Wings Over Willapa

September 28-30, 2018, join us for our inaugural Wings Over Willapa Festival! We’re celebrating Willapa National Wildlife Refuge with a weekend full of classes, workshops, guided tours and more. Whether you’re an experienced birder or just getting acquainted with the great outdoors, nature lovers of all ages are sure to find plenty to do.

Registration is now open!!! Please read the Registration FAQ here for instructions on how to register.

Because the Refuge is distributed among several individual units, and because the Long Beach Peninsula has so many wonderful places opening their doors to the festival, we will have events occurring at multiple locations throughout the day. We’ll have more information on transportation options soon, particularly for those who may not have access to their own vehicle. Special thanks to the Columbia-Pacific Heritage Museum in Ilwaco who will be hosting some of our presentations, and will also be giving registered WoW attendees free admission to the entire museum! Many thanks also to the Cranberry Museum and the Salt Hotel & Pub, who will also be providing space for our activities throughout the weekend. We will have public transportation in the form of a trolley available; schedule coming soon!

Watch this space and the Friends of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page for news on festival events, volunteer opportunities and more. We also have a Facebook event page specifically for this year’s festivities. Questions? Interested in getting involved? Want to sponsor the event or donate a silent auction item? Contact us at

Please use these quick links to jump to different sections of this page:

Keynote Speaker * Tours * Presentations * Workshops * Presenter Biographies * Wings Over Willapa Sponsors
How To Register for Wings Over Willapa 2018
General admission to Wings Over Willapa 2018 is $20 for adults, $10 for children ages 7-13, and free for children under 7. Pacific County residents and current Friends of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge members are $10. You must have a general admission in order to attend any of the events listed here. General admission does not include the additional costs for those workshops and tours which have fees associated with them. You can purchase general admission here. You can preregister for individual workshops, tours and classes by going to their individual descriptions below and clicking on where it says “Pregister for this tour/etc. here”, or by going to the Wings Over Willapa Shop. You can find instructions on how to register here.

Workshops, Tours and Other Events
The following is an ever-growing list of our confirmed events that will be occurring during the Wings Over Willapa festival. Check back for more additions to the roster!


Please note that you will need to be registered by the time each event begins; otherwise you will not be able to participate. Preregistration is now open on this site, and you will also be able to register at the event beginning Friday night, September 28. Some of the tours and workshops will require separate registration and/or materials fees that are not included in the general Wings Over Willapa registration. Got questions about registering? Click here for instructions on how to register!

Friday Night Social and Registration at The Salt Hotel and Pub, 5pm – 9:30pm

Come check in at our registration table at The Salt Hotel and Pub and get your “bird band” wristband that will be your entrance ticket to WoW events. Once you’re checked in, order tasty local food and a drink, enjoy the company of other birding and nature enthusiasts, and peruse local artwork by Jace Walker Stenersen in the relaxed setting of The Salt’s downstairs pub. If you’re planning on going to any early Saturday morning programming, come here and get your registration taken care of ahead of time.

Saturday Night Keynote Speaker and Silent Auction – 5:30pm – 9pm

We will be featuring a very special keynote speaker this year, along with a substantial selection of hors d’oeuvres, and a silent auction featuring artwork, birding supplies and more! The festivities will be at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum in Ilwaco, WA. We will have a happy hour starting at 5:30pm with wine and North Jetty beer served (first 2 drinks free with price of admission as well as a souvenir beer or wine glass).  There will be a silent auction with many exciting offerings and a keynote speaker, and we’ll wrap up around 9pm. 

Our keynote speaker is Joan Walsh! Joan is Mass Audubon’s Gerard A. Bertrand Chair of Natural History and Field Ornithology. She has been watching—and learning from—birds for 35 years and was the Director of Bird Monitoring at Mass Audubon from 2006-2017. During her career she has focused on research that has direct implications for bird conservation. This interest led to enlisting hundreds of citizen scientists for the creation of the highly regarded Massachusetts Breeding Bird Atlas 2 and two State of the Birds of Massachusetts reports.

