Coupeville and surrounding locations —
Flock in for some great family fun! So says the Whidbey Audubon Society, which is holding its first ever bird festival, Wings over Whidbey, May 18 to 20 — and it’s free. Based in Coupeville, there are lectures, classes and lots of outdoor field trips. A full schedule is on the society’s website: whidbeyaudubonsociety.org/wings-over-whidbey-festival. Please visit to learn details and to register for lectures and field trips.
“Whidbey Island is a flyway for hundreds of migratory birds and we have several spots that fit the criteria for Important Bird Areas, so why shouldn’t we have a bird festival,” said Stephanie Neis, festival coordinator.
The festival begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 18 in the Coupeville Recreation Hall, 901 NW Alexander Street, with “The Secrets of Bird Flight,” by keynote speaker Peter Cavanagh. His lecture is hybrid, in person and projected via Zoom.
Eleven guided bird walks are available Friday and Saturday mornings. Most are limited to 10 or 12, so please register on line. The walks include South Whidbey, Fort Ebey and Deception Pass State Parks, Pacific Rim Institute, Deer Lagoon, Price Sculpture Park and Greenbank Farm Forest Trail. Nathan Pieplow, bird call expert, leads the Greenbank Farm walk.
“Diving into Bird Photography” with Bill Ray is 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon. In addition to tips on the ways and means of getting the best photograph of a bird, Ray is judging the photos submitted to the Youth Photography Contest. The young winners will be introduced and awarded prizes. This lecture is live only in the Coupeville Recreation Hall.
“The Joy of Spring and Summer Birds” with Thomas Bancroft, Ph.D. is 7 p.m. Friday evening. It may be attended in person at the Coupeville Recreation Hall or via Zoom, attenders must register for either in person or to receive the Zoom link.
The Saturday, May 20 series of lectures begins at 11 a.m. with “Puget Sound Energy’s Bird Protection Program – Eagles, Swans, and Ospreys” with Haley Olson, Senior Resource Scientist. “The Language of Birds” and book signing with Nathan Pieplow begins at 1 p.m. “Bird Banding — An Important Tool for Supporting Avian Conservation” by Puget Sound Bird Observatory is at 4 p.m. All Saturday lectures are held in the Coupeville High School Performing Arts Center, 501 S. Main Street, and are live only. Preregistration is helpful.
There will be passports for children to collect bird images as they visit displays in the high school, if they fill their card, they receive a prize. Several businesses have provided prizes to be raffled also.