Considered one of Alaska’s top birding events, this annual festival during early May celebrates the arrival of more than 5 million migratory birds on the Copper River Delta east of Cordova. Bird-lovers are often agog to view spectacular flocks numbering hundreds of thousands at once—shorebirds, ducks, geese, swans, cranes and other migrants, with native bald eagles mixed in, and migratory songbirds appearing in the upland forests. (Shorebirds are only the excuse!)

The 700,000-acre Delta is an integral part of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network, which brings together organizations to recognize and protect critical shorebird habitat. As millions of birds converge on the vast wetlands and tidal flats east of Cordova, hundreds of bird enthusiasts arrive in town. They join in dozens of shared activities— boat charters and guided hikes, scientific and educational programs, talks and workshops with artists and photographers, plus social events and dining.

Getting There

Coordinates
Latitude: 60.542976
Longitude: -145.765042

Cordova is on Orca Inlet on in the southeastern corner of Prince William Sound, about 150 miles from Anchorage and 50 miles from Valdez (about 85 miles by water.) Currently most people book an airline flight from Anchorage. The Alaska Marine Highway System sometimes offers limited ferry service to Cordova from Whittier, Valdez and other ports. In 2020, sailings are scheduled several times a week between July and September.

Copper River Shorebird Festival