She was a Farallon Island biologist where she studied Elephant Seals, Tufted Puffins, Brandt’s Cormorants, Western Gulls, and even did a little Great White Shark work. She went to graduate school in Georgia, where she studied Wood Storks, and was the former Director of Research at Cape May Bird Observatory in NJ. Her formative years as an ornithologist were spent on Great Gull Island, NY, home to the largest colonies of Common and Roseate Terns in the North Atlantic.

Admission for the keynote speaker and silent auction is $40/person. You may preregister for this event here.


Pelagic Trip from Ilwaco – 7am – ~3pm Saturday

Here’s a chance to add some birds to your life list! Join Capt. Pat Schenk of Sea Breeze Charters aboard the 50′ Four Sea’sons for a trip over the Columbia river bar and out to sea. Jen Zamon from NOAA will be our on-board naturalist and will help us spot birds and other wonders of the deep ocean. We may see sooty shearwaters, albatross, and other pelagic birds not commonly seen near the shore. Whales, sunfish, sharks and other creatures may be seen. Departs from Sea Breeze Charters in Ilwaco 7AM, returns in the early afternoon. Be ready for weather and sea conditions. Box lunch will be provided as part of the tour. Limited to 14 participants; cost beyond general admission is $150/person. Preregister for this tour here.

Disco Duck! Birding on Discovery Trail – 8am – 11am Sunday
Join avid cyclist Jim Sayce and pedal your way to a birding adventure from high up on North Head down through forests, wetlands-lake, dune plains and along the Pacific Ocean shore. A good morning cycling and stopping at key points to quietly get us closer to birds and their habitats. Birding by bicycle allows you to be immersed in nature, able to hear bird songs more clearly, and find species including gulls, pelicans, eagles, terns, a dizzying array of shorebird species and the elusive LBJ.
Disco Duck is designed as a morning, downhill birding-cycling tour on Discovery Trail with stops at the following coastal environs: rocky headlands, coastal forest, coastal wetlands, pine scrub, dunes, and shorelines. Jim will expound (if asked) on a coastal geology, ecology, history and is open to just about any question. The nearly 8-mile tour takes about 3 hours. It begins at the North Head Lighthouse parking lot at 8:00 am and concludes at the parking lot across from the golf course in north Long Beach. So bring your bikes and binos! Helmet too! Jim will leave his truck at the endpoint to shuttle drivers back to their vehicles at the North Head Parking lot. You will need a Discover Pass to park here, $10/day – passes are NOT available on site, look up where to buy your Discover Pass.
Bring your own bike & helmet or rent from local businesses. Limited to 8 participants; cost beyond general admission is $10/person. This tour is SOLD OUT! If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please contact us at

Bird Walk at Cape Disappointment State Park – 8am – 9am Saturday

Join naturalists Jim & Bea Harrison for a 1-hour bird/nature hike. Meet at the overlook outside the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center at Cape Disappointment State Park at 8:00 am Saturday morning. After scoping the mouth of the Columbia River for water birds and bald eagles, we will walk the beautiful surrounding forest trails. Jim and Bea have led birding trips for over 25 years and work as summer interpreters at the Interpretive Center. Note: Fairly strenuous uphill walk from parking lot to Center and moderate, uneven trail surfaces. Wear sturdy shoes, prepare for possible rainy conditions. You will need a Discover Pass to park here, $10/day – passes are NOT available on site, look up where to buy your Discover PassLimited to 15 participants; there is no additional cost beyond general admission, but you must reserve your spot through preregistration. Preregister for this tour here.

Beginning Birding – 8:30am – 11:30am Saturday

So you’ve caught the buzz about birding and you want to give it a try, but you’re not quite sure how to start? This class and field trip with Dr. Madeline Kalbach and Susan Stauffer is just for you. You’ll learn how to spot the differences among birds through their unique field marks and behavior, as well as where and how to watch birds. Following the presentation at the Salt Hotel and Pub participants will drive to the Tarlatt Unit of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge for a short hike. A mixture of open grasslands, forests and wetlands provide habitat a variety of species including waterfowl, wading birds, raptors and songbirds. Limited to 15 participants; there is no additional cost beyond general admission, but you must reserve your spot through preregistration. You can reserve your spot here.

East Sand Island Kayak Trip – 8:30am – 12:30pm Saturday

Join Columbia River Kayaking for a trip around east Sand Island, the westernmost island in the Columbia River, with views out to Cape Disappointment and the Pacific. East Sand is famous for being the site of the world’s largest caspian tern colony (up to 19,000 birds) and world’s largest double-crested cormorant colony (currently about 25,000 birds).East Sand has recently had the Pacific coast’s largest brown pelican roost, with over 5000 individuals gathering in the post-breeding season. Although nesting season will be over by the time of our paddle, the bird activity will not. Most of the pelicans should still be present, as well as flocks of shorebirds, waterfowl, gulls, thousands of cormorants, and often a surprise or two. Enjoy the spectacle of paddling among thousands of birds. Paddling distance: approximately 5 miles. Meet at Port of Chinook (Port of Chinook, 743 Water Street, Chinook, WA) at 8:30 AM Saturday, September 29. We will return by about 12:30 PM.

This tour is weather dependent; depending on conditions, we may stay on the protected side of East Sand Island. Limited to twelve participants; for $69 (not including general admission) they are are providing kayaks and all associated equipment, including paddle, pfd, and spray skirt. This tour is unique in that you must register for the tour ONLY by contacting Columbia River Kayaking at or 360-747-1044. You must still purchase a Wings Over Willapa general admission for each participant here on the website.

Wildlife Tracking – 9am – 11am Saturday

Join Kristi Freese for a Wildlife Tracking/Birding Adventure at the Leadbetter unit of the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge! Kristi has achieved a Level 3 Wildlife Tracking status through CyberTracker, a non-profit Public Benefit Organization that promotes the vision of a worldwide environmental monitoring network and which runs a rigorous tracker certification program ( This perspective-expanding trip will meet at 9AM Saturday in the parking lot at Leadbetter. You will need a Discover Pass to park here, $10/day – passes are NOT available on site, look up where to buy your Discover Pass. Kristi will do a short presentation on tracking and then the field trip will take place in the estuary. There will also be expert birders on the trip so you can match up tracks with actual bird sightings such as Dunlins, Sanderlings, Kingfishers, Yellowlegs, Warblers, Chickadees and many others. Kristi states, “Tracking is all about paying attention to the environment and wildlife around you, so the two (birding) go hand-in-hand.” This trip is rated as an easy hike along the Bay and will last for about 2 hours. Limited to 12 participants; there is no additional cost beyond general admission, but you must reserve your spot through preregistration. Preregister for this tour here.

Birding Leadbetter Point – 9am – 12pm Sunday

Join the staff of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge for an exciting journey to the tip of the Long Beach Peninsula along to the Leadbetter Point Unit. This is a wild place with limited human access that creates a sanctuary for wildlife, rare plants, hundreds of bird species, including the federally threatened western snowy plover and streaked horned lark. Bald eagles and peregrine falcons are often seen. Fall migration also brings dizzying concentrations of shorebirds to refuge shores. Participants will travel in 4×4 vehicles on the beach north from Oysterville Approach to the geographic tip of the peninsula. The guided tour will include opportunities for learning about the local ecology and ongoing habitat restoration activities. Limited to 11 participants; cost beyond general admission is $10/person. This tour is SOLD OUT! If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please contact us at

Cranberry Tour – 10:00am – 11:00am Saturday

Join Dr. Kim Patten, the director of Washington State University Long Beach Research and Extension Unit, to get a first-hand look at the crimson cranberry bogs.  He will provide information about the different varieties of cranberries and how crops are planted and cultivated on a short walk around the bogs near the Cranberry Museum, located at 2907 Pioneer Road Long Beach, WA. No preregistration needed, just show up, though you do need to have a general admission to Wings over Willapa.

Long Island Expedition – 1:30pm – 5:45pm Saturday

Join the staff of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge for an unforgettable expedition to Long Island, the largest estuary island on the Pacific Coast. Board the barge for a 40 minute voyage (each way) on Willapa Bay along the southern shoreline of the island. Arriving on the western side of the island near Smoky Hollow, you’ll begin a 2 mile round trip hike to the Ancient Cedar Grove. This 274 acre grove is one of the last remnants of the old growth coastal forest once common in southwestern Washington. Some of the western red cedar trees in the grove are over 1,000 years old. Large branches provide platforms for marbled murrelet nests. Standing and collapsed dead trees are habitat for woodpeckers, bats, flying squirrels and amphibians. Long Island’s rain drenched coastal forests are also home to deer, elk, black bear, grouse and numerous species of birds. The barge will be boarded at the Refuge headquarters at 3888 US-101, Ilwaco, WA 98624 on the east side of Willapa Bay. Limited to 50 participants; cost beyond general admission is $25/person.  This tour is SOLD OUT!  If you would like to be added to the wait list, please contact us at

