A group of Morro Bay Bird Festival attendees took kayaks to view birds in nature. Photo submitted
Last weekend’s rain, wind, flooding, road closures and emergency alerts did not deter 692 avid bird enthusiasts (“birders”) from coming to town for the annual Morro Bay Bird Festival. After two years of COVID closures, attendees from as far away as Brazil braved the conditions to go on field trips, attend seminars and special events to celebrate the vast diversity of birds that winter along the Central Coast.
Field trips went as far north as the elephant seal rookery, south to Oso Flacco and east to Carrizo Plains. Ocean voyages were unfortunately canceled by the US Coast Guard due to 15-foot ocean swells, however all bay cruises continued throughout the four days of the weekend. Birders kayaked, bicycled, and hiked in the rain and wind, took photography classes, and attended seminars in Falconry and other programs offered by experts.
David Allen Sibley, preeminent bird book author and artist delivered a keynote address based on his most recent book, “What it’s Like to be a bird.” Two other famous bird book authors and ornithologists, Jon Dunn and Richard Crossley, completed a trifecta of experts that drew the large crowds, form more than 25 US states, to this year’s Festival. A banquet at Madonna Inn on Sunday night celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the festival and honored five leaders who have participated in all 25 years of the event. A number of Morro Bay restaurants and retail stores also welcomed birders with discount offers for meals and services.
Committee planning for next year’s festival begins in March, anyone in the area that would like to be a part of this community event is welcome.
The Morro Bay Bird Festival said they thank the Visit Morro Bay Tourist organization and the Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce for their help and support.