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Grays Harbor Shorebird
and Nature Festival

May 6 - 8, 2016

Hoquiam, Washington

Celebrating Nature
and the Spring Migration of
Shorebirds in Grays Harbor County
2015 Best of Show, Shorebird Festival Poster Contest
Artist: Graycen Grinols, Montesano

EACH SPRING, hundreds of thousands of shorebirds stop to rest and feed in Grays Harbor estuary on their migration northward. Coming from as far south as Argentina, these Arctic-bound shorebirds are among the world's greatest migrants. Some birds travel over 15,000 miles round trip! Tens of thousands of shorebirds feed on the open mudflats in the estuary. This concentration of birds offers people a great chance to view a number of shorebird species, and with luck, to see the birds fly together in beautiful formations while trying to escape the fastest creature on earth, the Peregrine Falcon.

There's Something for Everyone!

Keynote Speaker on Friday Night. The 2016 keynote speaker will be Robert Michael Pyle, author, naturalist, and world renowned expert on butterflies. The keynote includes a dessert reception prior to the talk.

Field Trips with expert birders to birding hotspots in Grays Harbor County

Lectures on shorebird identification.

The Birding Marketplace with numerous vendors and exhibitors.

Saturday Night Annual Dinner and Speaker at the Elks Lodge in Hoqiuam. This year's speaker is Ken Bevis.

Nature Fun Fair with lots of hands on activities is great for kids and families.

Shorebird viewing is of course why most people participate in the Grays Harbor Shorebird Festival. Shorebird migration in Grays Harbor County begins around April 21 and continues for about 3 weeks. Each year, field trip leaders and observers at the Refuge post their bird sightings. Click here to download the detailed list of birds seen on the 2015 Field Trips and by observers at the Refuge.

poster contest winner

About the Festival

Grays Harbor Audubon Society, Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge, and the City of Hoquiam work with a host of other local sponsors to bring you the Grays Harbor Shorebird Festival. This event is timed to match the annual migration of hundreds of thousands of shorebirds as they pause at the Grays Harbor estuary to feed and rest before departing for their nesting grounds in the Arctic.

This wildlife spectacle happens every year at Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge and other parts of Grays Harbor County. People from around the world come to view this event of hemispheric importance. The Shorebird Festival works to bring people together for this incredible natural phenomenon.
 
A portion of revenues in excess of festival expenses helps to fund education programs and scientific research at Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge and helps pay for continuation of construction of the boardwalk, benches and interpretive signage.

Best Shorebird Viewing Times

At Grays Harbor NWR, shorebirds can be viewed best during the period about 2 hours before to 2 hours after high tide. During high tide, birds are closer and more concentrated for better viewing. The peak in migration typically occurs the last week in April. Best viewing times at GHNWR during the 2016 festival are:
  High Tide Best Viewing
Friday, May 6 2pm Noon - 4pm
Saturday, May 7 3pm 1pm - 5pm
Sunday, May 8 4pm 2pm - 6pm

NOTE: Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge is open from sunrise to sunset.



Shorebirds on mudflats at Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge
photo by Sharon Ely


Semi-palmated Plover at Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge
photo by Jan Wieser


Mixed flock of shorebirds at Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge
photo by Jan Wieser

 
     
     
 
If you have questions about the Shorebird Festival
call (360) 289-5048.

Register | Schedule | Events | Map | Bird List | Links | Sponsors

Grays Harbor Shorebird Festival
P.O. Box 2165
Ocean Shores, WA 98569

Page last updated March 11, 2016