Willapa Bay Expedition – 9:30am – 12:00pm Sunday

Climb aboard The Northern for tour of Willapa Bay. Northern Oyster Company is providing a tour around the north end of Long Island on a working dredge boat, taking off from the Port of Peninsula at Nahcotta. This is a unique opportunity to learn about the history and traditions of shellfish growing on Willapa Bay from local experts and historians. These custom designed boats are able to go out at low-tides, offering a different perspective of the bay and its waterfowl and shorebirds. Birding expert Jerry Broadus will be aboard to assist with birding ID and behaviors, Kim Patten of WSU’s Long Beach Extension Unit will act as historian, and David Beugli of WGHOGA will talk about oystering. Limited to 30 participants; cost beyond general admission is $30/person. This tour is SOLD OUT!  If you would like to be added to the wait list, please contact us at

Self-guided Tours at Tarlatt, Teal Slough and Greenhead Slough

Want to do some exploring on your own throughout the weekend? We’ll have Refuge maps available at the registration desk so that you can check out the trails, views and other wonders of Willapa!


Make Your Wildlife Observations Count: Using Online Geographic Databases eBird and iNaturalist – 2pm – 4pm Friday, with nature walk right after

Want to take your birding and other nature sightings to the next level? Need a place to log your bird lists? Mosses? Wildflowers? Moths? Want to know what others saw here? Where? When? Enjoy taking photos of the animals you see? Want help identifying your photos of bugs, frogs or birds? Learn about online communities eBird (birds) and iNaturalist (all biotic groups), where observations are linked in space and time to spatially track species populations. This hands-on workshop will show you how to use these web-based applications — iNaturalist and eBird. For WOW 2018, this geographic area has been designated as a project space, so sightings can be tracked in real time as people log them on iNaturalist. Join this workshop by Kathleen Sayce and become a Citizen Scientist! Held at the Ocean Park Library. The presentation will be from 2-4pm followed by a field trip to practice our new skills.  We have been given special permission to walk through Shakti Cove Cottages property on the way to the beach and hope to see many birds along the way. Limited to 10 participants; there is no additional cost beyond general admission, but you must reserve your spot through preregistration. This tour is SOLD OUT!  If you would like to be added to the wait list, please contact us at

Nature Photography – 10:30am – 11:30am Saturday

Join photographer Andy Zahn for a one hour class in nature photography. Learn a variety of techniques and skills, including time lapse photography, how to create composite images, and how to combine multiple technologies for better nature videos. We will also be talking about camera gear and post processing software. Held at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum. Open to everyone with a Wings over Willapa 2018 general admission. However, space is limited to 20 people, so please reserve your spot here.

Shorebirds – 1pm – 2pm Saturday

Shorebirds, some no larger than a sparrow, are among Earth’s great long-distant migrants. In autumn, we can witness a dazzling array of these birds as they make their way south from their Arctic breeding grounds. At first glance, all these little brown birds may look alike. But with a little practice, you can identify different shorebird species like a pro. Join author and guide, John Rakestraw, for a presentation to help you differentiate both local and migrant shorebirds by size, shape, color, and behavior. Held at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum. Open to everyone with a Wings over Willapa 2018 general admission. However, space is limited to 40 people, so please reserve your spot here.

Willapa Bay Shorebird Survey Training – 2:30pm – 3:30pm Saturday

All eyes in the sky–and on the sand, and on the water! If you want to help survey shorebirds on Willapa Bay this fall, you can learn about how to get involved at this one-hour training. We’ll talk about the survey, what protocols to use, and when and where you’ll be surveying. Your data will help scientists and other officials working to protect and preserve shorebirds and their habitats. Held at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum. Open to everyone with a Wings over Willapa 2018 general admission. However, space is limited to 20 people, so please reserve your spot here.


