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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.

2018 speakers

 Dr. Stephen Kress

Dr. Stephen Kress

 Puffin preening. Photo by Melissa Groo

Puffin preening. Photo by Melissa Groo

Dr. Stephen Kress - 2018 keynote speaker  

STEPHEN KRESS is Vice-President for Bird Conservation for the National Audubon Society and Director of the Audubon Seabird Restoration Program and Hog Island Audubon Camp.  His career has focused on developing techniques for managing colonial nesting seabirds. In this role, he manages 13 seabird nesting islands in Maine that are home to more than 42,000 seabirds of 23 species including most of Maine’s rare and endangered seabirds.  Hundreds of professional seabird biologists can trace their first interest in seabirds to Stephen Kress’s program- known widely as Project Puffin. Methods first developed in Maine such as chick translocations and social attraction are now standard practice worldwide. Dr. Kress received his Ph.D. from Cornell University and his Master’s and undergraduate degrees from Ohio State University. He is co-author of Project Puffin: The Improbable Quest to Bring a Beloved Seabird Back to Egg Rock and many other books on bird attracting and many scientific papers on seabird conservation.

KEYNOTE ADDRESS - Saving Seabirds: New Lessons from Puffins

Worldwide, about one third of all seabird species are now globally threatened because of effects of invasive predatory mammals, marine pollution, coastal development and effects of global warming are growing concerns. A recent study has shown that 60% of all seabirds have vanished in the last 60 years. Against this grim background , Dr. Kress’s presentation about the restoration of Maine seabirds offers  hope and inspiration that people also have the capacity to bring seabirds back to some of their historic nesting places.  This presentation also includes success stories about people around the world that are working to save seabirds.

Dr. Kress, will also discuss insights into the changing marine climate of the Gulf of Maine as revealed by Maine seabirds such as puffins and terns. His research has shown the connections between warm water, increased rainfall and the plankton blooms that nourish forage fish, seabirds and all other coastal life. These ‘drivers’ of the marine ecosystem affect every stage of the seabird life cycle. He will also share the recent discovery of the previously unknown winter home for puffins- and explain how this discovery helped to establish the new ‘Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Marine Monument.’


 Yenifer Diaz

Yenifer Diaz

 Diana Euesse-González

Diana Euesse-González

 Kristine Sowl

Kristine Sowl

 Debbie Miller

Debbie Miller

 Kate McLaughlin

Kate McLaughlin

 Hugh Rose

Hugh Rose

 2018 Featured festival speakers

Yenifer DÍAZ, Program Director, PANAMA Audubon society

Yenifer Díaz joins the migration north from Panama Bay.  Yenifer has been part of the Panama Audubon staff since 2004, and has served as program director since 2011. Yenifer manages program development and program execution, oversees budgets and logistics for the organization and coordinates relationships with the Ministry of Education and the Municipality of Panama. She manages and actively participates in the shorebird and waterbird research efforts for the Bay of Panama and oversees the successful Aulas Verdes (Green Classroom) environmental education program. Yenifer has contributed to the development of the Pacific Americas Shorebird Conservation Strategy, Panama Audubon’s Climate Action Plan and is co-author for the Panama Bay Shorebird Conservation Plan. Representing Panama Audubon Society, Yenifir will discuss the unique projects she works on in Panama with regards to shorebird conservation.

Diana Eusse-González, Asociación Calidris, Colombia

 Diana is the coordinator of the Migratory Shorebird Project for the South American portion of the American Pacific corridor and has supported Central America’s migratory corridor coordination. For more than a decade she has been a member of and researcher for Asociación Calidris, an NGO focused on the intersection of birds, habitat conservation, scientific research, and social actions to achieve success.  During these years, Diana has concentrated on study of focal species’ geographic distribution (migratory, threatened, and aquatic), population estimates, threat impacts and landscape management. She also supports the community strengthening program of Calidris, and has experience in community leadership training, establishing citizen science programs and building conservation constituencies among local stakeholders.   

As part of the Copper River Delta Bird Bird Festival, Diana will share the experience of the Bird Festivals held in Colombia, which are events to share information about birds, and strengthen local communities’ leadership and participation skills. 


Kristine Sowl is a wildlife biologist studying ecology in subarctic ecosystems with over 25 years working on public lands in Alaska.  She is currently in charge of the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge's non-game bird program, which focuses on land birds, shorebirds, raptors, and seabirds. Her work is focused on the breeding and migration ecology of Beringian shorebirds, including the bar-tailed godwit, black turnstone, bristle-thighed curlew, western sandpiper, and Pacific subspecies of dunlin.  Kristine previously worked in Izembek National Wildlife Refuge and Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge.  She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks in 1985 and completed a Master of Science in Wildlife Biology from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks in 2003.

kate mclaughlin, President, alaska hummingbird project

A resident of Prince William Sound since 1998, Kate McLaughlin is an independent environmental consultant.  From April through August, Kate runs The Alaska Hummingbird Project, a 501 c(3) scientific and educational non-profit.  The Project has been capturing and banding hummingbirds since 2007 in Prince William Sound. Project Director Kate McLaughlin will talk about what 10 years of data has just begun to reveal about the Rufous Hummingbird, a species of international concern, and other hummingbird discoveries made along the way.


Early in her career, Debbie Miller taught school in Arctic Village, a small village in Alaska’s Brooks Range. For many years her family explored throughout Alaska and these outdoor adventures and encounters with wildlife inspired her to write more than a dozen natural history and children’s books. She is the author of On Arctic Ground and Midnight Wilderness, has contributed to several other titles, and serves on the board of the Alaska Wilderness League. Miller divides her time between Sitka, Alaska, and San Francisco, California. Learn more at


Hugh Rose is a trained geologist, naturalist, guide, and photographer specializing in landscapes and wildlife of the world’s polar regions. His photographs have appeared in a variety of books and other media, including Alaska Airlines Magazine, Outdoor Life, BBC, National Wildlife Federation, and numerous calendars. He lives in Fairbanks, Alaska. You can find him at

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 5.  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: