Owens Lake Bird Festival

The Owens Lake Bird Festival is a celebration of the thousands of migratory birds as they travel through the Owens Valley and of the rich and precious natural environment of the Eastern Sierra. With over 30 outings offered, the Bird Festival covers topics including birding, botany, photography, geology, local history, and more. Over three days, over 150 participants will explore the unique natural landscape surrounding the Lone Pine area. Participants may also choose to take part in the catered dinner on Saturday night and enjoy the speech given by our keynote speaker.

The 2021 Virtual Owens Lake Bird Festival

We are excited to present the 2021 Owens Lake Bird Festival virtually this year! We will be hosting three virtual versions of some of our most popular outings over the course of two days. No need to worry about your favorite trip filling up this year!

When: April 23rd – April 24th, 2021
Where: via Zoom Meeting
Cost: $40 suggested donation. 100% of event proceeds will help fun dour programs to protect and care for the Eastern Sierra’s Public Lands.
*If the suggested donation is a barrier, you can request a reduced cost or free registration.

The Virtual Presentations

Owens Lake Habitat Management: It’s for the Birds!
Presented by Collette Gaal & Jeff Nordin
Friday, April 23rd at 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power operates the Owens Lake Dust Mitigation Program on approximately 48.6 square miles of Owens Lakebed. Since the implementation of water-based dust control, Owens Lake has once again become an important stop-over for migratory shorebirds and waterfowl. While originally designed to control dust, shallow flooding areas are now also managed to sustain habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds. We will discuss how these areas are managed to benefit migrating shorebirds and waterfowl.

Photographing Birds on Owens Lake

Presented by Martin Powell
Saturday, April 24th at 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Presented by Martin Powell, Lone Pine native, local photographer, and popular Owens Lake Bird Festival leader, this presentation will feature Martin’s beautiful photos, the stories behind them, and highlights of the birds he photographs.

Owens Lake’s Importance in Western Hemisphere Bird Migration

Presented by Mike Prather
Saturday, April 24th at 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Presented by Mike Prather, Lone Pine resident and local icon in the birding community, this presentation will explore the importance of Owens Lake Lake to western hemisphere bird migration. Mike will share his knowledge and expertise of some of the most incredible birding in the world.

Learn More
2020 OLBF Information

Although we had to cancel the 2020 Bird Festival, you can still see our list of events that we typically host. We are excited to host the in-person event again once it is safe to do so. We hope to see you at the next Owens Lake Bird Festival!

2020 Schedule of Events
2020 Schedule of Outings
2020 Outing Leaders

2019 OLBF Information

2019 Event Schedule
2019 Schedule of Outings
2019 Outing Leaders
Birds From 2019 Festival
Videos of the Festival

Owens lake birding Information

About Owens Lake
Map of Owens Lake
Birding Ethics
Lodging and Restaurants
Eastern Sierra Birding Trail Map

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In Response to COVID-19

​ On behalf of Friends of the Inyo, we hope you are healthy and taking care of yourself and your community during this difficult time. We understand the responsibility that we have to do our part to help slow the spread of this virus and we will continue to prioritize the health and well-being of our employees, members, and community. We are fortunate at Friends of the Inyo that we are able to carry on our work on all of our campaigns. We have taken steps to keep our staff and community safe by closing our office. FOI staff are…

2019 Owens Lake Bird Festival Bird List

  Thanks to everyone who joined us for the 2019 Owens Lake Bird Festival! We hope to see you April 24-26th, 2020.  Here are the birds we saw at this year’s festival: American Wigeon Mallard Blue-winged Teal Cinnamon Teal Northern Shoveler Northern Pintail Green-winged Teal Redhead Ring-necked Duck Lesser Scaup Bufflehead Ruddy Duck California Quail Chukar Common Loon Eared Grebe Western Grebe Clark’s Grebe American White Pelican Great Egret Snowy Egret Black-crowned Night-Heron White-faced Ibis Turkey Vulture Northern Harrier Cooper’s Hawk Red-shouldered Hawk Red-tailed Hawk Virginia Rail American Coot Black-necked Stilt American Avocet Black-bellied Plover Snowy Plover Killdeer Spotted Sandpiper…

Owens Lake Big Day

August 21 was the annual fall migration Big Day at Owens Lake. Big Days” are known in the birding world as days where we count as many individual birds as possible in one day. Our own board member Mike Prather organizes observers to assist Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) with these counts each spring and fall. This acts as a snapshot of peak migration numbers that help inform DWP’s management of the lake. While I’ve participated in many a spring Big Day, this year I decided to join the August event as well. The shorebirds and waterfowl…

Birds of the 2017 Owens Lake Bird Festival

Here’s the list of birds we saw at the 2017 Owens Lake Bird Festival: Gadwall American Wigeon Mallad Blue-winged Teal Cinnamon Teal Northern Shoveler Northern Pintail Green-winged Teal Canvasback Redhead Lesser Scaup Long-tailed Duck Bufflehead Red-breasted Merganser Ruddy Duck California Quail Eared Grebe Double-crested Cormorant American White Pelican Great Blue Heron Great Egret Snowy Egret White-faced Ibis Turkey Vulture Osprey Bald Eagle Northern Harrier Cooper’s Hawk Red-shouldered Hawk Swainson’s Hawk Red-tailed Hawk Sora American Coot Black-necked Stilt American Avocet Back-bellied plover Snowy Plover Semipalmated plover Killdeer Spotted Sandpiper Solitary Sandpiper Greater Yellowlegs Lesser Yellowlegs Willet Whimbrel Long-billed Curlew Marbled Godwit…

The People of the Owens Lake Bird Festival

While the birds were the star of the festival, the people made it pretty great too:   Saturday started out cold (photo by David Carle)…   But we persisted, and had a great time (photo by Janet Carle).   It was a gorgeous day to search for birds (Gabby Guerrero).   We learned a lot from Bob Steele about the art of bird photography (Sam Dummer).   Dave Herbst led his always popular exploration of the microbiotic life of Owens Lake (Janet Carle).   (David Carle)   This year’s festival offered many excited trips off the lake. Here’s the group…

Owens Lake Bird Festival

The 1st Annual Owens Lake Bird Festival will take place on Saturday, April 25, 2015.  There will be a Welcome Reception at the Lone Pine Film History Museum the night before on Friday, April 24, 2015. A variety of field trips will be offered. There will also be a Closing reception at the Interagency Visitor Center. More information and details available here: https://friendsoftheinyo.org/foiD7/node/1398