By Bonnie Glidewell

Klamath County, home of Crater Lake National Park, and is located smack dab in the middle of the largest migratory bird route in the West. One topnotch to-do event each year is the Winter Wings Festival, where birdwatchers see the largest wintering population of bald eagles in the lower 48 states.

As the second oldest birding festival in the nation, Winter Wings celebrates the return of the bald eagle, other raptors and wintering flocks of waterfowl to the area with field trips, workshops, keynote speakers, vendors, displays, and free activities for the whole family.

Photo by Bruce Davis, 2016 first-place Winter Wings Festival photo contest winner 

So, get out & about and find yourself at the 38th annual festival, celebrated on Feb. 16-19, 2017. These four days are be packed with activities to choose from so sign up before all spaces are gone. Birders can enjoy a diverse group of activities that showcase the Klamath Basin, including both novice to expert birders activities.

Several birding field trips to the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuges complex are scheduled. First-timers have a choice between two separate birding trips while those expert birders can indulge in a day-long trek around the basin. The Klamath Basin, while renowned for its massive wintering population of bald eagles, also is prime habitat for many other raptors including owls. It also has a stunning abundance of waterfowl.

Photo by Jordan Jones, 2016 second-place Winter Wings Festival photo contest winner

The 2017 festival features three dynamic speakers: author, researcher and birding contributor Scott Weidensaul; Canon Explorer of Light and premier wildlife photographer Chas Glatzer; and award-winning wildlife photographer and author Paul Bannick. Join these pros and other skilled presenters for an array of field trips, workshops, presentations, and receptions that highlight the wonders of the Klamath Basin in winter.

Photo by Albert Ryckman, 2016 honorable mention photo recipient

New this year, Winter Wings partners with the Blue Zones Project in Klamath Falls to present two winter birding walks along the Link River Trail.

“Some popular field trips fill almost immediately," says Diana Samuels, festival co-coordinator. "If you want a spot in these, try to sign up as soon as possible.”

Registration is open and spots are limited. For registration and more information, visit the Winter Wings festival website.

Need a place to stay? Fret no more, we have a list of lodging suggestions for you to choose from.


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