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Registration is Now Open – 2016 Schedule Now Available!

2016 Schedule Now Live!

Click to see all the latest activities and programming for the 2016 Tawas Point Birding Festival. Once you've chosen your activities, register today before spots fill up!

2016 Keynote Address:

SHIFT HAPPENS: Rare (Vagrant) Birds in North America – Why, Where, and Whence?

Steve N. G. Howell
Most birders know somebody who has found a rare bird, or they may have found one themselves. It’s always fun to see something different – variety is the spice of life, it adds a buzz to any day of birding. But why and where do rare birds show up? While vagrancy isn’t random, it may seem so when you hear about a Lesser Frigatebird in Michigan, a flock of Ruddy Shelduck in Arctic Canada, a Sungrebe in New Mexico, or a Xantus’s Hummingbird in British Coumbia. Illustrated with stunning plates by Ian Lewington from the recently published Rare Birds of North America (co-authored by Will Russell, Ian, and Steve), this illuminating and entertaining talk explores why rare birds show up in North America, where they show up, and where they come from.

Keynote Speaker: Steve N. G. Howell

Image shows a photo of a man with brown curly hair and a beard, holding a pair of binoculars and looking at the camera.

Keynote Speaker Steve N. G. Howell

Steve N. G. Howell is an international bird tour leader with WINGS (specializing in Mexico and the ocean), a Research Associate at the California Academy of Sciences, and a widely published author. The common thread to his life is that birding should be fun, and he has been watching birds for as long as he can remember – of course, this may simply mean that his memory is not very good! His recent books include the Offshore Sea Life ID Guides (West Coast published 2015, East Coast 2016, coauthored with Brian Sullivan; Princeton University Press), The Amazing World of Flyingfish (2014; Princeton) and, together with Will Russell and Ian Lewington, the widely acclaimed Rare Birds of North America (2014; Princeton).

Carl R with birders by Mike Caterino

Photo by Mike Caterino

Enjoy multiple tours with experienced birding guides.

KW Tour by Denise Willis

Photo by Denise Willis.

During the Kirtland Warbler’s tour, participants will also stop to see nesting Trumpeter Swans (tour pictured above).


We can guarantee plenty of bird species and a good time at the Tawas Point Birding Festival. See our About page for species list and further information.