Grays Harbor Shorebird and Nature Festival:

Celebrating the natural world and the spring shorebird migration!

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.

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.

When is the best time to get out on the trail? Check out the viewing times

Black-Bellied Plover Photo by Tom Rowley

Festival Headquarters

Usually the festival HQ moves between the FWS building on Airport Way to the Hoquiam Middle School. For 2021 all events were do-it-yourself. Watch the virtual tour video in the quick links for inspiration! Maps can be found here.

Dowitcher Photo by Tom Rowley


No registration was needed for 2021. All events are free. Watch, learn, download and print, and get out on the trail safely.

Dunlin Photo by Tom Rowley


The only ones eating at the festival this year are the birds! For human food, 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