Event Schedule |

Thanks for joining us for the 17th Annual Puget Sound Bird Fest!



Click HERE to access Webinar recordings and other highlights from the 2021 Bird Fest online activities. 





Bird Fest Family Storytime

Library graphic for web

Join Kim and Cami from the Edmonds Library. Enjoy stories, songs, rhymes, and activities all about birds as we help celebrate the Puget Sound Bird Fest in Edmonds this weekend. A link to join the event via Zoom will be sent to registered participants on the day of the event. If you don’t see the email by an hour before the event, check your spam folder. You can access Zoom in your computer’s browser, or download the app for free on an Apple or Android device. You do not need to have your own Zoom account in order to participate.




Maria Mudd Ruth Headshot

Keynote Presentation: The Not-So Awkward Auks
Maria Mudd Ruth
The Salish Sea is home to a fascinating family of diving seabirds known as auks, or alcids. Though often described as “awkward” or “clumsy” in field guides, these web-footed birds are amazingly well adapted to life in the air, on land, and especially at sea. Maria will talk about two of her favorite auks—the shy, cryptic, secretive, tree-nesting Marbled Murrelet (the subject of her 2005 book, Rare Bird) and its clownish, extroverted, burrow-nesting cousin, the Pigeon Guillemot (the subject of her next book). This is the time of year to learn about and see these powerful and often-graceful birds as they come inland to nest in forests and beach-front bluffs near you.

Maria is the author of more than a dozen books on natural history topics for children and adults. She is the author of Rare Bird: Pursuing the Mystery of the Marbled Murrelet, a narrative natural history an endearing and endangered seabird. Her most recent book of non-fiction, A Sideways Look at Cloud, was awarded the Nautilus Silver Medal in 2017. She lives with her husband in Olympia, Washington where she is working on two books--on Pigeon Guillemots and on lake swimming and lake ecology in Washington.


Virginia Rose

Birdability: because birding is for everybody and every body!
Virginia Rose and Freya McGregor
Noon – 1pm
Birding is an activity that can bring so much joy and empowerment to everybody, but not everybody is able to go birding easily. Birdability is a non-profit organization focused on removing barriers to access for birders with mobility challenges, blindness or low vision, intellectual or developmental disabilities (including autism), mental illness, being Deaf or Hard of Hearing and other health concerns; and bringing the joy of birding to people with disabilities and other health concerns who aren’t yet birders. Learn about why this should matter to you (even if you don't have an accessibility challenge), ways to be a more welcoming and inclusive birder, the Birdability Map (and how to submit a Birdability Site Review) and our resources for birders (and potential future birders) with accessibility challenges... because birding is for everybody and every body! Learn more and find resources at birdability.org.

Virginia Rose, founder of Birdability and Board member of Travis Audubon in Austin, Texas has been a paraplegic for 48 years. She began birding 18 years ago and realized she needed to help others with access challenges discover the joys of birding. Freya McGregor, OTR/L, is the Birdability Coordinator and Occupational Therapist. Birding since childhood, her ‘dodgy’ knee often creates an accessibility challenge for her, and she is passionate about enabling all birders and potential future birders to enjoy birding and nature as much as she does.


Community Science in the Era of the Pandemic256px Pigeon guillemot
Mini-symposium chaired by Alan Mearns
1:15 – 2:45pm
Community volunteers drive our understanding of what’s happening to birds. Join this mini bird science symposium to learn how recent community science teams have been learning about local seabirds, marsh birds and residential neighborhood birds…and especially how you can help! 

The Salish Sea Guillemot Network: Collaborative surveys of a charismatic, breeding seabird.
Brendan McGarry, Regional Coordinator for the Salish Sea Guillemot Network. 

The Challenge of Ecological Monitoring during a Pandemic, and How You too Can Wade into the Muck of the Deepest Reaches of the Edmonds Marsh as a Citizen Scientist.
Scott Markowitz, Puget Sound Bird Observatory. 

Birds in the Burbs: Coordinated bird monitoring in Residential Neighborhoods of Edmonds.
Alan Mearns, Edmonds Resident. 


Joey MansonJoy To The World
Joey Manson
3 - 4pm

Birding brings joy to so many people. In our desire to share this activity with a broader audience, hurdles sometimes arise. Working to advance birding adventures from being welcoming to a true belonging space brings many rewards for those who can successfully build new relationships.

Joey Manson is the Director of the Seward Park Audubon Center in Seattle. In this role, he has worked with partners from across the Audubon network, along with non-profits and community groups, to create new experiences for people across our area. Joey will share his insights on strategies to engage new audiences, setting goals, and managing expectations.



Saturday in the Field 

Wildlife Viewing at the Edmonds Marsh
9am - Noon
FREE: No registration required. 

To maintain a safe environment for everyone, group sizes will be limited and current COVID safety recommendations will be followed including masking and distancing. 

Scriber Creek Watershed Guided Walk for Beginning Birdwatchers
#9975 ($10) Pre-registration required.
The urban forest and wetlands of this 22-acre park provide habitat for a variety of wildlife, including waterfowl, wading birds and songbirds. Led by Jeff and Eileen Hambleton, this walk of less than two miles will focus on building essential skills for beginners. Bring binoculars if you have them. Easy level trails and boardwalk, may cross urban streets with crosswalks to explore two additional parks. No “pishing” or playback of vocalizations will be used to attract birds.

Richmond Beach Guided Walk for Beginning Birdwatchers
#9976  ($10) Pre-registration required. 

Join Joe Sweeney for 2-3 leisurely paced miles, including some hills and steps. We will first walk the main paths and steps in this very scenic park. Then, we’ll return to our cars, grab our spotting scopes, and walk the short distance to the beach for some seabird watching overlooking the Puget Sound. The weather is usually cooler on the beach, so wear layers and rain gear, if necessary. Bring binoculars, of course, and a scope, if you have one. Playback will not be used.

Yost Park Guided Walk: “Birding by Ear”
#9977 ($10) Pre-registration required. 

Yost Park is an Edmonds gem with amazing habitat for birds, many of which can only be detected by ear. Led by Whitney Neufeld-Kaiser and Elaine Chuang, we’ll likely to encounter many of our resident forest birds - various woodpeckers, Spotted Towhee, Song Sparrow, Bewick’s Wren, Black-capped and Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Anna’s Hummingbird – and possibly a few migrants who haven’t left yet. The leisurely half mile route traverses paved and unpaved trails, descends gradually then has a significant climb (steep) for the last short stretch. Neither “pishing” nor playing recordings will be used.

Edmonds Marsh, Willow Creek Guided Walk
#9978 ($5) Pre-registration required. 

Join Jack Stephens to bird some short trails at the Willow Creek Fish Hatchery and the Wildlife Habitat & Native Plant Demonstration Garden, and a short walk uphill to a paved path for a good view of the marsh from the south and a couple of ponds. The Edmonds marsh is another location that has level paved walkways and boardwalk. We will drive between the marsh and the hatchery/garden area to avoid walking along highway 104. Less than two miles. Playback might be used sparingly by walk leader. Bring binoculars.

Lake Ballinger Guided Walk
#9979 ($5) Pre-registration required. 

Join Frank Caruso to explore this former golf course that has been converted to a passive park near the lake, with ponds and wetlands as well as a creek that is currently in a channel. While there are plans for improvements, there are currently no paths, just mown grass. Even if it hasn’t rained recently you may want waterproof shoes or boots to walk the park on uneven surfaces without any significant elevation changes. “ Pishing” and playback may be used sparingly by the leader. We will probably be no further than .5 miles from the parking lot at any time; total route will be less than 1.5-2miles.

Pine Ridge Park Guided Walk
#9980 ($5) Pre-registration required. 

This 24-acre, wooded park includes a pond bordered by wetlands, with trails but no facilities. Join Phil Dickinson to explore the park on a wide unpaved service road and other trails that can get muddy after a rain. Playback may be used sparingly by the leader. Total walking 1-1.5 miles. Please note that there are no bathroom facilities at this location.

Southwest County Park Guided Walk
#9981 ($5) Pre-registration required. 

Join Jon Houghton for this walk in an undeveloped, forested county park located within Edmonds. This park includes a remote trout stream and has some of the most mature second growth forest in Edmonds. It’s a great place for birding, botanizing, and ‘forest bathing’. The trails include a wider, relatively level path and some narrower trails that include some short elevation changes which can be muddy if it has rained. Will include crossing the street that bisects the park. “Pishing” or playback may be used by the walk leader. About 2 miles; some short, steeper sections, sturdy shoes recommended. No facilities or porta potty.



To maintain a safe environment for everyone, group sizes will be limited and current COVID safety recommendations will be followed which may include masking and distancing. 

Introduction to Bird Photography Workshop
#9982 ($10) Pre-registration required. 
We will meet at Juanita Bay Park to learn about the best camera settings and lenses to improve your bird photography. What to look for to get your best images when it comes to light and the all-important background. Following the introduction, we will explore the park and put our new skills to use. Workshop leader is Steve Ball, an Olympus Educator whose bird images can be found on Instagram @old_steve1.

Centennial Trail Guided Walk: “Birding by Ear”
#9983 ($10) Pre-registration required. 

