Volunteers needed for Pacific Flyway surveys

Classes, crafts and birder breakfast for all ages are on agenda

Birders capture the flight of some of the thousands of migrating shorebirds with their cameras. Photo courtesy of Melissa Gabrielson, U.S. Forest Service

Experience the enchantment of the shorebird migration May 3-6 during the Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival. The festival offers shorebird classes, citizen science shorebird surveys, the Net Loft crafting activities, kid’s activities and food.

Shorebird 101

Before heading out to Hartney Bay, learn about shorebird identification in the Shorebird 101 class, taught by local birding experts 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday, May 4, in the education room of the Cordova Center. Learn how to track bird sightings in eBird and tally a species list.

Help survey

Join Environment for the Americas intern Hillary Chavez at some major shorebird hotspots. Chavez will conduct Pacific Flyway Shorebird Surveys as part of a Pacific Flyway effort to help guide shorebird management and conservation decisions. This will be the fifth year that these surveys have been completed in Cordova. Chavez needs volunteers to help conduct surveys May 1-16. Call 907-424-4734 if you are interested. For more information about the surveys visit:


Family fun

Bring the entire family to the festival to learn more about birds! The Prince William Sound Science Center and U.S. Forest Service will lead three amazing all ages events.

Learn about migration and banding birds Banding Bonanza Thursday, May 3.


Learn about beak size and how it influences what shorebirds eat at Bon appe-tweet on Saturday, May 5.

Put on walking shoes or bring bikes to enjoy Tour de Peeps. The tour will start near the breakwater and end at Hollis Park. Fun activities, games and treats will abound on this bird inspired tour. Join Erin Cole, Forest Service Developed Recreation Program Coordinator, Sunday May 6 for a hike on Heney Ridge Trail to the Big Tree and learn the story of K’iid K’iyaas (Ancient Tree).

Bird art

Let your inner artist out at a variety of shorebird themed classes offered by the Net Loft. Create a feather and eggs shadow box using a variety of paints and papercut feathers and eggs (ages 14 and up).

If painting is not your forte you can make a needlefelt western sandpiper (ages 5 and up) or a western sandpiper trivet (ages 15 and up).

To register for classes and see pictures of the completed crafts visit: rsvpbook.com/shorebird2018. Slots are filling up fast so put on your crafting hat and sign up today.

Festive food

The festival offers great opportunities for foodies too! There will be a festival fundraiser wine and cheese mixer 6-7 p.m. Friday, May 4, at the Cordova Center. Purchase shorebird memorabilia, have your picture taken with Maya the Western Sandpiper, and mingle with fellow festivalgoers.

Warm up with a cup of coffee and a full breakfast at the Birders breakfast 7-10 a.m. Saturday, May 5, at St. Joe’s Catholic Church.

That night, 4H music camp fundraiser dinner will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sweet tooth cravings can be soothed at the pie social from 1-3 p.m. Sunday, May 6, at the Pioneer.

Additional information about the Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival and festival schedule can be found at http://www.copperriverdeltashorebirdfestival.com/events/.

Melissa Gabrielson is a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Forest Service in Cordova.