SOUTH COAST — The Cape Arago Audubon Society will be bringing both advanced and beginning birders alike to the Southern Oregon Coast on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 20, 21 and 22 to see and hear award-winning presentations on red knots and black oystercatchers at the 33rd Oregon Shorebird Festival.
The festival is a celebration of Oregon shorebirds and an educational experience at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology in Charleston and in Coos Bay and Bandon, with field trips, talks, bird watching and shared meals.
Janet Essley will present on one of the farthest migrating species in the world, the red knot sandpiper. She will take participants on a journey with the red knot species of the Americas, from their breeding grounds to non-breeding sites and back again, dipping into amazing sandpiper physiology related to their ability to migrate such long distances.
The black oystercatcher is a charismatic and conspicuous shorebird of the West Coast and currently is classified as a species of high conservation concern. Their health and reproductive success are being closely monitored by the Oregon Black Oystercatcher Project, co-led by Audubon Society of Portland staff scientist Joe Liebezeit, who will present new information about this species’ biology to better inform methods of protection.
A paddle trip will be available floating up the South Slough Estuary on Saturday, Sept. 21. In addition to the paddle trip, this year’s field trips will include a pelagic trip offshore and land-based trips to both Bandon and the Bay Area.
Oregon Pelagic Tours will host a five-hour pelagic trip on Sunday, Sept. 22, to give participants a sense of what a day-long pelagic trip is like. On-board expert guides will identify birds and other marine life and describe their natural history.
There will be field trips to the Bandon Marsh and Bandon beach, the best bird watching spots in Bandon, where participants can see fall migrating shorebirds. The Coos Bay field trip also is available both days, where people can visit all the hot birding spots around the Bay Area.
Two other highlights of the weekend include a walk to the Charleston Marine Life Center and a drive out to Simpson Reef Overlook on the Cape Arago Highway, where spotting scopes provide great views.
The weekend kicks off with registration at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, in the OIMB cafeteria in Charleston, 63466 Boat Basin Road. OIMB, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Shoreline Education for Awareness, South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Oregon Pelagic Tours and South Coast Tours are partnering with Cape Arago Audubon Society in sponsoring this year’s festival.
Information about the festival as well as registration details can be found at www.oregonshorebirdfestival.org. Contact Harv Schubothe at 541-297-2342 for additional information.