2024 Morro Bay Bird Festival flying high again

Monday, January 1st, 2024

Morro Bay bird festival

Over 200 events at the 2024 Morro Bay Bird Festival

—Are you a birder? Then Morro Bay is the place for you on January 11-15, 2024, when you can join hundreds of fellow birders at the best yearly event on the Central Coast, the Morro Bay Bird Festival.

The 2024 festival offers over 200 events for beginning birdwatchers to the most seasoned. Events include guided field trips, destination field trips to Carrizo Plain, Kern National Wildlife Refuge, Oso Flaco and Point Buchon, birding by bike, bay cruises and kayaking, master classes, building owl and bird boxes, journaling and sketching and more.

There are the Big Days of Birding where you can join a leader with the possibility of rapid identification of over 100 species at hot spots throughout San Luis Obispo County. There are also Casual Big Days at a slower pace for beginning and intermediate birders. A special effort is made to sight regional specialties and rarities. There are many opportunities for up-close observations.

Kayaking is a wonderful way to see the variety of birds on the bay and a perfect opportunity to take photos. You may see white pelicans, brant, common loons and a host of other migratory waterfowl and shorebirds. Paddling will pass near the Heron Rookery, Grassy Island oyster farm, mudflats, and channels of the Back Bay. Double kayaks are used and no prior kayaking experience is needed.

Morro Bay Bird Festival 2024

You can choose to enjoy a leisurely boating tour of the bay and estuary. You will view a variety of shorebirds and waterfowl, often at close range. The boat moves slowly enough for you to see details of many species that you normally see only through a scope from shore. Or choose the boating tour for photographers with an expert photographer guide and enjoy a leisurely photography-focused boating tour of the bay on the catamaran.

Pelagic trips will take you out on the ocean where you might even see whales and dolphins as well as albatross, shearwaters, kittiwakes, alcids, and jaegers. Other inland tours are to ranching and oak woodlands will offer sightings of various raptors, including golden eagles, meadowlarks, bluebirds, woodpeckers, and more.

—Ruth Ann Angus

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