Birds

Bird Festivals in Alaska

Celebrate birds across the state.

Ketchikan Hummingbird Festival

When: April 2017 (TBD)
Where: Ketchikan

Celebrate the return of migratory birds from Central and South America to the southern panhandle of Alaska. The male Rufous Hummingbirds begin arriving Ketchikan in mid-March and are seen at feeders and flowers throughout Ketchikan by mid-April.

Festival events include guided bird hikes, art shows, and activities for children. For more information, call festival headquarters at the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center at 907-228-6220.

Gunsight Mountain Hawk Watch

When: March 7 - May 15, 2017
Where: 
Mile 118.8 on the Glenn Highway

Celebrate the return of spring migrating raptors with this annual Anchorage Audubon event. In addition to the weekend event (below), this season Anchorage Audubon will be doing a complete and thorough Hawkwatch for an entire season at Gunsight Mountain. Migrating raptors that can be seen along the ridgeline near MP 119 include golden eagle, red-tailed hawk, rough-legged hawk, sharp-shinned hawk, northern goshawk, American kestrel, peregrine falcon and merlin. Swainson's hawk and osprey have also been seen migrating through this area. Bring warm clothing, binoculars, spotting scopes, lunch, snacks, and lawn chairs and sit back while you watch migrating raptors glide over the nearby ridge.

Check the the Mat-Su Birders calendar and Anchorage Audubon website for updates.

Gunsight Mountain Hawk Watch Weekend

When: April 15 - 16, 2017, Meet at 10:00AM
Where: Mile 118.8 on the Glenn Highway

The Annual HawkWatch Weekend will take place this year on April 15 & 16th.   It’s the Greatest Event of the Birding Year in Alaska! Migrating raptors that can be seen along the ridge line near MP 118.8 include Golden EagleHarlan’s Red-tailed HawkRough-legged HawkSharp-shinned HawkNorthern GoshawkAmerican KestrelPeregrine Falcon, and MerlinSwainson’s Hawk and Osprey have also been seen migrating through this area as well as Swans, Lapland Longspurs, Snow Buntings, and the occasional Northern Hawk Owl.   Bring warm clothing, binoculars, spotting scopes, lunch, snacks, and lawn chairs and sit back while you watch migrating raptors glide over the nearby ridge.

Check the the Mat-Su Birders calendar and Anchorage Audubon website for updates.

Seward Migration Festival

When: April 21-23, 2017
Where: Seward, AK

Every spring, dozens of species of marine animals, from puffins to humpback whales, journey north to spend the summer feeding in Alaska’s nutrient-rich waters. By the end of spring, Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords National Park are teeming with these marine mammals and dozens of species of migratory birds such as Arctic Terns, shearwaters, Common Murres, and puffins.

Details for this year's event will be available soon. Check the Alaska SeaLife Center website and Major Marine Tours website for more information. 

 

Stikine River Birding Festival

When: April 27-30, 2017
Where: Wrangell

“Wrangell is the gateway community for the Stikine River Delta, where the arrival of thousands of bald eagles creates the largest springtime concentration in North America. The festival is the perfect opportunity for adventurous birdwatchers to observe millions of shorebirds, which migrate to the delta each spring."

For more information contact the Wrangell Convention and Visitors Bureau at (800) 367-9745 or
907-874-2829 or fun@wrangellalaska.org. Visit the festival website to find discount codes for travel on Alaska Airlines!

International Migratory Bird Day

Learn about the birds we share with other states and continents at these family-friendly events.

Spring Migration Celebration
Where: Creamer's Field, Fairbanks
When: TBA
Contact: Arctic Audubon Chapter, www.arcticaudubon.org

Where: Juneau Community Gardens
When: May - TBA
Bird banding demonstration, bird viewing, and kids activities.
Contact: Juneau Audubon, www.juneau-audubon-society.org

Where: Alaska Zoo, Anchorage
When: May 21, 2017
Contact: Audubon Alaska, www.AudubonAlaska.org        

Where: Kodiak Refuge Visitor Center
When: TBA
Contact: 907-487-2626, www.fws.gov/refuge/kodiak

Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival

Where: Cordova
When: May 4–7, 2017

In early May, the tidal flats of the Copper River Delta shimmer with the activity of hundreds of thousands of shorebirds. As many as 5 million shorebirds rest and feed here during spring migration. The Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival provides the ideal opportunity for bird watchers to be part of this epic migration. Many activities, workshops and community events are offered throughout the festival.

David SIbley is the 2017 keynote speaker. Other speakers include Lisa Kennedy and Kate McLaughlin. 

For more information please call (907) 424-7260 or visit the website. Registration is open! 

Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival

Where: Homer
When: May 4–7, 2017

The Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival will begin with a pre-festival Jr. Birder event on May 6. Enjoy presentations on birding both around the globe and here in Alaska. As always, expert speakers, naturalists, and guides will share their extensive wealth of birding knowledge as they lead you through the many field events; workshops; presentations; and boat, bus, and kayak tours. When your day of birding and exploring Homer winds down, spend your evening enjoying the great line-up of entertainment for all ages.

