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
There's Something for Everyone!
Keynote Speaker on Friday Night is Clay Taylor of Swarovski Optiks. 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.
and auction held on Saturday night is a very important fundraising event for the festival. In 2012 $2,422 was raised for the Grays Harbor
Shorebird Festival. This money is used to fund the next festival and fund the AmeriCorps position at Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge. During the auction, the education program at Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge also brought in $2,750 in donations,
ensuring the support of another year of field trips and classroom
presentations throughout Grays Harbor County. This was the most donations ever raised! Thanks to all those
who participated in the past! We hope to see you
again this year!
Nature Fun Fair with lots of hands on activities is great for kids and families.
The Shorebird Procession is a new event this year! Bring your "costume" and join in the procession.
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 2013 Field
Trips and by observers at the Refuge.
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.
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 2013 festival are:
|Friday, April 26
||12:55pm - 4:55pm
|Saturday, April 27
||1:45pm - 5:45pm
|Sunday, April 28
||2:35pm - 6:35pm
Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge is open from sunrise to sunset.
For a list of all tides times, heights, and best shorebird viewing for the entire spring migration time, click here.