The Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival is a yearly eco-tourism event promoting an understanding and appreciation of birds and other wildlife and an awareness of environmental and conservation issues of the Central Coast, while contributing to the well-being of the Morro Bay community. The event is sponsored by the Morro Coast Audubon Society in collaboration with California State Parks, the Central Coast State Parks Association, and the City of Morro Bay.
Each year the Festival has grown to include more events and to attract more participants ... 545 people attended in 2013 from as far away as Florida and Rhode Island. The 2014 Festival will be the 18th year of this annual event.
Morro Bay and the surrounding area is an idea spot for avid birders. Located on the Pacific Flyway, Morro Bay is a Globally Important Bird Area and a designated State and National Estuary. Morro Coast Audubon Society always ranks in the top five for the Audubon Christmas Bird Count. A total of 211 different species were spotted during the 2013 Festival. Check out the list of birds seen during this past and previous Festivals.
The 2014 Festival features 122 events -- a record number -- including pelagic cruises, boat rides and kayaking in the Bay, van trips throughout the county, as well as many informative workshops. All-day and half-day tours take participants to a wide variety of habitats, including deep water pelagic, oak woodland and riparian, wetland and estuary, and the unique grassland habitat of the Carrizo Plain. Workshops cover a vast array of topics ranging from beginner birding classes to gull identification and a new workshop on bats. A record number of families attended Saturday's "Family Day", which does not require pre-registration.
A variety of vendors will be present with nature-related artwork, books, field equipment and attire, and local merchant wares. A number of the events are geared toward birders who are also photographers. Birders of all levels are welcome, and the schedule identifies programs especially appropriate for beginners or children, as well as programs that are wheelchair accessible.
The Winter Bird Festival headquarters are at the Morro Bay Community Center at 1001 Kennedy Way. All field trips originate from this location unless otherwise noted in the brochure. You will be provided a map showing all venues when you pick up your registration packet.