Morro Bay Bird Festival Logo

Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival

TBD: 2015 Special Festival Events

2014 Special Events listed below


Friday, January 17         5:00-6:30 p.m.        Community Center

Evening ReceptionEnjoy wine and cheese and meet fellow birders in the Bird Festival Bazaar area. Browse through the vendor booths featuring binoculars and scopes, books and CDs, garden art, watercolors and nature photography, wood carvings, jewelry, clothing and more!



Saturday, January 18    7:00-8:30 P.M.        Morro Bay High School

KEYNOTE SPEAKER:  Kimball Garrett  -  But It Doesn't Look Like the One in the Book

Kimball Garrett, 2014 Keynote SpeakerBirding is great fun, but sometimes it seems like the birds are trying to take the fun out of it!  Bird identification should be easy - just look at the bird and match it with a picture in your field guide!  So why is it that they never seem to look like the ones in the book? Is the problem with the book? With the bird? Or with the birder? In this light-hearted but educational presentation Kimball Garrett will explore the reasons why birds are so variable, why bird guides can range from indispensible to useless, and why the real world throws us curves all the time when we're in the field.  If you can't tell a Greater Pewee from a Jumbo Shrimp, this talk will make you feel better.  And if you're a seasoned expert, you might still learn something.

Kimball L. Garrett has served as the Ornithology Collections Manager at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County since 1982.  He oversees the care, use, and growth of these important collections which currently number nearly 120,000 specimens.  He received his undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley and did graduate work at UCLA before coming to the Natural History Museum.  He was born and raised in the Los Angeles area and still lives there.
Garrett has authored or co-authored over 75 papers, books and book chapters on birds, including the standard local reference entitled Birds of Southern California: Status and Distribution (published in 1981 and co-authored with Jon Dunn).  He also collaborated with Dunn to produce the Peterson Field Guide to Warblers of North America (1997), and with Dunn and Brian Small for the popular guide Birds of Southern California (2012).  He has studied birds and led natural history tours on six continents and through much of the tropical Pacific Ocean.


Sunday, January 19         7:00-8:30 P.M.       Morro Bay High School

Jon Young  -  Bird Language -- Stepping Into Our Design

Jon Young, What the Robin KnowsLegendary birder, tracker, naturalist and author Jon Young will share his doorway into bird language and reveal insights from his book What the Robin Knows. This groundbreaking book unites indigenous knowledge, the latest research, and the author's own experience of four decades in the field to lead us toward a deeper connection to the birds and animals and, in the end, a deeper connection to ourselves. Jon believes that we are geared to learn and understand bird language. He recently presented insights of human biological design to a record crowd at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology in Ithaca, New York. He will share these same stories and more for the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival including insights gained from his last visit this spring to hunter-gatherer nomads of the Central Kalahari, and how modern safari guides use the knowledge of bird language to help them as birders, and as professionals to keep their clients engaged and alive!

Jon Young: A birder since boyhood, Jon Young has been sharing the art of tracking and understanding bird and animal language. Science is beginning to record and document the rich world of interspecies communication. For the last 30 years, Jon has been leading people worldwide to regain these skills through lectures, workshops, media, through training and mentoring. He is now engaged in a project nationally to help communities and organizations develop effective strategies to lead nature connection through bird language and related routines. Last fall Jon addressed the National Audubon Society's board and leadership in Tuscon, Arizona on these themes and implications for conservation. Check out his websites and for information on his publications and appearances.

"FUN FOR THE FAMILY" DAY:  Birding and More

Saturday, January 18    9:00 A.M.-3:30 P.M.         See the Family Day page for more information, or download the Family Day events PDF.