The John Scharff Migratory Bird Festival is a major Oregon Cultural Event for “birders”.
Held at the Harney Basin in Harney County, Oregon (Map). The Harney Basin is a Pacific Flyway rest stop for birds migrating in the spring.
The Pacific Flyway is one of the four major north to south migratory flyways in North America, the others being the Central, Atlantic and Mississippi flyways.
The Pacific Flyway is huge – it covers the area from Alaska/Siberia all the way to Mexico. It is 4,000 miles long and 1,000 miles wide, stretching from the Pacific coast to the Rocky Mountains.
Imagine the vast number of bird species that embark on this annual migration!
Each year, birds that migrate using the Pacific flyway travel part or all of the distance during the spring and fall, but waterfowl avoid returning to the Harney Basin in the fall, as it is too dry. They prefer to rest a bit south around the Klamath Falls area. Other birds do though. All of the migrating birds are seeking food, breeding places or warmer climates to spend the winter. A true Oregon cultural event that is followed internationally!
This Oregon festival allows you to see thousands of migratory birds resting and feeding in the high desert. Every kind of bird imaginable is available to be seen; Raptors, shorebirds, songbirds, cranes, waterfowl and wading birds. This event is a great place for the family with other activities that include Oregon cultural events and historical information.
This fundraising event was a success from the beginning. It was only one day, it was self-guided, and registration took place in the Grange Hall. The event is now held over a weekend with around thirty guided bird tours.
Check the website for complete reservation and ticket information.
It doesn’t matter if you are a novice at bird watching or an experienced wildlife enthusiast – there are tons of activities to choose from!
Seeing how successful the first festivals were, the Chamber of Commerce ultimately extended the length of this Oregon cultural event to go over a long weekend (activities start on Friday) and decided to offer guided bird tours and talks by experts about the birds migrating through. It is now one of the best-attended bird watching events in North America and ranks high with birders attending Oregon cultural events and festivals.