An anonymous donor granted this award recognizing the festival’s central theme – citizens elevating conservation. Every Mountain Bird Festival attendee advances bird conservation in multiple ways; they contribute to habitat protection, they participate as citizen scientists, and they support scientific programs aimed at achieving sustainable natural resources management. “Receiving this award as we prepare to host our first conservation-focused festival adds to our momentum and gives us encouragement that we’re on the right trajectory,” said John Alexander, Klamath Bird Observatory’s Executive Director.
The Mountain Bird Festival’s conservation impacts are far-reaching. First, each festival attendee receives a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (a.k.a. the Duck Stamp) purchased with a portion of their registration fee. The Federal Duck Stamp Program is considered one of the most successful conservation programs ever; proceeds from stamp sales are used to purchase or lease wetland habitat for protection within the National Wildlife Refuge System. More than 6 million acres of strategic wetland habitat have been preserved through this program over the last 80 years.
Second, all bird sightings made during Mountain Bird Festival field trips will be entered into eBird, a real-time, online checklist program that is the fastest growing biological database in the world. The birding community – simply by uploading bird abundance and distribution data into this program – is contributing to an unprecedented understanding of the dynamic health of the natural world; such information allows scientists to identify conservation priorities and better use limited conservation funds. eBird Festivals, such as the Mountain Bird Festival, are accelerating this valuable citizen science trend.
Third, festival attendees also receive a new and attractive Mountain Bird Conservation Science Stamp, modeled after the Duck Stamp and designed by local artist Gary Bloomfield. Each festival attendee purchases this stamp though their registration fee and proceeds support Klamath Bird Observatory’s scientific programs that inform management for healthy lands, airs, and waters in the Klamath-Siskiyou Region of southern Oregon and northern California.
The Mountain Bird Festival is a unique community conservation event that celebrates the globally outstanding Klamath Siskiyou Region, recognized for its abundance of different habitats and species. The festival offers two days of field trips that will search for mountain bird specialties, such as White-headed Woodpecker, Mountain Quail, Calliope Hummingbird, and Great Gray Owl. The festival also features a fine art auction, live music, local foods and beverages, cocktail parties, and stimulating evening presentations.
Klamath Bird Observatory is hosting the 2014 Mountain Bird Festival in partnership with the City of Ashland, the Ashland Chamber of Commerce, ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum, and many other organizations.