May 12-15, 2016
Come to the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival to see over 130 migratory bird species on field trips, and enjoy post-birding talks, entertainment and dining.
Large flocks of Sandhill Cranes will be seen feeding at the Seaside Farm hayfields during a field trip led by expert birder Mossy Kilcher. Chinitna Bay Bear Tours will lead two groups in the 30-foot M/V Gamefisher to Gull Island, Halibut Cove, Sadie Cover and Tutka Bay. Goldeneye, Harlequin and Long-tailed Ducks can be observed in most of the bays and coves in the Homer area.
The festival has many exciting field trips to choose from. Seaman’s Ecotour Adventures will lead a day-long birding and wildlife tour around Kachemak Bay aboard the M/V Lady Hawke. In addition to seabirds and shorebirds, participants of this tour will see marine mammals and mountain goats. The guides will also explain the geology and natural history of Kachemak Bay. A kayaking tour around Yukon Island promises to offer great views of sea ducks, shorebirds, Bald Eagles and sea otters.
Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival Birding by Boat
Kittlitz’s and Marbled Murrelets, eiders, loons and shorebirds will be seen on a bay excursion with Karl Stolzfus of Bay Excursions. He will share his favorite birding spots on a three-hour trip with many close-up views on an enclosed boat with open-back access.
Two field trips will visit a nesting rookery with several species of sea birds including puffins, kittiwakes, eiders, sea ducks, shearwaters and more on the remote west side of Cook Inlet to Chisik Island in the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. Brown Bears may also be seen.
From land there are a variety of excellent viewing locations: the Homer Spit, Mud Bay and Lighthouse Village, Beluga Lake Airport, Beluga Slough mudflatsSeaside Farms, Overlook Park, the Kachemak Heritage Land Trust trail, the new Gene and Mim Effler Trail at the headwaters of Bridge Creek Reservoir, the intertidal zone at the Homer Harbor docks, upland habitats of the Baycrest ski trails, and a bus ride to local birding hotspots with Homer birders Dale Chorman and Michael Craig.
Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival Talks and Workshops
The Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival provides a great opportunity to identify edible and medicinal plants along Bishop’s Beach. There will be five walks to choose from. Talks will focus on a variety of topics: Alaska seabirds, Sandhill Cranes and other topics.
Birding Festival Organizer
The Homer Chamber of Commerce promotes one of Alaska’s premier eco-tourism destinations with huge flocks of migratory shorebirds, halibut fishing, a wilderness park and more.
Homer, the “Halibut Fishing Capital of the World,” is surrounded by wilderness, ocean and beauty. This vacationers’ and adventure-seekers’ must-see spot has kayaking, bear viewing, hiking and birdwatching. Bald Eagles are everywhere. Museums, art galleries, fine dining and seaside accommodations create Alaska-sized memories.
Homer Chamber of Commerce Ecotourism Promoter
The Discovery Channel’s “The Last Frontier” Kilcher family lives large in Homer. The F/V Time Bandit of “Deadliest Catch” fame docks and unloads its catches here, too.
Homer’s restaurants specialize in a wide range of fine-dining entrees, but the most famous specialties are fresh seafood – from halibut and salmon to oysters harvested same-day in Kachemak Bay.
The professional Homer Chamber of Commerce, led by a volunteer board and a paid staff, is a partnership, uniting the efforts of business, industry and individuals to ensure a healthy economy and an improved quality of life. The chamber’s annual Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival, which is Alaska’s largest wildlife festival, includes advanced ornithology workshops, beginning backyard-birding presentations, field trips and boat tours. The festival also includes arts events and children’s activities.
Homer, Alaska’s Scenic Splendors
Homer is a 225-scenic-mile drive south from Anchorage, passing through mountains, spruce forest and coastline befitting a national park. Most of the businesses, from hand-made clothing and coffee shops to art and fishing supplies, are located in the main part of town or on “the spit,” a slender 4.5-mile peninsula jutting into Kachemak Bay with shallow- and deep-water docks, hotels, campgrounds and the Salty Dog Saloon.