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404 1st St
Cordova, AK, 99574
United States


We invite you to join the mass migration of Pacific shorebirds, raptors, waterfowl and songbirds.  Their shoreside respite is framed against the pristine backdrop of coastal glaciers and mountains, the breathtaking vista that we call home.  Come armed with your binoculars, spotting scopes, cameras, sketch books and pencils and leave with a heart full of memories.

The Festival

Video by the Center for Conservation Biology ( Shorebird flock just offshore near the Rio Pacora, Panama. 

Experience the avian aurora!

may 2nd - 5th, 2019

come be inspired ON THE COPPER RIVER DELTA!

Witness the shimmering flocks of millions of shorebirds as they take a short break on the Copper River Delta while passing from their wintering areas across the globe to their breeding grounds in the north.

Join birders, photographers, biologists, conservationists, artists and global citizens for a laid back weekend of birding, hiking, art and MORE in one of the most pristine natural places on earth.

2019 Speakers & Workshops

The Copper River Delta is proud to host presenters from around the world, and a wide variety of events and workshops. Stay tuned as we schedule and announce more!

Pete Dunne and the Cape May Lighthouse in Cape May, NJ

Pete Dunne and the Cape May Lighthouse in Cape May, NJ

keynote speaker: Pete dunne

Presented by Zeiss Optics

Pete Dunne, also known as the “bard of birding” is the author of nearly twenty books treating birds, birding, natural history and conservation including Tales of a Low Rent Birder, The Feather Quest, Hawks in Flight, Pete Dunne on Birding, and most recently, Gulls Simplified (with Kevin Karlson). 

The retired Director of the Cape May Bird Observatory, he now serves as New Jersey Audubon’s Ambassador of Birding.  Pete Dunne is possibly best known for his years counting hawks at Cape May, NJ and for founding the World Series of Birding. As an instructor at National Audubon’s Hog Island Camp, leader for Victor Emmanuel Nature Tours, and workshop instructor in Cape May, he has brought thousands of birders to higher levels of acumen and awareness.

Now 67, living in the Bayshore town of Mauricetown, NJ, with his photographer wife Linda, he is completing a book treating North American Bird Families.  

César Guerrero


César Guerrero is the Executive Director of Terra Peninsular, a Mexican organization focused on protecting and conserving the ecosystems and wildlife of the Baja California peninsula. César has a scientific background and has always had an interest in the study of life. For six years now, he has been leading the most important private land conservation project in the Mediterranean region of Baja California, which supports the conservation of over 57,000 acres of habitats in this globally biodiversity hotspot.

As a nature enthusiast, César enjoys outdoor activities. Time and time again, he has explored the Baja California coast bringing work and outdoor recreational activities together at the same time he promotes awareness and the responsible use of natural resources. His main philosophy is to share the habitat with all the species that are part of it and demolish the paradigm that nature conservation and economic development are opposites.

visiting artist: zack mclaughlin of paper&wood

Zach Mclaughlin PaperandWood.jpg

Zack McLaughlin started making his paper and wood birds after experimenting with his own Children's book in which a little boy makes a bird lantern out of old book pages and willow sticks. After struggling to envisage what it would look like He went about making his own as a prop to draw from, this sparked something and after much playing and experimenting Zack made more and more detailed birds over the years, detail is his obsession.

Zack takes great pleasure in creating each bird as realistically as he can, from the first drawings to the last stroke of paint every little feather is lovingly crafted. See Zack’s work here: Zack is leading several workshops in conjunction with the Shorebird Festival and The Net Loft, including a day-long paper sandpiper workshop on Monday, May 6th. Register for one of Zack’s sculptural bird workshops below.

Emily Williams


Emily Williams is an avian ecologist for the National Park Service at Denali National Park and Preserve. Her research at Denali focuses on the migration, behavior, and annual cycles of birds. While the majority of ornithologists in Alaska spend the long months of winter inside, getting caught up on data and dreaming of spring migration, Emily spends much of this time outside, closely following the secret lives of Canada Jays (formerly known as Gray Jays) as part of a new project in the park. The Denali Canada Jay Program began in 2017 as a year-round project examining the unique ecology of one of Alaska’s hardiest resident birds.

Prior to Alaska, Emily has worked with birds both inside and outside North America, to places like Canada, Costa Rica, Australia, Peru, and Argentina. Originally hailing from the cypress swamps and scrub of Florida, Emily has enjoyed the transition to the Alaska life, making one (or five) rookie mistakes at a time.

Listen for yourself! Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival on the air!

Our own Erin Cooper, USFS Biologist, was a guest on KSKA Public Radio talking about the shorebirds, migration and the 2015 festival.  Take a listen:


The great cordova birding challenge - bird here, now!

The 2019 Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival will continue the tradition of hosting a Birding Challenge.  This year’s event will be an 8 hour challenge to be held on Sunday, May 6.  The Challenge is open to anyone, and is meant to be a fun event for all, be you a serious birder, someone willing to learn, or for families.  Teams will begin at 1:00pm and in 8 hours, count as many species by sight and sound as they can.  The event will finish at 9 PM at the Reluctant Fisherman, where teams that are late, will forfeit 1 bird from the lists for every 5 minutes that they are late.  Again, the point of this friendly competition is for everyone to have FUN birding.  In the end, with teams out scouring the brush for a day, some interesting sightings are made every year.  We hope you will participate!

Complete rules and entry form HERE

The Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival is proud to be sponsored by the following dedicated organizations:

we are grateful for the following partnerships which provide for a robust event: