First bird festival wings to Whidbey

The Whidbey Audubon Society is holding its first ever bird festival, Wings over Whidbey, May 18-20.

The Whidbey Audubon Society is holding its first ever bird festival, Wings over Whidbey, May 18-20, according to a press release. The free, Coupeville-based event series will include lectures, classes and lots of outdoor field trips.

A full schedule is online at Registration for lectures and field trips can also be found at this link.

“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?” Festival Coordinator Stephanie Neis said.

At the heart of the festival is the Bird in the Hand event featuring dozens of exhibits of preserved birds allowing visitors to hold and examine closely all the parts of a particular bird. It is at the Coupeville High School Commons from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, May 20. This event is kid-friendly and does not require preregistration.

Robin Llewellyn is one of the guiding forces working with the bird specimen library. She has organized at least three previous Bird in the Hand events.

“We took a hiatus during the pandemic and we’re excited to be bringing this vital collection to our community again,” she said.

The Wings over Whidbey Bird Festival kicks off at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 18 in the Coupeville Recreation Hall with “The Secrets of Bird Flight,” by keynote speaker Peter Cavanagh. His lecture is hybrid, in person and projected via Zoom. Other lecture topics throughout the festival include bird photography, spring and summer birds, Puget Sound Energy’s bird protection program, the language of birds and bird banding.

Eleven guided bird walks are available Friday and Saturday mornings. Most are limited to 10 or 12 participants, so please register online. 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.