About Us

It all started… In 1993 a group of Homer residents representing environmental, economic and cultural interests, got together to dream up an event. They envisioned a festival that would educate the public about shorebirds and wetlands. The Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival was born.

A partnership between the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge and the Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges, the festival continues to thrive through the generous support of sponsors and volunteers who donate time, funds, and share their expertise.

We thank each and every sponsor – no amount of time or donation is insignificant. A very special thanks goes to the World Wildlife Fund, GCI,  Audubon Alaska and Eagle Optics for pledging substantial sponsorships over the past decade.


Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival In Retrospect – Past Keynote Speakers

2017- J. Drew Lahham, Master Teacher and Distinguished Alumni Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Clemson University. An Edgefield/Aiken, SC native and a birder since the age of eight, he is a is an active member on several conservation boards including  South Carolina Audubon, the South Carolina Wildlife Federation, American Birding Association, BirdNote and the Aldo Leopold Foundation. A self-identified “ornibirderthologist, Dr. Lanham teaches intensive bird conservation workshops in the Palmetto Pro Birder series for the South Carolina Wildlife Federation. Drew is a widely published nature writer and poet whose most recent works– Sparrow Envy (Holocene Press 2016), a poetry chapbook, and The Home Place-Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature, speak to his passion for connecting head to heart with word art.

Keynote Address: Connections – Range Mapping Birds and Humans to Connect Conservation

Paul Bannick, is an award-winning wildlife photographer specializing in the natural history of North America with a focus on birds and habitat. Coupling his love of the outdoors with his skill as a photographer, he creates images that foster the intimacy between viewer and subject, inspiring education and conservation.  Paul is both the author and photographer of two books, Owl: A Year in The Lives of North American Owls (Braided River) and The Owl and The WoodpeckerEncounters with North America’s Most Iconic Birds(Mountaineers).

Keynote Address: Owl, A Year in the Life of North American Owls

2016- Kevin Karlson, accomplished birder, professional tour leader and wildlife photographer who has published several books and many bird and nature related articles for magazines and journals over the last 20 years; and Dale Rosselet vice president for education for New Jersey Audubon and oversees the statewide public and school-based education programs, and author of many natural history curriculum guides and books.

Keynote Address: Birds on the Wind

Sharon Stiteler, She travels the world as a field trip leader, birding consultant, humorous keynote speaker, bird field technician, bird bander and writer. She wrote the books Disapproving Rabbits, City Birds/Country Birds, and 1001 Secrets Every Birder Should Know.

Keynote Address: 1001 Secrets Every Birder Should Know

2015 – Dr. David M. Bird, Professor of Wildlife Biology and director of the Avian Science and Conservation Centre of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Dr. Bird has published over 200 scientific papers on birds of prey.

Keynote Address: How Birds Do It

2014 – Bill Thompson III,  Editor of Bird Watcher’s Digest and the author of 18 books about birds, including his most recent, “The Young Birder’s Guide to Birds of Eastern North America.” He writes the Bill of the Birds blog and creates a regular podcast for bird watchers called This Birding Life

Keynote Address: The Perils and Pitfalls of Birding

2013 – Jeff Gordon, President, American Birding Association

Keynote Address: Birding Together: How Birding Can Save Your Life, and Maybe, Just Maybe, Save the World

2012 – Dr. George Archibald, cofounder of the International Crane Foundation, considered one of the world’s leading authorities on cranes, well known in conservation circles for his efforts with cranes and has accumulated numerous awards and recognitions for his work from international conservation organizations and from royalty.

Keynote Address: Cranes of the World: Biology, Statutes, Threats & Conservation Efforts

2011 – Carl Safina, founder of The Blue Ocean Institute, recipient of many awards for his books about the natural world including Eye of the Albatross and Song for a Blue Ocean, and a Guggenheim Fellowship for The View from Lazy Point.

Keynote Address: The View from Lazy Point

2010 – Peter Harrison, Editor and Illustrator of Seabirds, An Identification Guide, author and photographer of Seabirds of the World, Co-founder of Zegrahm Ecological Expeditions.

Keynote Address: Ocean Nomads, the Albatrosses

2009 – Paul Baicich, consultant to the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s Birding Initiative program, co-editor of the Lane Field Guides series and Nests, Eggs, and Nestlings, former editor of the American Birding Association’s magazine, Birding.

Keynote Address: Celebrating Birds in Culture

Jack Dalton, founder of Raven Feathers & the Wind, professional storyteller, writer and teacher, his CDs, DVDs and books celebrate his Yup’ik heritage. Jack has been honored by the World Indigenous Peoples’ Conference on Education as a Distinguished Dignitary.

Keynote Address: The Boy who Ate too Much – A Yupik Story

2008 – Richard Crossley, birder, photographer, co-editor of the Shorebird Guide, author of the Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds, winner of the 2011 PROSE Award for Excellence in Reference Works.

Keynote Address: Birding: Present and Future

2007 – John Acorn, Canadian television personality and creator/host of Acorn, the Nature Nut, author of many books on birds and bugs and the natural world, singer, songwriter with many CDs and DVDs about nature, lecturer at the University of Alberta, research associate at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, research associate at the E. H. Strickland Entomology Museum.

Keynote Address: The Family that Birds Together

2006 – Bernd Heinrich, Professor Emeritus of Biology, University of Vermont, author of numerous award winning books including Mind of the Raven and Winter World.

Keynote Address:  Ravens, the Wolf Birds

2005 – Scott Weidensaul, author of more than two dozen books including Living on the Wind, a 1999 Pulitzer Prize finalist, lectures widely on wildlife and environmental topics, active field research, specializing in birds of prey and hummingbirds.

Keynote Address: Return to Wild America, Searching for a Continent’s Natural Soul

2004 – Pete Dunne, Director of the Cape May Bird Observatory in New Jersey, author of seven books on birding, author of many numerous columns and articles, master storyteller and recipient of the ABA Roger Tory Peterson Award for Promoting the Cause of Birding.

Keynote Address: On Golden Wings

2003 – Charles Glatzer, award winning Natural History photographer with many images and articles published internationally, Glatzer’s company “Shoot the Light” conducts instructional photographic workshops and seminars worldwide.

Keynote Address: Bird and Nature Photography

2002 – Frank Todd, author of many books including Natural History of the Waterfowl of the World and Birds and Mammals of the Antarctic, Subantaractic & Falkland Islands, former Vice-President of Sea World San Diego and Executive Director of EcoCepts International.

Keynote Address: Waterfowl of North America

2001 – Peter Stangle, Southeast Regional Director National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Director of Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Initiative, Partners in Flight program.

Keynote Address: The Future of Birds

2000 – Jack Jeffrey, US Fish & Wildlife Service Hawaii, photographer and conservationist, worked to benefit Hawaiian forestlands and endangered and threatened species, his photos have appeared in Audubon, Smithsonian, Time, and Life.

Keynote Address: Jewels of the Forest

1999 – Don and Lillian Stokes, authorities and educators of birding, creators and hosts of the first birdwatching TV shows on national television: “Stokes Birds at Home” and “Bird Watching Workshop with Don and Lillian Stokes”, authors of 32 books including Stokes Field Guide to Birds.

Keynote Address: The Fabulous World of Birds

1998 – Peter Harrison, Editor and Illustrator of Seabirds, an Identification Guide, author and photographer of Seabirds of the World, Co-founder of Zegrahm Ecological Expeditions.

Keynote Address: Seven Years and Seven Continents

1997 – Kenn Kaufmanauthor of Kingbird Highway, Lives of North American Birds, and other books and field guides including Peterson Field Guide to Advanced Birding, contributing editor to Birder’s World and Birdwatcher’s Digest.

Keynote Address: Great Travelers: Birds and Humans

1996 – Dr. Dennis Paulson, Zoologist and Author of Shorebirds of the Pacific Northwest and many publications on biodiversity and biology of dragonflies and birds. Director Emeritus, Slater Museum of Natural History.

Keynote Address: Birding Basic, Behavior and Biology

1995 – Pete Dunne, Cape May Bird Observatory, author of many books including The Feather Quest and Tales of a Low Rent Birder, Co-author of Hawks In Flight, an acclaimed nature write of articles for newspapers and magazines.

Keynote Address: Early Days of Ornithology, Audubon and Wilson

1994 – Julie Sibbing, Director of Forest and Agriculture Programs at National Wildlife Federation, Former Director of Global Warming, Agriculture and Wildlife, and Program Manager at National Wildlife Federation, former Senior Policy Specialist at National Audubon Society.

Keynote Address: Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network: International Wetland Preservation and Shorebird Migration

1993 – Poppy Benson, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Environmental Educator and Co-Founder of the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival, Public Programs Supervisor of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, 2005 recipient of the “Sense of Wonder” award for “tirelessly and enthusiastically advocating, developing and implementing award-winning and innovative programs in partnership with various organizations and communities”.

Keynote Address: Relating Motherhood to Bird Migration