Godwit Days Festival Returns, Goes Virtual


You may be among the people who’ve been wondering what is happening with Godwit Days in 2021. Will it again be postponed due to Covid-19?

Well, the suspense is over! The Godwit Days Spring Migration Birding Festival will be offering a free, virtual, three-day program April 16 through 18. It will highlight some favorite species and the spots where they occur. 

Marbled Godwits in Flight by Gary Bloomfield

Most sessions will be 60 to 90 minutes in length, with breaks in between. Some will be live streamed (and also recorded for future viewing) and others will be pre-recorded and posted online. 

Participants will be asked to make donations to keep the festival going, both this year and beyond. (In 2020, the festival had to cancel a mere 6 weeks before the event, after money had been spent that couldn’t be recouped.)

The complete program schedule will be posted soon at www.godwitdays.org, as will instructions on how to access the sessions. Among the sessions being planned (as of 3/8/21):

  • A Bird in the Hand: Banding at the Humboldt Bay Bird Observatory featuring HBBO staff and/or volunteers
  • Curiosities & Oddities in the Humboldt State Wildlife Museum with Curator Tamar Danufsky
  • Humboldt Birding: Past, Present & Future, A Birds & Beers Social Zoom with F. Fogarty, R. Fowler, G. Gray, T. Leskiw, G. & L. Lester, S. McAllister, J. Power & K. Slauson.
  • Surveying Shorebirds of Humboldt Bay: Plenary Lecture by HSU wildlife professor Dr. Mark Colwell
  • “The Big Hour”: Facebook Live at the Arcata Marsh with Rob Fowler of Fowlerope Birding Tours and wildlife artist Gary Bloomfield
  • Bird Songs & Calls: An Identification Workshop with birder/biologist David Juliano
  • Snowy Plovers with USFWS biologist Olyvia Childress
  • Shorebird Fly-off: Facebook Live at the Arcata Marsh with Dr. Mark Colwell & Rob Fowler
  • The Language of Birds: Keynote Lecture by Nathan Pieplow, blogger on recording, identifying, and interpreting bird sounds (www.earbirding.com)
  • Seeking Amphibians in Del Norte County with California State Parks biologist Tony Kurz
  • Tips & Techniques for Sketching Birds by Gary Bloomfield
  • Spotted Owl Trip with Green Diamond Resource Company staff, Rob Fowler and Gary Bloomfield
  • A Tribute to Dr. Stanley Harris: Memories of HSU Ornithology Prof “Doc” Harris

Also to be posted on line during the festival: announcement of the winner of Humboldt County’s Bird of the Year for 2020, as well as winners in the 18th annual student bird art contest, cosponsored by Friends of the Arcata Marsh and Redwood Region Audubon Society (RRAS), and in the 16th annual student nature writing contest, sponsored by RRAS.

“We wanted to keep Godwit Days in the public eye after we had to cancel the April 2020 event,” says Board Chair Alex Stillman. “But we needed to do it safely and without spending much money; thus, we came up with a virtual festival. I hope people will enjoy the content and donate accordingly, so that we can return in 2022 with a full-blown, in-person festival.”

Follow us on Facebook or visit www.godwitdays.org for festival updates, including links to sessions, or to make a tax-deductible contribution at any time.