11th Annual Wings Over Water-NW Birding Festival “Festival Goes Wild”

WOWwebsitebannerfinalBLAINE & BIRCH BAY, WA – Birding is one of America’s fastest growing outdoor activities and Blaine and Birch Bay are located on the Pacific Flyway and considered one of the country’s premier bird viewing areas, where you can observe a large variety of birds close at hand. The annual Wings Over Water Northwest Birding Festival celebrates the incredible variety of migratory birds that flock to this area with field trips, nature cruises, exhibits, wildlife demonstrations, craft vendors, kid’s activities, wildlife speakers and more!

Festival Date & Location: – The 11th annual festival is a multi-day event March 14-17 with activities in Blaine as well as Birch Bay and Semiahmoo. The focus of the festival will be the all day birding expo with free activities for the whole family on Saturday, March 16 at Blaine Middle School, 975 H Street, just off I-5 exit 275. There will also be indoor and outdoor activities to mix and match according to interests and the weather including live raptor presentations by Sardis Raptor Center, wildlife exhibits, displays, on site craft vendors, kids’ activities including build your own bird house and more. Bird viewing stations will also be available on Saturday at Marine Park, Semiahmoo and Birch Bay State Park offering the opportunity to experience the birds close at hand.

Birch Bay Wings Over Water Art Gallery Walk – March 14 – 17 – Birch Bay will host the first annual Wings Over Water Art Gallery Walk featuring over 10 artists works exhibited in businesses around the bay including this year’s Featured Festival Artist Vivian Mazzola, a renowned Bellingham Artist who will have a new series of paintings exclusive for the festival inspired by her fascination of herons and the serene beauty of wetlands, marshes and beaches of Birch Bay. Everyone is invited to the Gallery Walk opening reception on Thursday, March 14 from 4:30 to 7:00 pm at Via Café, 7829 Birch Bay Drive, Birch Bay. The Birch Bay Gallery Walk will continue during the festival through Sunday, March 17.

Breakfast for Birders In Birch Bay – Sunday, March 17 – Sunday morning, CJ’s Beach House Restaurant with feature Breakfast for Birders at 9:00 am. Enjoy a great breakfast and presentation by expert birder, writer and photographer, Joe Meche. There will be an opportunity after the presentation to view from the beach some of the local birds close up through a spotting scope. The cost for the breakfast is $13, seating is limited. CJ’s Beach House Restaurant, 7878 Birch Bay Drive, Birch Bay, WA. For more information call 360-332-4544.

Wildlife Field Trips and Expert Speakers – Saturday, March 16 – Experience a guided field trip by bus with Jim Jorgensen, retired geology and ornithology teacher to explore Semiahmoo Spit or Birch Bay to learn about the birds as well as the unique geology of these areas or take a wildlife cruise around Drayton Harbor aboard historic Plover Ferry with wildlife biologist, Dick McNeely. Cost for the field trips are $5 per person and recommended to make your reservation early by calling 360-332-4544. Expert wildlife speakers and workshops throughout the day include eagle biologist David Hancock, Hancock Wildlife Foundation; expert birder, writer and wildlife photographer Joe Meche, and David Drummond from the Merlin Foundation. Workshops include “Gardening for Birds and Feeding Birds in a Nutshell”.

Featured Speaker Presentation: Saturday, March 16, 5 pm. – At 5:00 pm there will be a free presentation at the Performing Arts Center (925 H Street, Blaine, WA), “Snow Geese and Other Wildlife of the Wrangel Island Nature Reserve” by Vasiliy Baranyuk, biologist and accomplished photographer who will present his stunning photography of the island wildlife and arctic landscape as well as share his experiences over three decades of studying this northernmost World Heritage Site.

About Us – Wings Over Water Northwest is a non-profit corporation committed to the importance educating awareness, and protecting the birding habitat within this important migration corridor. The festival is made possible by Corporate Sponsor, BP Cherry Point Refinery, Sponsors: City of Blaine, Blaine Chamber, Birch Bay Chamber, Port of Bellingham, NW Parks and Recreation District #2, Tutor Doctor, Alcoa Intalco Works, Phillips 66, Praise 106.5 as well as many local individual and business supporters.

For More Information – For a complete schedule and additional information about the festival go online at www.wingsoverwaterbirdingfestival.com. For lodging and area activities, please contact the Blaine Visitor Center at (360) 332-4544 or Birch Bay Visitor Center at (360) 371 -5004 or go to www.blainechamber.com or www.birchbaychamber.com.

Media Contact Information: Debbie Harger, Festival Chair – (360) 543-9982

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