Grays Harbor Shorebird and Nature Festival:

Celebrating the natural world and the spring shorebird migration!

NOTE: All scheduled events have been postponed until next year (2021)

Each spring, hundreds of thousands of shorebirds stop to rest and feed along the Washington Coast and in the Grays Harbor estuary during 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! The concentration of birds during spring migration offers people a great chance to view a number of shorebird species. With luck you will also see the birds fly together in beautiful formations while trying to escape a Peregrine Falcon.

Shorebird is the name given to the group of birds that are usually found along the shoreline. They include plovers, turnstones, sandpipers, dowitchers, and others. Some shorebirds can be found in Grays Harbor County all year; others only during their migration. A good way to start learning the common shorebirds is to attend the Festival's shorebird identification class and field trip.

The shorebird spectacle happens every year at Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge and in other parts of the County. People from around the world come to view this event of hemispheric importance. The Festival works to bring people together for this incredible natural phenomenon.

Black-Bellied Plover Photo by Tom Rowley

Festival Headquarters

On Friday, until 3pm, events start or are located at the Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge Office on Airport Way. On Friday starting at 4pm, then all day Saturday and Sunday, the Festival Headquarters is at Hoquiam Middle School, 200 N. Spencer St., Hoquiam. From Aberdeen, follow US 101 to Hoquiam. Stay in the left lane onto Highway 109 (Ocean Shores Hwy.), this is also Emerson Ave. Hoquiam Middle School is on the right 1.1 miles from that intersection. Park in the school lot. Maps can be found here.

Dowitcher Photo by Tom Rowley


Pre-registration is recommended for fee events and must be postmarked by April 15th, 2020. Registration will be open on Friday from 7am to 3pm at the Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge Office. Registration continues at Festival Headquarters at Hoquiam Middle School on Friday from 4pm to 7pm, Saturday from 7:30am to 5pm and Sunday from 8am to 4pm.

Dunlin Photo by Tom Rowley


Field trip participants may order box lunches using the registration form. The Annual Fundraising Dinner will be held on Saturday evening at the Elks Lodge in Hoquiam. Seating is limited and pre-registration is required by April 15th. See local restaurants.

Greater Yellowlegs Photo by John Whitehead


Festival participants may make lodging arrangements directly with area providers. For lodging information call: Grays Harbor Tourism at (800) 621-9625; Greater Grays Harbor, Inc. at (800) 321-1924; or Westport-Grayland Chamber of Commerce at (800) 345-6223.

Least Sandpiper Photo by Tom Rowley


Western Washington weather is unpredictable at this time of year. Plan for wet and cool. Layers, raingear, and boots are recommended. The trail at Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge is a hard surface and does not require special footwear.

Red Knot Photo by Tom Rowley

Special Accommodations

For those needing special accommodations, please contact Committee Member, Jennifer Cutillo, at (360) 753-9467.

Ruddy Turnstone Photo by John Whitehead