Godwit Days Spring Migration Bird Festival

Online registration is now open for the 28th Godwit Days Spring Migration Bird Festival. See "Visit Website" link above to review the event schedule and register before trips fill up! Individuals may also register by calling (707) 826-7050 and leaving a message.

Godwit Days is an annual birding festival held in Arcata to celebrate the Spring migration of the Marbled Godwit, a migratory shorebird. Godwit Days aims to celebrate the diverse bird species that migrate through the Pacific Flyway while fostering awareness about the importance of preserving their habitats. Since its original establishment in 1996, the organization has grown into a significant force for environmental education and community engagement, attracting bird enthusiasts, nature lovers and conservationists from around the globe to Humboldt County. Through guided birding trips, workshops and keynote speakers, Godwit Days continues to inspire a deeper connection to the natural world and a commitment to its protection.

Godwit Days is excited to have internationally famous birder and author, Alvaro Jarmillo, and a team of experts from the Sequoia Park Zoo as keynote speakers! Jarmillo will be presenting “Birding Fast and Slow,” a discussion on how the brain engages in different ways to identify birds, as well as co-leading two birding trips. Speakers from the Sequoia Park Zoo include Jim Campbell-Spickler, Ruth Mock, David Juliano and Christine Demiani and they will be presenting “Stories from the Nest: Sequoia Park Zoo’s Conservation Partnerships.” Those in attendance will see videos showing interactions with young birds in their nest and learn about why accessing these sites is so important to bird conservation. The Director of the zoo’s Butterfly Conservation Program will share about captive-rearing threatened and endangered butterfly species for release to boost wild populations. The zoo’s other conservation programs and partnerships will also be discussed.

The 2024 program is as diverse as ever, incorporating many aspects of the animals and habitats that make up the beautiful North Coast. The line-up consists of workshops, lectures, 75 different field trips, a banquet, silent auction and two gold condor trips with transportation provided. 54 of the trips are specifically birding trips, and there are 15 free events.  This year, eight new trips are being offered including “Sequoia Park and Zoo,” “Gary’s Dream Trip,” “Eel River Estuary Preserve,” “Potowat Health Village and Janes Creek Meadow,” “Big Shorebird Morning” and “Otters of the Arcata Marsh!

The program is not limited to birds, with sessions focusing on dragonflies, reptiles and amphibians, conifers and other native plants and even dune ecology. Leaders are trained professionals, local biologists and experts in birds and other wildlife habits and identification. Our enthusiastic leaders, termed "Field Guides," lead small groups averaging between 12 and 20 on trips through the redwoods, along the coast or rivers, next to mudflats, to our world-renowned Arcata Marsh and much more.

Free events for everyone include an opening reception and Friday night lecture, presentation of the Humboldt County Bird of the Year award, Bird Fair vendor booths, family nature crafts and field trips (price noted as $0.00 on event list, but require sign-up to reserve a spot). All entries in the 21st Annual Student Bird Art Contest by Humboldt County students in grades K-12, which is cosponsored by FOAM and Redwood Region Audubon Society (RRAS), will be on display, with awards for it and the 19th Annual RRAS Student Nature Writing Contest presented on Saturday, April 20.

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Before making plans, please check the event or festival website or Facebook page.