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About the Festival
Alaska will experience a special celebration of spring when the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival, the state's largest wildlife festival, kicks off in early May. Festival participants can choose between over 50 different events, from advanced ornithology workshops, beginning backyard birding presentations, field trips and boat tours to arts events and children's activities.
Hundreds of thousands of shorebirds, representing over 25 species from as far as Asia, Hawaii and South America use sites around Kachemak Bay as feeding grounds during their spring migration. Shorebirds commonly seen during the festival include Western and Least Sandpipers, Dunlins, Short-billed Dowitchers, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Common Snipe, and Black-bellied and Semipalmated Plovers. Over 100 species of pelagic, coastal and woodland birds have been seen in one day during the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival, including Aleutian Tern, Red-faced Cormorant, Kittlitz's Murrelet and Eurasian Wigeon.
Let's Celebrate Spring!
The whole community and visitors from around the state and the country gather every year to witness the return of the shorebirds and to take part in the festivities. Join us for the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival.
Located on the beautiful shores of Kachemak Bay, the Homer Spit is one of the most accessible places for shorebird viewing in Alaska. Access available via a scenic 4 hour drive south of Anchorage, or take one of the many daily flights from Anchorage International Airport to Homer.
Over 100,000 shorebirds migrate through Kachemak Bay. Many travel thousands of miles resting and feeding at a very few specific critical stop-over points such as the base of the Homer Spit on their journey to the breeding grounds in the Alaska tundra.
Roadside viewing of over 25 species and flocks numbering several thousand birds is possible. Shorebirds to look for during the festival include: Black-Bellied, American Golden, Pacific Golden and Semipalmated Plover; Hudsonian, Marbled and Bar-tailed Godwits; Red Knots; Surfbirds; Western, Least, Pectoral, Spotted and Semipalmated Sandpipers; Red-necked Phalaropes; Ruddy and Black Turnstones; Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs; Common Snipe; Dunlins; Short-billed and Long-billed Dowitchers; Whimbrels; and Wandering Tattlers.
Besides the "Guests of Honor", the shorebirds, many of the 236 species of birds recorded for Homer can also be seen in early May, including Arctic and Aleutian Terns, Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels and Tufted and Horned Puffins. Red-faced Cormorants and thousands of Common Murres and Black-legged Kittiwakes are assembling near their nesting sites on Gull Island. Common Eiders, Pigeon Guillemots, Marbled and perhaps Kittlitz’s Murrelets should be on the Bay. Look for Eurasian Wigeons in Mud Bay or Beluga Lake. Three-toed and Black-backed Woodpeckers are resident in spruce woods around Homer, along with Warblers and Swallows and of course there are always Bald Eagles, lots of them.