Photo by Madeline Kalbach

Bird Nest Box Building sponsored by Oman and Son – 10am – 12pm Saturday 

Each summer, migrating birds like the tree swallows, violet green swallows and western bluebirds come to our area to nest. These species eagerly use nest boxes, eat lots of pesky insects and are entertaining to watch. Twenty birdhouse kits will be available to build and take home. Kits and tools will be available at the Cranberry Museum. One kit per family. Adult supervision required. Led by Joe Freitas, Jim Ferrier and Nathan Hughes; supplies donated by Oman and Son Hardware. Limited to 20 families; there is no additional cost beyond general admission; first come, first served.

Other Kids’ Activities – 10am – 2pm Saturday

The Cranberry Museum has generously donated space for the day for kids/family activities.  Stop in and learn about the many habitats that our area supports, make bird sculptures using recycled materials, test your survival skills, and many more!  It promises to be a fun afternoon for kids and adults alike.

No additional cost or preregistration needed, just general admission; drop in any time Saturday between 10am and 2pm!

Clay By The Bay – 10am – 12pm Saturday

Get fired up to be creative! At Bay Avenue Gallery in Ocean Park, you’ll select from a wide variety of hand crafted clay artworks to decorate and glaze. Artist Sue Raymond will guide you through the techniques of glaze application. Each piece will fired in the kiln that night and be ready to take home the next day. All materials provided. No experience necessary. All ages are welcome. Limited to 10 participants; cost beyond general admission is $25/person. Preregister for this workshop here.

Pour and Sip – 12pm – 2pm Saturday

In this fun, interactive workshop held at North Jetty Brewing, you can grab a North Jetty beer and learn the techniques, tips and tricks of Acrylic Pouring with Karen and Dave Hoch. No experience required and all materials will be provided. Each student will get a 8×10″ canvas, paints and all other materials required to create one pour painting in class. Please come dressed for creative messiness. Limited to 10 participants; cost beyond general admission is $30/person. Preregister for this workshop here.

Preregister for this workshop here.

Pop Up Card Workshop – 1pm – 3pm Saturday

Pop up cards make greetings more fun and memorable! Artist Sue Raymond at Bay Avenue Gallery in Long Beach will teach you the basic pop-up techniques to add a third dimension to your card making. You’ll leave class with 2 nature-themed pop-up cards and the skills to make pop-ups on your own. All materials provided. No experience necessary. All ages are welcome. Limited to 10 participants; cost beyond general admission is $20/person. Preregister for this workshop here.

Feather Raku Pottery – 1pm – 2pm Saturday

Roll up your shirtsleeves and join clay artist Karen Brownlee at Brownlee Studio to create your own masterpiece. Participants will use bird feathers and a technique called raku to create a unique design on your very own clay pot. Limited to 10 participants; cost beyond general admission is $30/person. Preregister for this workshop here.

Beach Baskets – 1pm – 5pm Saturday

Join Long Beach Peninsula graphic designer and artist Susan Spence at Marie Powell Gallery to create a basket from foraged, re-cycled rope salvaged from our local beaches! In this class we will make a small basket with a handle. Everything to make the

basket will be provided including a pre-made base. No previous crochet experience required. Space is limited for this fun class that ends with your own unique basket to adorn your home. Limited to 10 participants; cost beyond general admission is $125/person. Preregister for this workshop here.

Quilting Demonstration by Peninsula Quilt Guild – Saturday, 10am – 12pm

Join us at the Heritage Museum on Saturday September 29 from 10am to noon for a quilting demonstration by Janet Darcher.  Janet  took on the challenge of creating the Connecting People through Shorebirds friendship quilt and the Peninsula Quilt Guild is well known for their stunning artistry.  Dont miss this opportunity to learn more about quilting from Janet!
Connecting People through Shorebirds Friendship Quilt 
The Connecting People through Shorebirds Friendship Quilt will be on display at the Heritage Museum.  Fabric squares were decorated by youth and other community members with pictures and messages highlighting the importance of conserving shorebirds and their habitat. Once decorated, the Peninsula Quilt Guild in Long Beach, Washington, sewed the squares together into a patchwork of North American solidarity for shorebird conservation. The goal of the  Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) friendship quilt project is to raise awareness with communities along the flyways that they are connected and steward a shared resource. 23 organizations participated in the creation of the friendship quilt. These organizations come from 12 communities that steward important migratory shorebird sites along North America’s Atlantic and Pacific flyways.


