I'm pleased to announce that the Godwit Days web page is up and ready to
receive on-line registrations for the 11th Annual Festival, April 21-23,
Check out www.godwitdays.com <http://www.godwitdays.com/
Godwit Days is a Spring Migration Bird Festival that we hold here in Arcata,
Humboldt County. It celebrates the diverse array of birds here at that time
and the excellent array of public lands and birding spaces within a short
drive from the Arcata Community Center. Humboldt Bay provides the focus of
attention, with mudflat gatherings of shorebirds in spring colors and our
icon, the Marbled Godwit.
Why godwits? Well, we have lots of them, they are readily identifiable, and
signify the migratory and wintering location that Humboldt Bay provides. It
is a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Network site, recognized at the
international level, and much of it is under protected status. Both the
Arcata Marsh Project and the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge
contribute significantly in this regard.
The event is aimed at all levels of birders. There are almost 100 field
trips and workshops led and presented by our vibrant local birding
community. Local birders will take you to Castle Rock (Del Norte County),
the Eureka Waterfront, giant redwoods with Marbled Murrelets and Barred
Owls, Six Rivers National Forest and the Trinity River, Clam Beach, Dawn
chorus at the Arcata Marsh, Elkhead in Trinidad for thousands of Common
Our featured trips include a Big Day competition that pits Saturdays and
Sundays day-long bus trip against each other (well over 100 species seen),
Pelagic Trips (seas permitting), and a personal encounter with Spotted Owls
as local wildlife biologists take you on a nest monitoring excursion. Our
cumulative species total for the event is over 230, which can be expanded on
by our pre- and post-festival trips to further reaches of Northern
California. We work the coast north of Marin before the event, we can even
pick you up at the San Francisco airport. After the event, we visit the
Klamath Basin and the Central Valley on a 3-day tour (back to the airport if
This years keynote is provided by Dr John Fitzpatrick, Director of the
Cornell Lab of Ornithology. His Saturday evening address will feature the
topical Ivory-billed Woodpecker and what this and other individual
birds/species can do to save the world.
As well as focused trips for birders, Godwit Days offers wide array of
community activities, held mostly at the Arcata Community Center. An active
bird fair featuring information booths, agencies, artisans, specialty bird
books and optics vendors fills the main hall. Here on Saturday and Sunday,
Wildlife Images presents some wonderful up-close rehabbed birds of prey. A
reception Friday night opens the Gallery of Birds Art Show, which brings
over 30 artists together to display and sell their work.
Food is available: at the Godwit Café, at the Banquet Saturday night, or at
the wrap-up party at a local brewery on Sunday evening. Childrens
educational/environmental activities and a K-12 student art contest work
towards the education goal of the Godwit Days nonprofit organization.
Above all, the City of Arcata welcomes visitors, as only Humboldt can. A
low-stress, mild traffic environment encourages a tremendous community
spirit, from friendly store clerks and wait-staff to the City Council, which
is a major sponsor and the originator of the festival and drive for
ecotourism. As chair of our board, an active California birder, and a proud
community member, I invite you to visit what I call the last best place in
P.S. For the record, Christmas Bird Count tallies for 2002 (5065), 2003
(6567), 2004 (6961), and 2005 (5711), show that the Centerville to King
Salmon (South Humboldt Bay) count has provided the highest number of Marbled
Godwits on CBC counts anywhere in the USA and Canada for many years.
Robert W. Hewitt
Wildlife Biologist - LBJ Enterprises
(w) 707-442-0339, (cell) 707-845-3189, (fax) 707-269-0632
Chairman, Godwit Days Steering Committee
April 21-23, April 2006
Keynote Speaker: John Fitzpatrick
Director, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Cant make Godwit Days? The check on our sister festival in Crescent City.
We invite you to the 8th annual Aleutian Goose Festival
March 31 -- April 4, 2006
> Events Sampling for 8th
annual Aleutian Goose Festival.
We are honored to offer Birding, Nature and Tolowa and Yurok Indian
cultural experiences that you will remember for the rest of your life.
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