22nd Annual Godwit Days: April 19-25 at the Arcata Community Center

April, 2017

Godwit Days is a spring migration bird festival that celebrates the Marbled Godwit and all birds of Redwood Coast forests, bays, marshes, and mudflats. The Arcata Community Center serves as the departure hub for most trips and houses an art show and Bird Fair. Choose from 95 field trips, lectures, workshops, and boat excursions. Pre-  and post-festival trips can extend your experience from April 19 – 25. Many trips have already been filled, with new ones being added. For the most current information, visit www.godwitdays.org.

Godwit Days is excited to offer two featured speakers this year. On Friday night, writer, photographer, and adventurer Noah Strycker will speak. The author of “The Thing with Feathers: The Surprising Lives of Birds and What They Reveal about Being Human” and “Among Penguins: A Bird Man in Antarctica,” Noah embarked on an international Big Year in 2015. Beginning in Antarctica on New Year’s Day, the 29-year-old Oregon man crisscrossed 41 countries on all seven continents on his way to shattering the record for most bird species seen in a single year: 6,042. Other sessions where you can interact with Noah are a five-hour birding trip on Saturday and a Bird World workshop on Sunday. 

The Saturday night keynote speaker is Dr. Bridget Stutchbury from Canada’s York University. She is author of “Silence of the Songbirds: How We Are Losing the World’s Songbirds and What We Can Do to Save Them,” “The Private Lives of Birds: A Scientist Reveals the Intricacies of Avian Social Life,” and “The Bird Detective,” which describes nesting habits and how climate change and other pressures of the natural world are forcing birds to change those habits. Bridget heads a laboratory that researches conservation biology and ecology of migratory songbirds in North America and pioneered the use of light level geolocators to track individual songbirds to their wintering grounds and back. Other sessions where you can interact with Bridget are Birding the Blue Lake Cottonwoods on Saturday, a six-hour birding trip on Sunday, and a Bird Communication workshop on Sunday. All Basic Festival registrations include a keynote ticket, while the cost is just $10 for non-registrants.

Something for Everyone

Trips range north to Del Norte County, south to Petrolia, and inland to Willow Creek. A trip to see Western Snowy Plovers is back this year, and new is a trip to Garberville and Southern Humboldt. Many of our popular annual field trips will be offered, including Spotted Owl trips (which are divided according to the difficulty of the hike in to see the birds) and Shorebird Spectacle at the Marsh. The program is not limited to birds, with sessions focusing on dragonflies, reptiles and amphibians, conifers and other native plants, and dune ecology.

Free Events

Free events for everyone include an opening reception followed by a Friday night lecture, presentation of the fourth annual Humboldt County Bird of the Year award, vendor booths, an art show, live birds of prey from the Humboldt Wildlife Care Center, family nature crafts sponsored by Friends of the Arcata Marsh (FOAM), and some field trips (price noted as $0.00 on event list, but require sign-up to reserve a spot). All entries in the 14th Annual Student Bird Art Contest by Humboldt County students in grades K-12, which is cosponsored by FOAM and Redwood Region Audubon Society (RRAS), will be on display. Awards for the Art Contest and RRAS’s Student Nature Writing Contest presented on Saturday, April 22.

Godwit Goodies Buy & Bid

Look over Silent Auction goodies on display in the main hall. To donate, call 707-826-7050. Come to the registration area to purchase 2017 Godwit Days t-shirts featuring a design by Amy Granfield, an HSU graduate who does nature-inspired representational paintings in oil on wood panel or canvas.

Registration & Important Info

On-site registration hours at the Community Center: Friday, April 21, 3 – 7 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sunday, 7 a.m. – noon. Visit www.godwitdays.org for event descriptions and to register. Advance registration is strongly recommended, as trips sell out fast!


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