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News Release
2018 Klamath Basin Winter Wings Festival Opens On February 15th Before Presidents' Day Weekend! - 12/07/17

America's Oldest West Coast Birding Festival celebrates the return of Bald Eagles and waterfowl on the Pacific Flyway to the Klamath Basin from February 15-18, 2018. It's the 39th anniversary of the Festival.

Klamath Falls, OR (Dec. 7, 2017) -- Bald eagles are among the migratory birds highlighted during the 39th Winter Wings Festival (www.WinterWingsFest.org), which will run over four days, February 15-18, 2018, during the Presidents' Day Weekend. The primary venue for the event will be the College Union at the Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls.

Winter birds at their finest! Winter Wings brings together birders and photographers of all stripes to learn and explore with top notch professionals and enthusiastic local guides. The Klamath Basin is renowned for its massive wintering population of Bald Eagles, but is prime habitat for many other raptors including owls, as well as a stunning abundance and diversity of waterfowl.

In 2018 the festival will feature three dynamic keynoters: Author and woodpecker specialist Stephen Shunk; Nikon Ambassador and wildlife photographer Moose Peterson; and author and instructor with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Dr. Kevin McGowan. Join these pros and many other skilled presenters for an array of field trips, workshops, presentations, and receptions that highlight the wonders of the Klamath Basin in winter.


Birders can enjoy a diverse group of activities that showcase the Klamath Basin. Several birding field trips are scheduled to the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuges complex (https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Tule_Lake/). Dr. Kevin McGowan and Dick Ashford will be on hand to share raptor identification workshops and field trips. Novice birders will have their choice of two Birding Basics trips, while intense birders will enjoy a Big Day trek around the basin to add to their lists. Winter Wings partners with the Blue Zones Project in Klamath Falls to present a winter birding walk along the Link River Trail and a fun, new wine and painting workshop at the Favell Museum.

A host of professional photographers and specialists will be on hand over the weekend to share their skills, including Moose Peterson, Abbott Schindler, Mark Fitzgerald, and Larry Turner. There will also be several workshops and presentations designed to help you get the most out of your camera equipment and software, including tips for better photos with your phone or tablet. New this year will be a workshop and field experience for those interested in getting into drone photography.

Diana Samuels, festival co-coordinator, says "Some popular field trips fill almost immediately. If you want a spot in these, try to sign-up as soon as online registration opens." Registration will begin December 16, 2017 at 9:00 am PST. Online registration can be completed at www.WinterWingsFest.org. A link to the website can be found on the website. The Winter Wings Festival is partially funded by the Klamath County transient room tax grant program.

For the complete schedule, program descriptions, and fees, visit the Festival website at www.WinterWingsFest.org and select the program tab. For more information email the Festival at info@WinterWingsFest.org or call 1.877.541.BIRD (2473).


FREE Saturday Family Events

Wildlife Images staff and an assortment of their live animal ambassadors will headline the free Family Presentation on Saturday in the College Union Auditorium at 10 am. Get there early as the doors close promptly at 10 am! The fun continues when they move their charges upstairs into the Crater Lake Complex on the second floor and join the ongoing hands on Children's Activities until 2:30 pm. There will be an excellent variety of nature-related projects for the whole family. Wildlife Images.org

Also new this year will be two free painting workshops at OIT on Saturday for kids offered by Wild Pigments. Space is limited so call Wild Pigments at 541-591-4381 to reserve a spot for your child!


About the Klamath Basin: The Basin is home to the largest concentration of wintering Bald Eagles in the lower 48 states -- numbering some 500-800 birds typically. Other visitors include massive flocks of waterfowl and large numbers of wintering raptors on this major stopover of the Pacific Flyway. The Klamath National Refuge Complex consists of six refuges including Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, the nation's first waterfowl refuge. Around 130 species of birds are counted each winter at the Festival.

About Klamath Basin Audubon Society: The Klamath Basin Audubon Society (KBAS) welcomes birders and wildlife enthusiasts to monthly programs, field trips, and other activities that enhance the appreciation of the spectacular beauty of the Klamath Basin. KBAS produces the annual Winter Wings Festival celebrating the largest wintering population of bald eagles in the lower 48 states as well as the abundance of all the birds that make the Klamath Basin home (see www.KlamathAudubon.org)

About the Pacific Flyway: The Pacific Flyway is a major north-south route of travel for migratory birds in the Americas, extending from Alaska to Patagonia. Every year, migratory birds travel some or all of this distance both in spring and in fall, following food sources, heading to breeding grounds, or traveling to overwintering sites, such as the Klamath Basin. About 80% of the Pacific Flyway migrants make the Klamath Basin a stopover.