Pacific Flyway Series

Alaska, California, Washington

Photo: Milo Burcham

You are cordially invited to experience migration along the Pacific Flyway with Audubon! This field series will focus on key flyway destinations that shorebirds and waterbirds, such as the Whimbrel, rely upon year after year. Audubon experts from California, Washington and Alaska will discuss the importance of the regional habitats for birds migrating along the Pacific Flyway coastal route. Learn more about the birds that nest in the far northern tundra and boreal forests of Alaska, who then migrate south along the Pacific Coast, making key stops in Washington and California on their way to Chile. We hope you will join us to hear about Audubon’s work to protect coastal habitat at all three events, or feel free to attend just one.*


  • Meet Audubon experts who will discuss regional birding and conservation efforts, and how they relate to the Pacific Flyway.
  • Explore the waterways and restoration sites in Alaska, California, and Washington, to potentially see more than 70 bird species.
  • Learn about local environmental issues and conservation wins in each state.
  • Be on the lookout for American Avocets, Godwits, Whimbrels, Western Sand Pipers, Snowy Plovers, Curlews,  Black-Bellied Plover, Red-Necked Phalarope, Black Oystercatcher, Surfbird, Baird’s Sand Pipers, Least Sandpipers and more.

California Event: September 23, 2017 San Francisco South Bay

On September 23 we visited the Don Edwards Refuge in San Francisco’s South Bay for an introduction to the importance of the Pacific Flyway. . The birds of the Pacific Flyway depend on a diverse chain of habitats, from Arctic tundra and northwestern rainforest to tropical beaches and mangroves. Audubon’s network of chapters, volunteers, activists, and members is preserving and restoring these vital links along the way. Each year millions of birds migrate along the Pacific Flyway, but these birds are only a fraction of those that used the flyway a century ago. Habitat loss, water shortages, diminishing food sources, and climate change all threaten the birds of the Pacific Flyway. Coastal estuary habitats are among the most diverse ecologically and most threatened nationwide.

In conjunction with this introduction, we visited Ravenswood “SF2”, a coastal estuary site in Menlo Park. Restoration at this site addressed the needs of the migratory wildlife that rely on the tidal wetlands. We learned about the history of this site, which brought together a broad coalition of agency staff, scientists and the public to design a habitat restoration plan for the property. Learn more about our visit to restored tidal wetlands in San Francisco’s South Bay during peak migration of birds like the American Avocet and Marbled Godwit in our blog post here.

Additional California events will happen throughout the Fall of 2017 and Spring of 2018.  Please email if you'd like to attend a future California event.

Washington Event: May 4-5, 2018
Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay, Washington
Registration and Full Trip Description Here

Experience the wonder of spring migration in our coastal estuaries. From mid-April to mid-May, vast numbers of shorebirds wing their way north to breeding grounds in the Arctic, stopping at critical spots along this journey to rest and refuel. Washington’s outer coastal estuaries of Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay provide prime foraging for these long distance migrants. Join us for the opportunity to observe this influx of shorebirds during a very special weekend along our coast.

Arrive Friday May 4th for a group dinner and shorebird identification refresher. The birding begins Saturday morning with a beach walk during low tide in Westport. We’ll visit Important Bird Areas along Grays Harbor, and stop for a picnic lunch and free time. In the afternoon, we head to Grayland State Park to see Washington’s only breeding population of Western Snowy Plovers, and visit Willapa Bay with a stop at the Tokeland marina during high tide for prime viewing of shorebird species such as Short-billed Dowitchers and Marbled Godwits. We’ll end our day with dinner and conversation back in Westport, and offer an optional morning outing on Sunday, May 6th.  

Alaska Event: Coming Soon!

When it comes to birds and wildlife habitat, Alaska is enormously important.  It is a vast and unique place teeming with an abundance and diversity of birds and wildlife. The majority of Alaska bird species are migratory, fanning out across six continents in winter and returning back to Alaska by the millions to breed and nest in summer.  Join Audubon’s Pacific Flyway leaders, including experts in shorebird ecology and conservation, and a small group of Audubon friends and supporters for an immersion in birds and other wildlife at a legendary location.

*Two additional tour stops in California's Central Valley Route are also available. Please email us at

A visit to a waterbird’s gas station
San Francisco Bay

A visit to a waterbird’s gas station

San Francisco Bay is an integral part of the Pacific Flyway. A recent visit to a South Bay restoration site reveals birds fueling up for their migration complete with kleptoparasitism.

Read more

Pacific Americas Shorebird Conservation Strategy

Pacific Americas Shorebird Conservation Strategy

Audubon is partnering with other conservation organizations to protect shorebirds across the Pacific Flyway.

Read more