Sign Up for Godwit Days Festival by April 13, 2022
The last day to register for the 2022 Godwit Days Spring Migration Bird Festival is Wednesday, April 13. This year’s slimmed-down event – held April 15 through 17 — includes 23 small-group, in-person field trips and four virtual sessions. The nonprofit Godwit Days organization invites you to be part of our local celebration of the spring return of many birds. Trip lengths range from 2 to 5 hours, with fees between $20 and $40.
While some in-person events are sold out, there is still room on two new trips: 1) walking the “V Street Loop” in the Arcata Bottom, where many rare birds have been sighted and CalTrans recently added freshwater wetland habitat, and 2) a birding tour for women and girls, with two female leaders.
Old favorites that have not reached the 10-person limit include two sessions that repeat each day of the festival. On one, you can witness the spectacle as flocks of thousands of shorebirds become tens of thousands, then form a huge milling swarm. The number of birds on the move is staggering during this northward spring migration push! On the other, participants will become immersed in bird sounds during a pre-breakfast trip to catch the dawn chorus in full swing at the Arcata Marsh. A few slots even remain on the spotted owl trips, where you can be wowed when (hopefully cooperative) spotted owls come amazingly close, swooping down for prey offered by a biologist from Green Diamond Resource Company.
The festival’s $10 basic registration fee gives access to four on-line sessions: 1) a “Big Hour” at the Arcata Marsh, as Gary Bloomfield and Rob Fowler try to see how many bird species they can “phoneskope”; 2) a workshop where you’ll learn ways to identify bird songs and calls; 3) a crash course in bird anatomy shorthand that emphasizes learning field sketching techniques with wildlife artist Gary Bloomfield; and 4) the keynote lecture with Stuart Mackenzie of Bird Studies Canada, who will explore tracking bird, bat, and insect migration. With over 800 monitoring stations across 28 countries, more than 20,000 animals of 200 species have been followed on their migrations! (If you can’t watch these virtual sessions live, no worries, you’ll receive a password to view them later.) The $10 registration fee also includes (as space allows) a slot in the remaining no-fee field trips: either a kids’ nature walk at the Arcata Marsh (sponsor Friends of the Arcata Marsh is offering perks to attendees) or a tour of Arcata wastewater treatment plant and oxidation ponds.
The complete festival schedule and trip/session descriptions can be viewed at www.godwitdays.org.