these big birds in the local agricultural fields. This festival is sponsored by the Greater Othello Chamber of Commerce and the USFWS Columbia National Wildlife Refuge, and supported by the City of Othello, Othello School District, and Othello Community Schools. Details of scheduled crane viewing and other wildlife tours, talks and events, including a traditional Saturday night banquet with

keynote speaker, are available at http://www.othellosandhillcranefestival.org/

April 26-28: Grays Harbor Shorebird Festival

Hundreds of thousands of shorebirds stop to feed and rest in the Grays Harbor Estuary on their migration northward. This area’s beaches and mudflats are vitally important feeding grounds for these long-distance migrants, and this festival helps maintain healthy coastal areas for resting and feeding. http://www.shorebirdfestival.com/index.html 

May 16-19: Leavenworth Bird Fest

Leavenworth holds its bird festival during May, and features dozens of guided walks, art and gallery events, science fun for the whole family, and guest speakers. Bilingual (Spanish-English) events are also featured. This is a great opportunity to see higher elevation birds! http://www.leavenworthspringbirdfest.com/LINKS.html 

September 6-8: Puget Sound Bird Fest

Join other Puget Sound bird enthusiasts at this annual event in Edmonds to watch birds on their southward bound migrations. The even features guided walks, tours, field trips and other interpretive activities, including activities for kids. Speakers and workshops are also part of the festival program. For more information visit http://www.pugetsoundbirdfest.com/

October 5-6: Ridgefield Bird Fest

Along the southern Washington coast, the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge has its annual fall bird migration festival. Information about each annual event gets posted as the date approaches, so be sure to check out their website at  http://ridgefieldfriends.org/birdfest/

October 19: Birds at the Burke

The Burke Museum’s newest annual event, Birds at the Burke includes tours of birds on the US campus, mist net demonstrations, research tables, bird specimens including nests with eggs, and talks on how and why birds sing and fly. This festival is a great opportunity to see how birds are studied and archived for scientific inquiry. For more information, visit http://www.burkemuseum.org/events/browse/birds_at_the_burke.


We celebrate many other events throughout the year including the Great Backyard Bird Count, and International Migratory Bird Day. Check our Events calendar to learn about upcoming events.

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.