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Morro Bay Ecotourism: Winter Bird Festival 2019

01/07/2019

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“Birds are important because they keep systems in balance: they pollinate plants, disperse seeds, scavenge carcasses and recycle nutrients back into the earth. But they also feed our spirits, marking for us the passage of the seasons, moving us to create art and poetry, inspiring us to flight and reminding us that we are not only on, but of, this earth.” Melanie Driscoll, Director of bird conservation for the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi Flyway    

What is the Winter Bird Festival?
The Winter Bird Festival, hosted by the Morro Bay Audubon Society, is coming to Morro Bay for its 23rd year—January 18-21st.  This event promotes the understanding and appreciation of wildlife (especially birds), as well as, environmental and Central Coast conservation.  With over 130 events, including nature treks, presentations, workshops, and lectures, there is a lot to discover.  Topics range from geology and biology, to photography, and more.

Why Morro Bay?
Located on the Pacific Flyway (one of the major Americans migratory patterns), Morro Bay offers birds an excellent place to eat and rest along their winter journey. With its salt marsh, mudflats, estuary, beaches, parks, and dunes, Morro Bay affords a large amount of rich and diverse habitat to support wildlife, and for visitors to explore. 

Active Birding:
Not only is Morro Bay a birding paradise with large numbers of birds and diverse species, but it is also ideal place to make your birding active.  While quiet walking and sitting to observe birds is the traditional methodology, Morro Bay is the place to push the envelope and try birding while kayaking, hiking, or biking.  Some birds even use hunting techniques that make them more active, and therefore easier to observe, during landscape “disturbances.”  And if you are still not convinced last year’s birding tour on bicycle saw over 100 species.   

New this year…
Make sure you look out for the Saturday Art, Wine & Nibbles Reception this year.  Browse the exhibits and explore the festival Bazaar at the community center with some light snacks provided before the night’s keynote presentation.  There are also more ways to take the Winter Bird Festival home with you this year.  Enter the raffle for the ‘Birds of Morro Bay’ quilt.  Valued at over $1,000, this is a fundraiser you don’t want to miss.  You can also support the festival by purchase the new 2019 WBF t-shirt.

How to register?
The festival sells out every year, so early registration is the best way to assure your spot.  Pre-registration runs through midnight on January 8thact now!

Pictured above is the Peregrine Falcon, a species that uses Morro Rock as a breeding ground.