Godwit Days Spring Migration Bird Festival
The beginning of spring heralds the opening of many bird festivals. Northern California is home to a particularly spectacular bird festival, known as the Godwit Days Spring Migration Bird Festival. Based in Arcata, California, this celebration runs from mid to late April. This is one bird festival that bird lovers won't want to miss.
The first Godwit Days Spring Migration Bird Festival was held in 1995 and it has been a fabulous option for spring bird watching ever since. It is an especially good festival to visit if you are interested in seeing the Marbled Godwit, for which the festival is named. This bird is a long legged, brown shorebird, with a long bill.
During the winter, Marbled Godwits comes to Humboldt Bay by the thousands. When you come to the Godwit Days Spring Migration Bird Festival you will have the opportunity to see these magnificent birds, as they are still living at Humboldt Bay in April. During the winter they live in the estuaries, salt marches, and other coastal habitats.
This is the ideal area to hold a large bird festival such as this. There are varied habitats which hundreds of unique species of birds call home. Nearby you will find the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge, the Redwood National Park, Redwood State Parks, the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary, as well as many other amazing natural parks and reserves. Many of the festival's excursions visit these parks and refuges.
In 2010, the 15th year of the festival, the core days will be Friday April 16 through Sunday April 18. However, if you would like to spend more than three days in this beautiful region of northern California, you are in luck because there are pre and post-festival events begin on Thursday April 15 continue on till Wednesday April 21.
When you register for the Godwit Day Spring Migration Bird Festival, you will have your choice of hundreds of interesting and informative events, activities, and tours. Experienced guides and wildlife experts lead each of these programs. You will learn about the hundreds of different species that call the region home during the spring. The festival also has plenty of kid-friendly activities.
The pre and post-festival events are mostly bird watching and other types of wildlife viewing excursions and tours. There are boat tours, kayak tours, whale-watching tours, rafting trips, and many more fabulous adventure options throughout the seven days of the festival. Many of these excursions do have added costs above the regular registration fee, but they are well worth it. When you register for the festival you can choose which activities you are most interested in and sign up for them individually, but you will want to register early because many of the field trips fill up quickly.
During the core days of the festival, you can enjoy the art exhibition at the Arcata Community Center, which features the work of many amazing wildlife artists. You also have the opportunity to meet the trip leaders and lecturers. Each day of the festival has seminars and you have the opportunity to see live birds of prey. The children will love the Bird Art Contest, as well as the variety of other fun arts and crafts activities.