Make birds count for Bird Fest 2024!
Do you want to learn what birds are in your backyard? Do you want to help researchers take a snapshot of their populations? You can do both, and more for Bird Fest. You can do both Saturday, Feb 17 at Bird Fest. The event goes from 10 am – 2 pm at the Burien Community Center and offers families, friends and neighbors an opportunity to learn about their local birds and plants while participating in the annual Great Backyard Bird Count. The Environmental Science Center has coordinated Bird Fest with sponsorship from the City of Burien to spread awareness on watershed health through creating native habitat for birds.
There will be hourly bird walks, presentations, family nature walk, booths, crafts and hands-on activities for all ages. Participating organizations include the City of Burien Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services, and more to come!
Schedule of Events
Join Eileen Lambert (South Sound Nature School) and ESC naturalists to learn bird identification skills and put them to practice during guided walks at Dottie Harper Park! We’ll go over how to identify birds by both sight and sound while logging which species are found in our area to contribute to the Great Backyard Bird Count database. Spend time in nature, learn about birds, and contribute to community science! Great for ages 13+.
Meet us at the entrance to the Burien Community Center!
Please note: Each of the walks will be capped to 25 people for bird walks and 35 people for the family nature walk. This will help us ensure the best quality of program for attendees. Half of the spots for each program are open for advanced registration and half will be set aside for day of participants. Participants under the age of 15 must be accompanied by an adult.
Bird Fest hosts a variety of presentations each year focusing on local bird knowledge, gardening or plant tips, benefits of spending time outside, and more! All presentations are held in the Manhattan Room.
Backyard Birds and Plants that Attract Them
Begins at 10:30 AM
This spring why not plant trees, shrubs or flowers that will attract our native birds to your yard for years to come? Master Gardener, photographer, and Rainier Audubon member Marie West-Johnson will share her photos of the many bird species that visit her yard, and the plants that attract them.
The Knowledge of Corvids: Smarter Than Your Average Bird
Begins at 12:00 PM
What group of birds can plan strategies, invent and use tools, hold funerals, dream, have long memories, and differentiate friendly humans from enemy humans? Crows, Ravens, Jays and Magpies! Join Ed Dominguez and explore the lives of these intelligent, playful, and sometimes aggravating smarty-pants birds.
So You Want to Get into Birding
Begins at 1:15 PM
Bird watching is a fantastic way to spend time in nature while participating in an activity that has been shown to have many physical and mental health benefits. But how do you know where to start? Which birds are common for our area and how do you identify them? Join the Environmental Science Center to learn the basics and start your birding journey!
WHY BIRD FEST?
This free annual event offers families, friends and neighbors an opportunity to learn about their local birds and plants while participating in the annual Great Backyard Bird Count, which goes for four days in Feb. This year it’s from Feb 16-Feb 19. There are counts, conversations, activities and resources to help you learn identification and counting tips, have your questions answered, and simply be awed by birds. There are also plenty of resources below to help you count on your own, investigate your local birds and plants, and connect with local organizations and community groups in neat ways. This annual event is sponsored by the City of Burien to help folks help their watershed.
The Environmental Science Center has coordinated Bird Fest with sponsorship from the City of Burien to spread awareness on watershed health through creating native habitat for birds. It promotes the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society with partner Bird Studies Canada and is made possible in part by founding sponsor Wild Birds Unlimited. In 1998, this was the first online community-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time. In 2020, 268,674 worldwide bird watchers helped in the four-day count to create an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of 6,699 species of birds. In 2019, 224,781 people took part. In 2018, it was 192,456. Join in to keep the numbers rising!
If you help count during this GBBC weekend, or any other day, you’ll enter species into eBird, which is a global online program for collecting bird observations every day of the year (and is a phone app!). Researchers can’t be everywhere, including your backyard, so just 15 minutes can make a big difference for your local birds!
Check out additional information from our Bird Fest event partners and find helpful resources below!
For more information about the Great Backyard Bird Count visit birdcount.org. You’ll find simple tools on identifying birds, submitting them for the count, and any steps in between. These include phone and web apps below.
HELPFUL BIRDING RESOURCES
For Teens and Adults
Watch our 2020 Bird Fest playlist of presentations and bird counts since we could not meet in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Watch our Making Birds Count session to learn about Winter Backyard Birds from Ed Dominguez and local bird counts from Kharli Rose.
eBird.com is ESC’s preferred online database to submit our bird species lists to for community science.
Find our other favorite bird and plant resources such as field guides, online resources, and databases.
Literally check out some King County Library books on birds.
Watch our Toddler Time Birding Bits (for ages 3 and up) with Kharli Rose to look and listen for local backyard birds through songs, felt board games and exploring outdoors. These were recorded in spring of 2020.