The Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival is a yearly ecotourism event promoting an understanding and appreciation of birds and other wildlife and an awareness of environmental and conservation issues of the Central Coast, while contributing to the well-being of the Morro Bay community. Each year the Festival has grown to include more events and to attract more participants.

Morro Bay and the surrounding area is an idea spot for avid birders.  Located on the Pacific Flyway, Morro Bay is a Globally Important Bird Area and a designated State and National Estuary.  Morro Coast Audubon Society always ranks in the top five for the Audubon Christmas Bird Count. In most years, over 200 different bird species are spotted during the Festival.

The 2023 Festival planning is well underway. Our plan includes over 160 events (including nature track events, field trips, workshops, presentations and Special Events.)   All-day and half-day tours take participants to a wide variety of habitats, including deep water pelagic, oak woodland and riparian, wetland and estuary, and the unique grassland habitat of the Carrizo Plain.  Workshops cover a vast array of topics ranging from beginner birding classes to gull identification and a new workshop on bats.

A variety of vendors will be present with nature-related artwork, books, field equipment and attire, and local merchant wares. A number of the events are geared toward birders who are also photographers.  Birders of all levels are welcome, and the schedule identifies programs especially appropriate for beginners or children, as well as programs that are wheelchair accessible.

The Winter Bird Festival headquarters are at the Morro Bay Community Center at 1001 Kennedy Way.  Many field trips originate from this location unless otherwise noted.  Maps will be provided.

"Flying By The Seat of Our Pants" 2022 Morro Bay Bird Festival

Free Virtual Festival Has Ended

Enjoy these unedited recorded presentations

PresenterTitle of PresentationVideo Link
Mark MushkatBecoming a Better Birder - 45 tips in 45 minutes 45 tips in 45 minutes
Jessica GriffithsWhy Birds Flock Why Birds Flock
Kelly VandenhevelPWC Meet the RaptorsPWC and Meet the Raptor
Sarah KillingsworthAdvanced Bird Photography 1 & 2Advanced Photography
Steve BeissingerConserving the Black Rail Black Rail
Steve SchubertPeregrine Falcons of Morro Rock Peregrine Falcon
Brian SullivanCornell on the Cutting Edge of Bird Science Cutting Edge of Bird Science
John Muir LawsThe 7 Habits of Successful Happy Birders 1 & 27 Habits - Successful Happy Birders
Chris CameronHuman/Raptor Interactions through the Centuries Human and Raptor Interactions
John Muir LawsKeeping a Birders' Field Journal Bird Journal
Norm PillsburyBird Recording Bird Recordings
Tom & Peggy BurhennOwl Boxes - Why and How? Building and Info Owl Boxes
Benjamin Jacobs-SchwartzSea to Summit and Feathers to Flight - The Marvelous Hummingbird Part 1: Sea to Summit & World Tropics - Part 2: Feathers to Flight
Bob RevelBobolink - the New Way to Run a Bird Festival Bobolink
Kara HagedornSunshine's Story (red-tailed hawk) Sunshine's Story
Jessica GriffithsBirding by EarBirding by Ear
Steve SchubertCondor Recovery Program Condor Recovery Program
Mary WhitfieldMOTUS - Science is tracking birds and bats The Science of Tracking Birds and Bats
John Muir LawsBird Drawing Basics - Fast Sketching Bird Sketching, Parts 1 & 2
Heather HayesTracking the Long Billed Curlew Tracking the Long-billed Curlew
Claudia FreitasShorebirds Shorebirds

Please enjoy the following recorded keynote speaker presentations from previous bird festivals: (Hint for optimum viewing: open this webpage in your cell phones browser and "cast" to a nearby smart tv. Turn up the volume on your tv)