Centennial Trail in Snohomish County is built on the old Burlington-Northern railroad line. We’ll look and listen for the birds who live here year-round, such as Spotted Towhee, Song Sparrow, Bewick’s Wren, American Robin, Dark-eyed Junco, Black-capped Chickadees, Yellow-rumped Warbler, American Goldfinch, Cedar Waxwing. Neither “pishing” nor playing recordings will be used. This leisurely walk, led by Whitney Neufeld-Kaiser and Elaine Chuang, will be from the Getchell Road access point to Lake Cassidy and back, which is 3 miles round trip. The trail is 10 feet wide and paved, with benches along the way and no change in elevation. A porta-potty is available in the parking lot.

Accessible-ish Edmonds Park Guided Walk
#9984  ($5) Pre-registration required. 

Join Bev Bowe for a guided walk along the paved service road and hard-packed paths of Yost Park. While not entirely level, the slope is short from the parking lot to the main portion of the service road. Birding from the service road allows some viewing into the mid canopy and even the top of some trees of the ravine. Yost Park provides habitat for numerous species of resident and migratory birds including Cooper’s Hawks, Pileated Woodpeckers, Chickadees, Pacific Wrens, and a variety of other forest birds. While there are no benches, we plan to be no further than .25 miles from the cars. Option to bird a little farther on a gently sloping dirt trail near the end of the service road.

Lake Tye Guided Walk for Beginning Birdwatchers
#10001  ($10) Pre-registration required. 

Join Jeff and Eileen Hambleton for an introduction to birdwatching along an accessible trail. We will walk west then north on a paved trail between the lakefront and adjacent farm fields. Plan on about 2 hours for a leisurely 1.5 mile walk. Birding will be slow paced leaving time for birding and learning about binocular basics, choice of field guides, and birding apps. No “pishing” or playback of bird vocalizations will be used to attract birds. Accessible restrooms available.

Edmonds Waterfront Guided Walk
#10002 ($5) Pre-registration required. 

Join Jack Stephens to explore the Edmonds waterfront. While we won’t have the seabird diversity of the winter months, the Edmonds waterfront can sometimes offer close views of some birds such as Marbled Murrelet or Rhinoceros Auklet. In addition, Edmonds can have hundreds of Heerman’s gulls around the breakwater who arrive after breeding season before they depart for their wintering grounds. Most of the walk will be on paved paths or a fishing pier, there may also be minimal walking on sand.

Birdability Mapping Workshop
#10003  FREE Pre-registration required. 

Information on how accessible parks, hiking trails, and birding locations are is frequently incomplete or non-existent, making it difficult for people who experience accessibility challenges to find places to go birding. Birdability focuses on removing barriers to access for birders, and by submitting accessibility reviews of outdoor spaces you can help others in your community find places where they can bird safely and comfortably. Join Pilchuck Audubon Society Executive Director Brian Zinke for an introductory workshop on how to submit information to the Birdability Map. We will explore how to submit a Birdability Review together for a local Edmonds park. Helpful items to bring, but not required: smartphone to view the online Birdability form, pencil/paper for notes.

Puget Sound Birding Cruise to Protection Island
4 - 7pm
$90 per person 

Just north of Edmonds is an amazing National Wildlife Refuge — Protection Island. Nearly 70 percent of the nesting seabird population of Puget Sound and the Straits nest on the island, which includes one of the largest nesting colonies of rhinoceros auklets in the world and the largest nesting colony of glaucous-winged gulls in Washington. About 1,000 harbor seals depend upon the island for a pupping and rest area. This 364-acre island is covered by grass and low brush, with a small timbered area, high sandy bluffs for seabird nesting, and low sand spits on two ends of the island. 

We have collaborated with Puget Sound Express to host a special expedition to Protection Island to get the optimal viewing of sea birds returning to their nests. The three-hour cruise departs from the Edmonds Marina. Volunteer Bird Guides from the Puget Sound Bird Fest will be on board to share their knowledge about the birds and nature of Puget Sound. We will be on the high speed vessel the Chilkat Express to get to protection island, circumnavigate the island slowly, before returning to Edmonds. On-board there is inside seating, a snack bar and two restrooms available. Note: Any change in the itinerary for weather is at the Captain’s discretion.

Native Plant Sale by Go Natives! + Wildlife Habitat and Native Plant Demonstration Garden Tours
95 Pine St. in Edmonds
11am - 3pm FREE. No registration required. 

Link up with the City of Edmonds

You can easily find complete tourist information about lodging, dining and shopping in Edmonds just by browsing Visitedmonds.com.

Steering Committee

The Puget Sound Bird Fest Steering Committee is composed of the following members of the community and City of Edmonds staff:

Cindi Cruz - City of Edmonds, Community Services & Economic Development
Jennifer Leach - Environmental Education & Sustainability Coordinator, City of Edmonds
Susie Schaefer - Program Chair, Pilchuck Audubon Society

Bird Fest Contact