Find more information on the website. Registration opens on March 15, 2017 at 12pm. 

 

Kenai River Birding Festival

Where: Central Kenai Peninsula (Soldotna, Kenai, Seward)
When: May 18–21, 2017

The central Kenai Peninsula area offers pristine beaches, beautiful state parks, a fantastic wildlife refuge, and, best of all, thousands of birds. This event is designed to showcase and celebrate our area birds through a variety of low cost or free activities for all ages.

Suitable for the beginner as well as the advanced birder, the festival boasts workshops, guided river trips, social activities and field expeditions. Whatever your ability or interest, we have a host of local experts ready to help enhance your birding skills. For more information, visit www.kenaibirdfest.com or find the festival on Facebook!

 

Upper Tanana Migratory Bird Festival

Where: Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, Tok
When: Saturday, May 20, 2017
Contact: (907) 883-5312 or tetlin@fws.gov

This festival has become a welcome tradition in Tok. Sponsored by the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge, the nearly week-long festival includes birding tours, kids' activities, a junior duck stamp art competition, a young naturalist competition, and a live bird presentation. 

 

Yakutat Tern Festival

When: June 1–4, 2017
Where: Yakutat

Every Alaska community has a claim to fame regarding its natural resources. Yakutat is no exception. One of the largest and southernmost known breeding colonies of Aleutian Terns exists here. The earliest record of breeding Aleutian Terns in Yakutat – on the Situk River Flats – is 1922; the colonies in the Yakutat area appear to be a stronghold for a suspected declining worldwide population. The Yakutat area is currently at the forefront of Aleutian Tern research, including studies on population trends, nesting ecology, and migration patterns.

The festival includes field trips, including viewing Aleutian Terns, children’s activities, Native cultural events, and art show.

Learn more on the website. The 2017 program is available, and registration is open. 

Audubon Alaska Summer Bird Walks

When: TBD
Where: Potter Marsh boardwalk entrance kiosk

When: TBD
Where: Anchorage, meet at Westchester Lagoon parking area near the boat launch at 1824 W. 15th Ave.

What’s so special about Anchorage’s coast for birds? To find out, join Audubon Alaska for weekly bird walks along the Coastal Trail and Potter Marsh board walk. These walks will focus on the birds that make the Anchorage Coastal Important Bird Area (IBA) a special place. The Westchester Lagoon walks meet at boat launch site and then continue along the Coastal Trail on easily accessible paved paths. The Potter Marsh walks explore the board walk and nearby trails. Our pac­e will be leisurely as we make frequent stops to look for birds. Everyone is welcome and binoculars will be available to borrow.

Potter Marsh Discovery Day

Where: Potter Marsh board walk, Anchorage
When: June 3, 11:00am–4:00pm

Discover Potter Marsh and some of Alaska’s wildlife at Anchorage’s most popular wildlife viewing area. This family-friendly event brings you nature-related games and prizes, invertebrate sampling, birding stations along the boardwalk, captive birds from Bird TLC, educational animals from the Alaska Zoo, kid-friendly archery range, release of a rehabilitated wild bird, and more.

Bike and Bird Day

Where: Anchorage, starts at Westchester Lagoon
When: TBA
Come ride your bike along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail and learn about the birds of this Important Bird Area right here in Anchorage at this family-friendly event. Whether you want to learn how to tell a godwit from a grebe and other bird basics or are ready to exercise your birding skills, grab your bike and join us!

Palmer Hay Flats Family Fun Day

Where: Reflections Lake, Palmer
When: TBA

Learn more about activities at the Palmer Hay Flats State Game Refuge and Important Bird Area. Stop by the Mat-Su Birders booth to learn about local birds.

Gone with the Wing Festival

Where: Anchorage
When: August (TBA)

Join the Bird Treatment and Learning Center for their annual festival. The event includes presentations with captive birds including owls, hawks, and songbirds and family activities to learn about Alaska's birds. For more information contact the Bird Treatment and Learning Center, (907) 562-4852. The festival will be at the Bird TLC site overlooking Potter Marsh.

 

Tanana Valley Sandhill Crane Festival

Where: Fairbanks
When: August 25-27, 2017

Join the Friend of Creamer's Field for a celebration of the abundant fall migration. Events include Brunch with the Cranes, nature walks, a kids' crane walk, crafts, a crane calling contest, a drawing cranes workshop, a driving tour of Fairbanks birding hotspots, a live birds of prey program, bird research talks, and of course crane watching. The annual Tex-Mex feast will be Saturday night outside under the event tent. For more information call (907) 452-5162 or email Friends of Creamer's Field.

Alaska Bald Eagle Festival

Where: Haines
When: November 6-11, 2017

Come celebrate one of the largest gathering of Bald Eagles in the world! Daily busses and/or vans will carry you safely to the Alaska Bald Eagle Preserve to witness the annual ‘Gathering of the Eagles.’ At this time of year, over 3,000 eagles can be found in the Preserve feeding on a late run of salmon.

You can choose to attend photography workshops, wildlife presentations, tours, classes, and live raptor presentations. The Festival includes evening entertainment to round out your Festival experience.

For more information, call (907) 766-3094 or visit the website

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