23rd Annual Godwit Days: April 18 – 24

Godwits in flight—poster art for Godwit Days 2018. Painting by Patricia Sundgren Smith.
Godwits in flight—poster art for Godwit Days 2018. Painting by Patricia Sundgren Smith.

Godwit Days is a spring migration bird festival that celebrates the Marbled Godwit and all birds of Redwood Coast forests, bays, marshes, and mudflats. The Arcata Community Center serves as the departure hub for most trips and houses an art show and Bird Fair. Choose from nearly 100 field trips, lectures, workshops, and boat excursions. Pre-  and post- festival trips can extend your experience from April 18 to 24. Some trips have already been filled, with new ones being added. For the most current information, visit www.godwitdays.org.

The festival again offers two featured speakers. On Friday night, following the free opening reception, Dr. Jack Dumbacher, curator of birds and mammals at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, will speak on the future of deep forest owls in California. Other sessions where you can interact with Jack are a five-hour birding trip on Saturday and an iNaturalist Bioblitz and iNaturalist workshop on Sunday.

The Saturday night keynote is Sharon “Birdchick” Stiteler, author of three books, including “1001 Secrets Every Birder Should Know: Tips & Trivia for the Backyard and Beyond.” Sharon is known for her Birdchick podcast and blog (at www.birdchick.com). Other sessions where you can interact with Sharon are Birding the Blue Lake Cottonwoods on Saturday, a six-hour birding trip on Sunday, and a tech birding workshop on Sunday. All Basic Festival registrations include a keynote ticket, while the cost is just $10 for non-registrants.

Something for Everyone

Trips range north to Del Norte County, south to Petrolia, and inland to Willow Creek. New trips visit Snow Camp & Bald Mountain Roads near Korbel, the lower Mad River riparian, McKinleyville (Humboldt’s “Birdiest City”), and a Bike & Bird Trip along the new Humboldt
Bay Trail North.

Many popular annual field trips will be offered, including Spotted Owl trips (divided according to the difficulty of the hike in to see the birds) and Shorebird Spectacle at the Marsh. The program is not limited to birds, with sessions focusing on dragonflies, reptiles and amphibians, conifers and other native plants, and dune ecology.

Free Events

Free events for everyone include an opening reception, Friday night lectures, a presentation of the fifth annual Humboldt County Bird of the Year award, Bird Fair vendor booths, an art show, live birds of prey from Bird Ally X/Humboldt Wildlife Care Center, family nature crafts sponsored by Friends of the Arcata Marsh (FOAM), and some field trips (note: price is $0.00 on event list, but sign-up is required to reserve a spot). All entries in the 15th Annual Student Bird Art Contest by Humboldt County students in grades K-12, which is cosponsored by FOAM and Redwood Region Audubon Society (RRAS), will be on display, with awards for it and the RRAS Children’s Nature Writing Contest presented on Saturday, April 21.

Godwit Goodies (Buy & Bid)

Look over Silent Auction goodies on display in the main hall. To donate, call 707-826- 7050. Come in to Registration to purchase 2018 Godwit Days T-shirts featuring a design by Patricia Sundgren Smith, whose art incorporates a wide range of printmaking techniques, as well as painting, photography, drawing, and collage.

Registration & Important Info

On-site registration hours:
Friday, April 20, 3-6:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 21, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
Sunday, April 22, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Visit the website below for event descriptions and to register. Advance registration is strongly recommended, as trips are selling out fast!




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