Jim Sayce is a life-long resident of Pacific County and after returning home in the early 1980s from a 10 year interlude in college, he invested 3 decades in a broad public career to improving Pacific County in education, natural resources, parks, trails, community infrastructure, museums, history, planning, and economic development. An avid cyclist, Jim has crossed the North American continent under his own power (1976-Seattle to New York via..Canada) and can often be seen on the weekends and evenings riding his fat-bike on the beach and Discovery Trail. Some of his earliest work as a budding ecologist included studying cockle-cracking Glaucous Winged Gulls in the San Juan Islands, Northern Shrikes impaling lizards and mice in Malhuer NWR, and Western Gulls eating Northern Anchovies in the Channel Islands National Park.

John Rakestraw teaches classes on bird identification and leads trips for the Audubon Society of Portland. He has written for various birding and nature magazines, and is the author of the book, Birding Oregon. A former music teacher, Rakestraw worked as a naturalist in Kansas and Ohio before settling in Oregon. He chronicles his birding adventures, classes, and writing at

William Ritchie is the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge biologist. Will has explored much of the 17,000-acre refuge over the past two decades. His work involves inventory and monitoring of aquatic and terrestrial plants and wildlife, ecosystem restoration through removal of invasive plants and vegetation management, and conservation of rare or endangered species. Current projects include removing invasiveplants at Leadbetter Point, reestablishing coastal prairie on the Long Beach Peninsula and Clatsop Plains, enhancing conditions to promote the growth of late-successional forests, and researching how birds utilize the Willapa Bay estuary.

Andrew Emlen has been guiding for Columbia River Kayaking for over two decades and is an experienced birder. He has done shorebird surveys for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, monitored Streaked Horned Larks on Columbia River islands for the Washington Department of Natural Resources, created and compiled the Wahkiakum Christmas Bird Count, and led birding field trips for Washington Ornithological Society and Willapa Hills Audubon Society.

Rebecca Lexa wears many hats for the Friends of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, including volunteer coordinator, Junior Duck Stamp coordinator, and all-purpose volunteer. She is a certified Master Naturalist through Oregon State University, and has a Master’s degree in counseling psychology and ecopsychology certificate from Lewis & Clark College. She writes about ecopsychology at and otherwise may be found examining mosses, lichens and tiny insects in detail underneath the shore pines and Sitka spruce.

Andy Zahn is a photographer and videographer living and working in the shadow of Mt. St. Helens. As far back as he can remember, Andy has possessed a deep fascination with nature and the ephemeral beauty of the natural world. That fascination has blossomed into a passion to capture the beauty of nature. You can find much of his work published on Youtube:

Jerry Broadus: I have been actively birding for over 30 years, in Washington and various countries around the world. I do shorebird and waterfowl surveys for Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, and shorebird and spotted frog surveys for Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. My first volunteer work for a refuge was 2 weeks on Midway Island, and I spent two months out of every year for five years surveying birds and training interns at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. I have taken advanced and master birding classes, am an active bird bander (having banded passerines in Washington, tropical birds in Ecuador, and owls in Oregon and on Vancouver Island). I was president of Tahoma Audubon Society for two years, and am still on the Tahoma Audubon Board.

Dr. Madeline A. Kalbach, Director and Program Co-ordinator for the Friends of the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge. My research interest is in population studies dealing with either people or birds. I have co-authored “Common Birds of the Long Beach Peninsula”, with Susan A. Stauffer, published in August 2018.  I write articles and contribute photographs regarding bird watching on the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington State for the Chinook Observer, the Friends of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge’s monthly newsletter, and the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge Complex. I also contribute to KMUN Nature Notes. I have lived on the peninsula part-time since 1992. My hobbies include bird-watching and photography. I have travelled extensively with the University of Calgary since 2006 to photograph and study wildlife.

