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Port Susan Snow Goose & Birding Festival

27130 102nd Ave NW , Stanwood

Welcome to the 2018 Port Susan Snow Goose & Birding Festival.  Take part in several different free guided tours and presentations on snow geese and other birds and wildlife in the our region. Festival headquarters is the Floyd Norgaard Cultural Center in Stanwood, WA.  Space is limited for bus tours – please register early.  

Program & Speaker Schedule

Shorebird I.D. Class 9:00-10:30 Saturday 2/24

Gary Slater & Ruth Milner
Masonic Hall (across from the Floyd)

Gary Slater, Research Associate of the EcoStudies Institute and Ruth Milner, District Wildlife Biologist from WDFW will give you the skills to identify common shorebirds found in the North Puget Sound.  Participate in a fun-filled presentation where the biologists will give pointers on how to differentiate shorebirds based on their plumage and vocalizations, feeding ecology, habitat and morphology.

White Birds of Winter 10:30-12:00 Saturday 2/24

Martha Jordan
The Floyd Norgaard Cultural Center

Martha Jordan, well-known swan biologist and Executive Director of Northwest Swan Conservation Association will preset an up to date program on Washington’s native Trumpeter and Tundra swans.  From life history and biology to swan identification tips, Martha will shed light on the problems and controversies these birds face on their wintering grounds and what is needed to insure their future.

From Russia to the Stilly 1:00-2:30 Saturday 2/24

Vasiliy Baranyuk
The Floyd Norgaard Cultural Center

Vasiliy Baranyuk, has spent more than 30 years observing the snow geese that migrate between Wrangel Island and the North Puget Sound.  His latest visit to Wrangel Island was this past summer.  Vasiliy will talk about these iconic birds and their summering grounds in the Russian Arctic.  Using stunning photos and video, Vasiliy will present a personal glimpse of Wrangel Island and it’s rich nesting grounds.

Live Raptor Presentation

3:00-4:30 Saturday 2/24

Sarvey Wildlife Care Center
Masonic Hall (across from the Floyd)

Sarvey Wildlife Care Center will be returning to the festival with some of their non-releasable raptors.  Their center is home to several different species of birds of prey, and they provide a unique opportunity to learn more about wildlife in the Puget Sound and to see these amazing birds up close. Come learn more about their mission to rescue and rehabilitate injured and orphaned wildlife, and what you can do to help.  Learn More: http://www.sarveywildlife.org/

The Art of Photographing Birds

11:00-12:30 Sunday 2/25

Karen Ulvestad
Floyd Norgaard Cultural Center (Bus Tour after)

Learn bird photography techniques through visual examples and lecture.  Tips for locating birds, the best camera equipment to use, and the importance of keeping a journal.  As well as – proper exposure for birds in the field, spotting & tracking, “telling a story” with a photograph, positive critiques of photos, and field etiquette.  Questions encouraged.  Bus Tour following this presentation – 1:00-4:00 Requires registration.

Bald Eagles Yesterday & Today

1:00-2:30 Sunday 2/25

James Watson
Floyd Norgaard Cultural Center

Bald Eagles of Yesterday and Today with James Watson, WDFW, Wildlife Research Scientist will help you better understand and appreciate Washington’s most iconic raptor from a scientific perspective.  Bring your questions to discuss aspects of year-round bald eagle ecology and exploration of the ecological and management impliations of a species that is now recovered from Threatened status.

Bus Tours

Camano Island

The Camano bus tour is a 3 hour tour that visits several of Camano Island’s wonderful parks, including English Boom, Cama Beach and Iverson Preserve and also stop at the beautiful Camano Center.  We have Guides on the bus who will answer questions and talk about the Parks and the great variety of birds that can be spotted locally.  The diverse habitats of these parks include salt water, mudflats, marsh and beaches and you may see raptors, loons, ducks, great blue herons and many kinds of shorebirds.   You will get off the bus at each stop for a short walking tour, including a trip down to see the Cama beachfront Cabins and wonderful wildlife mounts.

Saturday: 9:00-12:00 & 12:30-3:30

Sunday: 9:00-12:00 & 12:30-3:30

Snow Geese 

The Snow Goose Tours are 2 hour tours that will take you out onto Fir Island to find current locations of the Snow Geese, Trumpeter and Tundra Swans.  Our Guides have been birding in this area for many years and have a lot to share about our local area and the migration and feeding habits of the birds.  The viewing on this tour is mainly from inside the bus due to the lack of safe access to the Fir Island birding areas.  Don’t be surprised to see Eagles out looking for lunch and Herons along the roadside.  



Saturday: 9:00-11:00 (Buses A&B) 12:00-2:00 (Buses A&B) 2:30-4:30 (Buses A&B)

Sunday:(Bus A only) 9:00-11:00, 11:30-1:30, 2:00-4:00

Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy Tour is a 2 hour Tour that includes a walk on the dike along Port Susan Bay which is one of the largest undeveloped bays in Puget Sound.  This area is a saltwater nursery with marshes, mudflats and tidelands that support hundreds of thousands of birds, several species of salmon, smelt and clams.  Western sandpipers, dunlins and dowitchers swoop over the mudflats, ducks and snow geese are often gathered and hungry, hopeful raptors add to the drama.  Guides will be on hand to share about the estuary habitat restoration in progress and answer questions.  Access to this site is usually limited and by appointment only, so this is a great chance to visit the Preserve.  

Saturday: 9:30-11:30 & 12:00-2:00 & 2:30-4:30

Sunday: 9:00-11:00 & 11:30-1:30

Bird Photography

This Bird Photography Tour is very popular 3 hour Tour following  “The Art of Photographing Birds” presentation with Karen Ulvestad.  Karen will serve as your Guide as you explore the local birding and test out the new techniques learned in the class.  This tour uses a photography tour bus with great visibility for capturing pictures.




Sunday: 1:00-4:00

Children's Activities

Saturday February 24th

Masonic Hall (Across from the Floyd) 1:00-4:30


Bird Coloring & Using Binoculars


Bird Face Painting


Maynard Axelson –  “Migration Dedication” Presentation.  Learn about the amazing migration birds such as snow geese and brants undertake.


“Meet Live Raptors” from Sarvey Wildlife Care Center

Sunday February 25th

At the Stanwood Library 3:00-4:00 The Freedom Bird, A Puppet Play (Click for details)

Event Info

27130 102nd Ave NW , Stanwood
Date / Time:
Feb 24, 2018 10:00 am - Feb 25, 2018 04:00 pm

Event Location


Made possible in part by assistance from the Snohomish & Island County Hotel-Motel Tax Fund.



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