Dunlins, western sandpipers and a dowitcher feed on Saturday, May 2, 2020, on the Homer Spit near Green Timbers in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Dunlins, western sandpipers and a dowitcher feed on Saturday, May 2, 2020, on the Homer Spit near Green Timbers in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival goes virtual

Though the annual Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival was canceled along with so many other events in light of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the festival organizers decided to take the festival online.

For the first time in 28 years, the festival will be held virtually. You can join the experience at virtual.kachemakshorebird.org. The festival begins Thursday and lasts through Sunday.

Features of the virtual festival include a real-time map of bird sightings locally, and a “Daily Birders’ Blog” that includes field observations from local experts. Festival goers also have the option to purchase gear and art, or make a donation to support the festival.

There are also several virtual events, like the 6×6 bird art and trip auction, where participants can place bids on 6×6-inch canvasses painted by local and Outside artists. This fundraising event for the festival also includes several trips and excursions to bid on as well.

One section of the virtual festival site offers tips and advice for engaging kids in birding. Junior birders are encouraged to share their drawings, poems or photos of their birding experience with the festival, and Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies is offering free use of binoculars (call 907-235-6756).

New events are still being added to the online festival, and they will include quizzes, artist spotlights and featured speakers.

Birders participating in the festival are encouraged to share photos of their experience on social media with the hashtag #KBayShorebird2020.

Greater white fronted geese feed on Friday, May 1, 2020, in Mud Bay on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Greater white fronted geese feed on Friday, May 1, 2020, in Mud Bay on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Snow geese, greater white fronted geese and cackling Canada geese fly on Saturday, May 2, 2020, over the Mariner Park Slough in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Snow geese, greater white fronted geese and cackling Canada geese fly on Saturday, May 2, 2020, over the Mariner Park Slough in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

A birder looks for shorebirds on Saturday, May 2, 2020, on the Homer Spit near Mud Bay in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

A birder looks for shorebirds on Saturday, May 2, 2020, on the Homer Spit near Mud Bay in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

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