Wings Over Water Birding Festival

On March 15-17, the 17th Annual Wings Over Water (WOW) Festival will take place in Blaine, with numerous events and activities in a variety of venues. We’re expanding this year to cover locations stretching from Lake Terrell on the south to the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary on the north. The numerous activities at the festival are designed for all ages, so if you’re at all interested in birds, mark your calendars!

During the 3-day festival weekend, there will be a number of presentations with a variety of speakers. Some of them will cover birds, bird photography, and the geology of the area. Arts and crafts vendors will fill the cafeteria area at the Blaine Middle School on Saturday with displays and exhibits. The always-popular live raptor presentations by the Sardis Wildlife Center will take place there as well. Presentations will be ongoing in the adjacent PAC, so the weather will not be a factor. Once you enter the doors, you will be able to find food to keep you fueled throughout the day. Many of the planned field trips will depart from and return to the same area, so it’s easy enough to leave some family members behind who might not want to go.

The Plover foot-passenger ferry will operate throughout the day on Saturday with short cruises leaving from the Blaine Harbor Center to tour Drayton Harbor. The 50’ Salish Sea will depart from Semiahmoo and take passengers on a 2-hour tour of Semiahmoo Bay for close-up looks at a variety of birds including loons, grebes, sea ducks, and other waterfowl species.

We’re trying a new field trip this year for those who don’t wish to travel too far but still want to see a few good birds. We plan to have a van available to take a limited number of people to Lake Terrell to sample birds in the freshwater habitats, and then to Birch Bay for the saltwater varieties. Swallows and other spring birds will be busy at Lake Terrell and large numbers of migratory waterfowl will be feeding and resting at Birch Bay prior to the long, northbound flights to their breeding grounds.

Since schedules are set and registrations are required for many events, be sure to consult the festival website at