The 2019 rendition of the annual Winter Wings Festival marks the 40th year that people have flocked to the Klamath Basin to observe and learn about the many migratory and resident bird species that call the area home.
A multi-day celebration of the wild world of birds, events center around the joys of bird-watching, nature photography, and many related-activities. Centered at the Oregon Tech University campus, more than 50 activities are planned including field trips, workshops, walking and bus tours, and keynote speeches. While many of the events require advance registration and fees, some activities including a children’s concert and puppet show and various kid-friendly hands-on activities are completely free.
Keynote speakers for the 2019 Winter Wings Festival include presentations by Pepper Trail, George Lepp and Julie Zickefoose. Trail is a forensic ornithologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, considered the Sherlock Holmes of bird-related crime.
Lepp is one of the most renowned outdoor nature photographers in the world, and is an accomplished author and internationally-published writer and editor for Outdoor Photographer magazine. Zickefoose, an author and contributing editor for Bird Watcher’s Digest, will round out the nightly keynote speeches.
Two additional professional photographers, Lisa Langell and Tim Boyer, will also participate in Winter Wings-related activities.
The annual free family events on the Saturday of the festival includes a change of featured presenters. In lieu of the live animal show that has highlighted festivities for the past several years, Red Yarn will perform at 10 a.m. in the OIT College Union Auditorium providing a fun puppet show and concert featuring a multi-cultural look at American music heritage. Additionally there will be two free painting workshops for kids and a variety of children’s activities.
The popular photo competition returns once again, offering prizes for the best nature photos taken during the festival. Prizes include discounts towards registration fees of future Winter Wings Festivals.
While the schedule of activities vary year-to-year, some of the newer offerings include a downtown walking tour courtesy of the Klamath County Museum, a tour of the Lava Beds cave, an all-you-can-eat waffle and waterfowl identification gathering, and an expert-led trip to observe owls.