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Kachemak Bay
Shorebird Festival

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Homer Chamber of Commerce

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November 1, 1998

For Immediate Release

    Alaska will experience a special celebration of spring when the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival, the state's largest wildlife festival, kicks off in May of 1999. In it's 7th year, festival participants can choose between over 50 different events, from advanced ornithology workshops, beginning backyard birding presentations, field trips and boat tours to arts events and children's activities

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     Hundreds of thousands of shorebirds, representing over 20 species from as far as Asia, Hawaii and South America use sites around Kachemak Bay as feeding grounds during their spring migration, Shorebirds commonly seen during the festival include Black-Bellied, American Golden, Pacific Golden and Semipalmated Plover, Hudsonian, Bar-tailed and Marbeled Godwit, Ruddy and Black Turnstone, Surfbird, Semipalmated, Western and Least Sandpiper, Dunlin, Short-billed Dowitcher and Red-necked Phalarope.Over 100 species of pelagic, coastal and woodland birds have been seen in one day during the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival, including Aleutian Tern, Red-faced Cormorant, Kiftlitz's Murrelet and Eurasian Widgeon.

Let's Celebrate Spring!
     The whole community and visitors from around the state and the country gather every year to witness the return of the shorebirds and to take part in the festivities. Join us for the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival.

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The Place
    Located on the beautiful shores of Kachemak Bay, the Homer Spit is one of the most accessible places for shorebird viewing in Alaska. Access available via a scenic 5 hour drive south of Anchorage, or take one of the many daily flights from Anchorage International Airport to Homer.

The Birds
    Over 100,000 shorebirds migrate through Kachemak Bay. Many travel thousands of miles resting and feeding at a very few specific critical stop-over points such as the base of the Homer Spit on their journey to the breeding grounds in the Alaska tundra.

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    Roadside viewing of over 20 species and flocks numbering several thousand birds is possible. Shorebirds commonly seen during the festival include: Black-Bellied, American Golden, Pacific Golden and Semipalmated Plover, Hudsonian,

The Festival's History
It all started when...
In 1993 a group of Homer residents, representing environmental, economic and cultural interests, got together to dream up an event. They envisioned a festival that would educate the public about shorebirds ,and wetlands. The Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival was born.

Festival Dates: May 6 - 9, 1999
Sponsors: Homer Chamber of Commerce, US Fish & Wildlife
Service Contact:  Dorle Scholz, Festival Coordinator
Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival,
P.O.Box 541, Homer, Alaska 99603
Phone- (907) 235-7740 Fax: (907) 235-8766

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Education paid off!

Festival enthusiasm has led to protection of critical shorebird habitat. Kachemak Bay has been included in the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network. Habitat has been acquired and city land permanently protected on the Spit, in Beluga Slough, and Overlook Park. These lands are being preserved for the future and the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival played an important part in the process.


  Thousands of shorebirds of over 25 species, including large numbers of Western Sandpipers, 25%, of the world's population of Surfbirds, Black Turnstones, Dunlins, Shortbilled Dowitchers, Whimbrels, Hudsonian Godwits, Semipalmated Sandpipers as well as rarities like the
Bristle-thighed Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit and Red Knot.

  Besides the "Guests of Honor", the shorebirds, many of
the 236 species of birds recorded for Homer can also be
seen in early May, including Arctic and Aleutian Terns,
Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels and Tufted and Horned Puffins.
Red-faced Cormorants and thousands of Common Murres
and Black-legged Kittiwakes are assembling near their
nesting sites on Gull Island. Common Eiders, Pigeon
Guillemots, Marbled and perhaps Kittlitz’s Murrelets should
he on the Bay. Look for Eurasian Wigeons in Mud Bay or
Beluga Lake. Three-toed and Black-backed Woodpeckers are resident in spruce woods around Homer, along with Warblers and Swallows and of course there are always Bald Eagle’s, lots of them.

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Visit Fish & Wildlife Shorebird web site at

will be Don & Lillian Stokes, two of the country's most popular bird and nature authors, known for their best-selling Stokes Field Guides to Birds, the Bird Watcher's Digest column The Behavior Watcher's Notebook and the TV series Bird Watch with Don & Lillian Stokes. For over 20 years the Stokeses have been helping North Americans learn about birds and nature. They have taught other birders, naturalists, teachers and the general public at prominent nature and science centers all across the country.

Over 50 events including:

  bird.gif (1269 bytes)Shorebird Viewing Stations

  bird.gif (1269 bytes)Guided Bird Walks

  bird.gif (1269 bytes)Educational Workshops

  bird.gif (1269 bytes)Boat and Air Wildlife Tours

  bird.gif (1269 bytes)Kids Activities

  bird.gif (1269 bytes)Arts and Crafts Fair

  bird.gif (1269 bytes)Gallery Migration

  bird.gif (1269 bytes)Storytelling

  bird.gif (1269 bytes)Wooden Boat Festival

  bird.gif (1269 bytes)and Much More!!!

Call (907) 235-PEEP for updates on the latest bird sighting and festival information!



Dorle Scholz, Festival Coordinator, (907) 235-7740, fax- 235-8766
Poppy Benson, USFWS, (907) 235-6546, fax 235-7783

Kachemak Bay Shorebird
Festival P 0. Box 541
Homer, Alaska 99603
(907) 235-7740

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