Monterey Bay Birding Festival, September 28-30, 2018

Monterey Bay Birding Festival

2018 Festival Registration is now open. Please see the Registration page for more details and to register.

2018 Keynote Speakers:
Friday, September 28 | John Muir Laws
Saturday, September 29 | Jonathan Franzen

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

Located at the Watsonville Civic Plaza at 275 Main Street in Watsonville, California.

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.

Documentary and Lecture tickets are available onsite on the day of the festival.

Extraordinary Field Trip Leaders, Presenters and Workshops

The Monterey Bay Birding Festival field trips leaders are all extraordinary birders who delight in sharing their love of birds and favorite birding venues with you. Each year we have a stellar line-up of evening presentations and daily workshops to augment your birding festival experience.

Sharing Your Love of Birds

Take advantage of this total immersion in all things birds with fellow bird enthusiasts from around the world. You’ll have lots of opportunities to share birding stories during field trips, workshops, the opening reception, and while perusing the Birders Marketplace.

Supporting Our Community

The Monterey Bay Birding Festival is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization under the management of a passionate group of volunteers dedicated to making the festival the best experience possible for guests and providing enrichment for our community. Many volunteer opportunities are available.  Please check out the Volunteers page and send us an email at for more information.

Flickr Gallery


2018 Festival T-shirt Design

Check out our 2018 Monterey Bay Birding Festival t-shirts! Designed by Jeff Manker and illustrated by Anne Tobin, these shirts will be on sale for $20 at the festival, and are available for purchase with online registration.  MBBF 2018 T Shirt Design Front MBBF...

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Can High School Ornithology Save the World?

Jeff Manker is a man with a mission. In an essay in the April issue of Birding magazine, Manker lays out his vision for a world in which ornithology and bird study is a popular elective in high schools across the US and Canada, reaching thousands of...

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14th Annual Monterey Bay Birding Festival

On-line Registration opens on July 7, 2018 at 8 a.m. PDT   Watsonville, CA – June 16, 2018 – The 14th Annual Monterey Bay Birding Festival Association announces the opening of on-line registration on July 7, 2018, at 8 a.m. PDT. Registration will be available at...

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Latest Facebook Posts

1 week ago

Monterey Bay Birding Festival

Workshop Spotlight - 114. BIRDS IN THE LANDSCAPE: CAPTURING THE ESSENCE OF BIRDS THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY. Join Lisa Sheridan for an extraordinary photography workshop that will focus on capturing the essence of the bird and its location. We will be looking for ways to add surrounding natural elements such as water, clouds, back-lighting, and color into our shots. Photographers in this workshop will be encouraged to practice the art of sharing and supporting one another. Great bird shots are possible with just a few changes in how one sees the bird and landscape. This workshop is designed to push your creativity to new levels but we will also be on the look-out for unusual or migrant birds. All levels of experience are welcome, and bring whatever camera you have. Friday, September 28th from 7 – 11 am. Go to for more information or to register. Photos courtesy of Lisa Sheridan. ... See MoreSee Less

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