On the Road for Feb. 21

Port Susan Snow Goose and Birding Festival

WHAT: The festival is held every February to showcase the region’s diverse and abundant bird life, especially the snow geese that migrate from Russia to winter in the North Sound. The region also supports large concentrations of shorebirds, raptors, waterfowl and seabirds found along the northern Pacific Flyway during migration and winter. This will be the 10th annual festival.

WHEN: Saturday-March 1.

WHERE: Stanwood and Camano Island.

TAKE A TOUR: This year’s festival will include fee guided tours to the Nature Conservancy’s Port Susan Preserve, as well as tours to see snow geese and trumpeter swans, and one that deals with photographing birds. There will be self-guided tours to Iverson Spit and English Boom on Camano Island and The Big Ditch in Stanwood.

LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES: The festival also includes a number of speakers and seminars. The schedule includes sessions on shorebird identification, the status of polar bears, snow goose observations from a Russian scientist and updates on the state’s trumpeter and tundra swans.

WHY HERE: Stanwood sits between two of the largest estuaries in Puget Sound, the Skagit and Stillaguamish deltas. These estuaries provide critical habitat for many aquatic and terrestrial species.

COST: Most of the activities are free, but there is a charge for some. Many of the birding areas are on state land that requires a Discover Pass ($10 daily, $30 a year) for parking.

INFORMATION: snowgoosefest.org.