America’s Oldest West Coast Birding Festival celebrates the return of Bald Eagles and waterfowl on the Pacific Flyway to the Klamath Basin from February 14-17, 2019. It’s the 40th anniversary of the Festival!
Klamath Falls, OR (Dec. 4, 2018) – Bald Eagles are among the migratory birds highlighted during the 40th Winter Wings Festival (www.WinterWingsFest.org), which will run over four days, February 14-17, 2019, during the Presidents’ Day Weekend. The primary venue for the event will be the College Union at the Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls.
Winter birds at their finest! Winter Wings brings together birders and photographers of all stripes to learn and explore with top notch professionals and experienced local guides. The Klamath Basin is renowned for its massive wintering population of Bald Eagles, but is prime habitat for many other raptors, as well as a stunning abundance and diversity of waterfowl.
In 2019 the festival will feature three dynamic keynoters: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service forensic ornithologist Pepper Trail; Canon U.S.A. Explorer of Light and author George Lepp; and writer and artist Julie Zickefoose. Join these charismatic speakers and many other skilled presenters for an array of field trips, workshops, presentations, and receptions that highlight the wonders of the Klamath Basin in winter.
Birders can enjoy a diverse group of activities that showcase the Klamath Basin. Several birding field trips are scheduled to the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex (https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Tule_Lake/) and other sites within and around Klamath Falls. Novice birders will have their choice of two Birding Basics trips, while intense birders will enjoy a Big Day trek around the basin to build their life lists. Matthew Stuber, Pamela Llewellyn, and Dick Ashford will be on hand to lead raptor identification workshops and field trips. Those looking for a unique experience can get up close in a new raptor identification workshop that is planned to involve observation of trapping and banding techniques, or join keynoter Pepper Trail in a fun and intriguing look into the science of feather identification and how it’s applied in wildlife crimes. Don’t miss the chance to enroll a budding birder in our new raptor workshop geared at 10 to 18 year-olds.
A host of professional photographers and specialists will be on hand over the weekend to share their skills and inspiration, including George Lepp, Abbott Schindler, Lisa Langell, and Tim Boyer. From a basic Bird Photography for Birders, to capturing birds on the wing, to exploring the artistry of techniques and lighting, there is something for every photography skill level and interest.
Diana Samuels, festival co-coordinator, says “Some popular field trips fill almost immediately. If you want a spot in these, try to sign-up as soon as online registration opens.” Registration will begin December 15, 2018 at 9:00 am PST.Online registration can be completed at www.WinterWingsFest.org. The Winter Wings Festival is partially funded by the Klamath County transient room tax grant program.
For the complete schedule, program descriptions, and fees, visit the Festival website at www.WinterWingsFest.org and select the program tab. For more information email the Festival at info@WinterWingsFest.org or call 1.877.541.BIRD (2473).
FREE Saturday Family Events
Red Yarn, with an energetic mix of folk songs and puppetry, will headline the free Family Presentation on Saturday in the College Union Auditorium at 10 am. The whole family can sing, dance, stomp, clap, and celebrate the multicultural musical heritage of the U.S.A. along with Red, his wife Jessie, and a whole barnyard full of lovable puppet critters. After the show head upstairs for a room full of hands-on children's activities and exhibits.
Also this year we will have two free bird painting workshops at OIT on Saturday for kids offered by Wild Pigments. Space is limited, so call Wild Pigments at 541-591-4381 to reserve a spot for your child!
About the Klamath Basin: The Basin is home to the largest concentration of wintering Bald Eagles in the lower 48 states – numbering some 500-800 birds typically. Other visitors include massive flocks of waterfowl and large numbers of wintering raptors on this major stopover of the Pacific Flyway. The Klamath National Refuge Complex consists of six refuges, including Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, the nation’s first waterfowl refuge. Around 130 species of birds are counted each winter at the Festival.
About Klamath Basin Audubon Society: The Klamath Basin Audubon Society (KBAS) welcomes birders and wildlife enthusiasts to monthly programs, field trips, and other activities that enhance the appreciation of the spectacular beauty of the Klamath Basin. KBAS produces the annual Winter Wings Festival celebrating the largest wintering population of bald eagles in the lower 48 states as well as the abundance of all the birds that make the Klamath Basin home (see www.KlamathAudubon.org)
About the Pacific Flyway: The Pacific Flyway is a major north-south route of travel for migratory birds in the Americas, extending from Alaska to Patagonia. Every year, migratory birds travel some or all of this distance both in spring and in fall, following food sources, heading to breeding grounds, or traveling to overwintering sites, such as the Klamath Basin. About 80% of the Pacific Flyway migrants make the Klamath Basin a stopover.