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.

Great Blue Heron by René Reyes

2023 Festival Sponsors

Morro Bay Bird Festival Special Events

Opening Festival Reception

Friday, January 13, 2023,
5:00 to 6:30pm
Morro Bay Community Center

Enjoy wine and cheese and fellow birders at the Bird Festival Bazaar. Browse the vendor booths featuring optics, books, music, nature art & photography, woodcarvings, jewelry, educational exhibits, and more! If you purchased a copy of David Sibley’s book, What It’s Like to Be a Bird, during the registration process, David will be available to sign your book at this event. Takes place at the Morro Bay Community Center, 1001 Kennedy Way, Morro Bay.

Video running represents festivals over the past 25 year!


David Allen Sibley

Saturday, January 14, 2023, 7:00-8:30pm at the Cuesta College Performing Arts Center

What It's Like to be a Bird

From UV vision, to deep diving, navigation, balance, super-efficient breathing, and more - birds have some amazing "superpowers", and at the same time nearly every aspect of their anatomy, physiology, and behavior has been shaped in some way by the demands of their ultimate superpower - flight. Using a selection of illustrations and information from his new book What It's Like to be a Bird, David will talk about some of the incredible things birds are able to do, and the adaptations that make those things possible.

Jon Dunn

Special Guest:
Jon Dunn

Jon will lead field trips:
#'s 106, 137, 206, 315, 343

About Jon

Jon was the chief consultant for the first five editions of National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America and co-authored the sixth and seventh editions.

Richard Crossley

Special Guest:
Richard Crossley

Richard will lead field trips:
#'s 205 and 306

About Richard

Richard Crossley is an internationally acclaimed birder, photographer and award-winning author of ‘The Crossley ID Guide’ series. Richard’s recently published books The Crossley ID Guide: Western Birds, The Crossley ID Guide: Waterfowl, and Ornitherapy April 2021. Richard will be leading two field trips, Learning to Look, and will be onsite for Festival attendees during our Bazaar open hours.


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)