Susan A. Stauffer, Director and Trails/infrastructure Coordinator for the Friends of the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge. I have written wildlife articles for the Friends of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge monthly newsletter and KMUN Nature Notes.  I have co-authored with Dr. Madeline A. Kalbach, the “Common Birds of the Long Beach Peninsula” published August, 2018. I reside part time on the North end of the Peninsula.  My interests include birding, wildlife, photography, hiking, kayaking, jogging and boating.

Matt Lloyd is a refuge manager at the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge.  He began his career chasing butterflies in Wisconsin and endangered brush rabbits and woodrats in California.  Since joining the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, he has worked on both public and private lands to preserve and restore a variety of different habitats for the critters that depend on them.


We would like to offer a big thank you to our sponsors for 2018:





This is (hopefully) everything you need to know about how to register for Wings over Willapa 2018! If you have any questions or problems registering, please contact us at

How Do I Register?

All admissions, both general admission and for preregistering for tours/etc. can be found at


  • Get your general admission here. Make sure add a general admission to your shopping cart for every person over the age of 6 who will be attending. Remember that if you are a current member of the Friends of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge or a Pacific County resident that you get a discounted rate!
  • If you are planning to attend any of the tours, workshops or presentations that either have an additional cost beyond general admission, OR have limited space, OR both, you can add those to your cart, too. (Make sure you check the schedule for conflicting time slots!) You can see all admissions at Or scroll up the page to the tour/workshop/presentation descriptions, and there will be a link to each event’s individual preregistration page.
  • Once you have selected general admission for everyone, and preregistration for any events that require it as mentioned above, you can go to your cart at http://www.friendsofwillaparefuge/cart. You can remove items or change quantities there before checking out.
  • You can check out and use either a credit or debit card via Square, or your Paypal account, to pay for your registration. You should get an email receipt soon after your transaction is completed. If you have any problems or questions, contact us at .

That’s it! You’re done! We’ll see you at the end of September.

I Don’t Want to Register Online. What Do I Do?

You can register in person at the Willapa NWR Headquarters at 3888 Highway 101, Ilwaco, WA 98624 Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 4pm.

What if the Tour/Presentation/Workshop I Want to Go To is Sold Out?

Many of our events have limited spots due to space constraints (we can only fit so many people on a boat, for example!) Some of these may sell out quickly! We will do our best to open up a waiting list; this will involve manually creating a new preregistration link on the website, so it may be a few days between when a given event sells out and when the new link is up. For events that have additional fees, you will NOT be charged if you are put on the waitlist. If a spot opens, we will contact the first person on the waitlist and give them the opportunity to register, at which point they will pay for their spot if they still want it.

Can I Register On Site At Wings Over Willapa?

Yes! However, some tours/workshops/presentations may be sold out by the time registration opens. We will have a registration booth open at Salt Hotel & Pub on Friday night 5:00pm – 9:30pm and also at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum starting early Saturday morning before the first tours begin (about 6:00am) and going all day.

If I Preregistered, When Can I Pick Up My Wristband?

If you preregistered you can pick up your event wristband (“bird band”) that signifies you are a paid participant of WoW 2018 at the registration desk any time during event hours. We will have a registration booth open at Salt Hotel & Pub on Friday night 5:00pm – 9:30pm and also at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum starting early Saturday morning at 8:00am and going all day.

What Forms of Payment Do You Take On Site?

We should be able to accept cash, checks (with ID) and credit/debit cards. We’re sorry, but we can’t accept barter, even if you do have a really neat extra set of birding binoculars to offer. (You can donate them to the silent auction, though!)

Can I Have My Wristband Mailed To Me?

Our apologies, but we cannot mail you your wristband. You need to pick it up at registration at the times described above.

Can I Pick Up My Wristband After My Early Morning Tour?

No, you need to have your wristband on by the time your tour starts. You will have time Friday evening and Saturday morning to pick up your wristband.

Can I Get a Refund?

Refunds are available through Friday, September 21, 2018. To request a refund please email We will not offer refunds after that day, even in the case of inclement weather or tour cancellation.

So Where’s All the Money Going?

All proceeds from Wings Over Willapa 2018 first and foremost go to making Wings Over Willapa 2019 become a reality! Everything beyond that benefits the Friends of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge and helps us fund projects like environmental education, habitat restoration, and the Natural Resource Center proposed for the new Willapa NWR headquarters.