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404 1st St
Cordova, AK, 99574
United States


We invite you to join the mass migration of Pacific shorebirds, raptors, waterfowl and songbirds.  Their shoreside respite is framed against the pristine backdrop of coastal glaciers and mountains, the breathtaking vista that we call home.  Come armed with your binoculars, spotting scopes, cameras, sketch books and pencils and leave with a heart full of memories.


The Festival

2017 Festival Dates May 4-7, 2017

experience the avian aurora. come be inspired ON THE COPPER RIVER DELTA!

Witness the shimmering flocks of millions of shorebirds as they take a short break on the Copper River Delta while passing from their wintering areas across the globe to their breeding grounds in the north.

Join birders, photographers, biologists, conservationists, artists and global citizens for a laid back weekend of birding, hiking, art and dance in one of the most pristine natural places on earth.

David Sibley - 2017 CRDSF keynote speaker  

He knows every North American bird: by its shade, by its tilt, by its habitat, by its male, female, and juvenile plumages. It’s only natural; he’s the son of a Yale ornithologist and has been birding since his childhood in Connecticut. Sibley was only seven when he began drawing birds, filing his illustrations away along with clips about the natural history of each species.

It’s a habit he never shook. As an adult, Sibley merged that encyclopedic knowledge with his skills as a self-taught artist to become one of America’s best-known field guide authors. His first bird guide was released in 2000. With The Sibley Field Guide to Birds, a New York Times bestseller, Sibley was immediately hailed as heir to the great birder and artist Roger Tory Peterson, placing him in a long line of artist-naturalist hybrids that leads straight back to John James Audubon himself. Don't miss David's keynote address:

The Psychology of Bird Identification

Bird identification is the central challenge of birding, and we all strive to improve our skills and to identify more birds, more quickly and more accurately. Countless references and tools suggest that the birder who wants to avoid misidentifications should learn more about the fine points of plumage, molt, and subspecies, but the fact is that most mistakes involve glitches in perception. No amount of knowledge and preparation can prevent us from blurting out “Snowy Owl!” when the time is right and we see a white plastic bag on the salt-marsh. Our brains, and the very short-cuts that we use with phenomenal success to identify birds, are also the source of most misidentifications. This workshop will focus on the psychological aspects of bird identification – how we subconsciously use pattern-recognition, expectations, suggestion, and other clues – and how those methods can lead us to misidentify birds with complete confidence.

David Sibley

David Sibley

Lisa Kennedy

Lisa Kennedy

Kate McLaughlin

Kate McLaughlin

Don't miss these other talented speakers

Lisa Kennedy, MSc, PhD Candidate ENLS Program, Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario

Lisa is a CGS-Doctoral NSERC Awardee currently in the third year of her doctorate. For the past three summers she has led a team of researchers for Environment Canada on the tundra at one of the longest running breeding shorebird monitoring camps in the Arctic. Her work is driven by her devotion to shorebird conservation and maintaining Arctic tundra biodiversity.

Kate McLaughlin

A resident of Prince William Sound since 1998, Kate McLaughlin is an independent environmental consultant and is the President & Executive Director of Prince William Soundkeeper, a non-profit water quality citizen advocacy organization.  From April – August, Kate runs the Alaska Hummingbird Banding Project, Inc., the northernmost hummingbird banding station in the world.

2016 Festival Schedule

Click here to view LAST YEAR'S Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival schedule of events. THIS YEAR'S schedule is still in the works! :)


Registering is easy!

  1. Download the registration form HERE or click the "Register Now" button below.
  2. Send your completed form to us. Choose one of the following options
    • Email to 
    • or Mail to Cordova Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 99, Cordova, AK 99574. 
    • or Call the office at 907-424-7260 and we can take your registration over the phone.  
  3. To pay your registration fee online click HERE, and email or mail your form to us separately. You can also call in your payment to 907-424-7260. 

For information on accommodations, car rentals, restaurants and other Cordova Visitor information please visit the chamber website.

Our own Erin Cooper, USFW Biologist, was a guest on KSKA Public Radio talking about the shorebirds, migration and the 2015 festival.  Take a listen:


The great cordova birder's challenge - bird here, now!

The 2016 Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival will continue the tradition of hosting a Birder’s Challenge.  This year’s event will be an 8 hour challenge to be held on Sunday, May 8.  The Challenge is open to anyone, and is meant to be a fun event for all, be you a serious birder, someone willing to learn, or for families.  Teams will begin at 1:00pm and in 8 hours, count as many species by sight and sound as they can.  The event will finish at 9 PM at the Reluctant Fisherman, where teams that are late, will forfeit 1 bird from the lists for every 5 minutes that they are late.  Again, the point of this friendly competition is for everyone to have FUN birding.  In the end, with teams out scouring the brush for a day, some interesting sightings are made every year.  We hope you will participate!

Complete rules and entry form HERE

The Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival is proud to be sponsored by the following dedicated organizations:

In addition to sponsors the festival also is proud of the following partnerships that provide for a robust event: