Welcome to the Tenth Annual Monterey Bay Birding Festival Sept. 25-28, 2014

Registration Closed!
  • Lodging and Dining

    Lodging and Dining

  • Speakers


  • Sponsors


  • Field Trips

    Field Trips

Registration Closed

Registration Closed

Click Here to register for the 10th Annual Monterey Bay Birding Festival!
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Field Trips and Water Adventures

Field Trips and Water Adventures

Join us on some fascinating trips and once in a lifetime opportunities!
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Learn more about the amazing speakers we have lined up for this year!
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Learn more about our sponsors and how you can become a sponsor of this event!
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Sold Out Trips!

Time is running out – Don’t miss your favorite trips!

Welcome to the 2014 Monterey Bay Birding Festival!!!

Welcome to the home of one of the most spectacular birding and wildlife venues in North America— the tenth annual Monterey Bay Birding Festival.

World-Class Birding

From soaring golden eagles, effortlessly gliding California condors, cheeky bushtits, gorgeous Townsend’s warblers, scampering snowy plovers, to thousands of sooty shearwaters streaming along the ocean’s surface, few places can match the diversity of species as the Monterey Bay region.

September marks the peak of fall migration, with wintering shorebirds arriving en masse. Warblers and other passerines are doing the same, and we even start seeing the first appearances of wintering ducks and other waterfowl. Meanwhile, just a few miles offshore, jaegers, shearwaters, and alcid are present in good numbers. There’s no better time to visit the Monterey Bay area to see the greatest number of species or to find a rarity.

Extraordinary Presenters

This year’s lineup of nightly speakers, headed by author, artist, naturalist and conservationist Kenn Kaufman, simply soars.

Kaufman is recognized as one of the world’s most renowned bird experts. He is the author of a popular series of field guides and a highly sought-after public speaker. He will explore what the world looks like from a bird’s point of view in his keynote presentation on Saturday, September 27.

Joining Kaufman as nightly speakers will be Brian Sulllivan, project leader for eBird. Sullivan will enlighten birders about the human network that’s spread across the world and collecting real-time data to achieve real-world conservation outcome for bird through computer science. Sullivan speaks Thursday, September 25.

Local Monterey birder Don Roberson has been the “keeper” of the Monterey County bird list for 35 years while serving as the county editor for “North America Birds” and now eBird. Roberson’s informative discussion, “The Ten Most Misidentified Birds in Monterey – Time, Change, and Ebird,” will be Friday, September 26.

Fantastic Field Trips

Designed for both seasoned and beginning birders, as well as outdoor lovers, the festival’s field trips offer unique opportunities to learn about, explore, and appreciate world-class habitats, such as the Elkhorn Slough National Marine Estuary and Pinnacles National Park.  Join a pelagic trip to experience one of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, one of the most productive regions for albatrosses, shearwaters, storm-petrels, and more. Or, take a scenic ride in Elkhorn Slough by kayak, pontoon, or silent electric boat.

Practical Workshops

Make time for at least one exceptional workshop! This year’s workshops are designed to help you improve your birding skills in the field. For example, in the “Birding Optics Demystified”  workshop, you’ll learn all about binoculars and scopes, and how particular products perform in different birding situations.

The “Pelagic Birds Identification” workshop will introduce you to birding at sea and the overall approach to seabird spotting and identification. Similarly, the “Shorebird Identification” workshop is geared to help you increase your ability to sort out birds in the more difficult groups (such as yellowlegs, stints and peeps, dowitchers, and rarities). And “Field Identification of Raptors” will take you through a straightforward process for identifying raptors in the field.

“Field Workflow for Photography” will help you learn how to read the environment, make appropriate camera settings in a timely manner, and then track and “capture” the wildlife you hope to photograph!  Using a different medium, “Field Sketching” will help you hone your observational skills in the field.


We’re excited about the changes we’re making to the registration process. This year you’ll find the process simpler and easier to navigate. That goes for our lively website, too.

Mark your calendars! Registration for the 2014 MBBF opens on Monday, June 2 at 12:00 NOON (Pacific Daylight Time).

Thank you for visiting the festival website. We hope you are as thrilled about the fantastic field trips and dynamic speakers as we are! We look forward to having you join us for the 2014 Monterey Bay Birding Festival!

2014 Dates and Featured Speaker

Festival Dates:

 Thursday, September 25 through Sunday, September 28, 2014

Keynote Speaker:  Kenn Kaufman

Come hear renown author, artist, naturalist, and conservationist Kenn Kaufman’s keynote presentation Saturday night, as he explores what the world look like from a bird’s point of view. We’re also excited to announce that Kenn and his wife, Kimberly, will co-lead a couple of festival field trips! Don’t miss on these incredible opportunities!

When he was a little kid, Kenn was obsessed with questions such as: How does it feel to be a bird? What does the world look like from a bird’s point of view? As he grew older, he put those questions aside as being too “unscientific.” Now, years later, he has circled back to those questions, armed with enough scientific knowledge to make a few guesses. Can we imagine what life is like for a bird? And even if we can’t be sure, is there value in trying to see the world from that viewpoint? This is a new program, based on a chapter from Kenn’s forthcoming book about bird migration.

Kenn_KaufmanA lifelong naturalist, Kenn Kaufman did not really focus on birds until the age of six, but since then he has tried to make up for lost time, pursuing birds in all fifty states and on all seven continents. Kenn is a field editor for Audubon magazine, and writes regular columns for both Bird Watcher’s Digest and Birder’s World magazines.

Most of his energy currently goes into book projects, including his own field guide series, Kaufman Field Guides, published by Houghton Mifflin Company of Boston. This series now includes volumes on North American birds, butterflies, mammals, insects, a field guide to advanced birding, and a regional guide to the nature of New England. In spring 2005, the series was expanded to include the first North American bird guide to be published in Spanish. Kenn’s other books include Lives of North American Birds, Kingbird Highway, and Flights Against the Sunset.

He has also written scores of magazine articles and columns on identification topics, and has taught identification workshops all over the United States and Canada. To learn more about the Kaufman Field Guide series visit www.kaufmanfieldguides.com.