We hope you enjoyed the festival!

Despite a rainier than usual weather pattern and below average water levels, the intrepid birders and nature photographers that joined us took it in stride and managed to have a wonderful experience in the field. About 620 registrants participated over the four days, plus Monday’s post-festival event.

Our keynoters were amazing and drew the largest crowds we’ve ever had. We want to thank Bill Thompson III, Rick Sammon, Brian Sullivan, and Sharon ‘Birdchick’ Stiteler for being our featured leaders and presenters. For Bill and Sharon, it was their first visit to Klamath Falls and we were so happy to share Klamath Basin birding with them. Rick’s flight was cancelled at the last minute so he did his keynote live via Skype from New York to about 330 attendees. The OIT auditorium was also packed for the family performance of the Raptors of the High Desert.

In total, we found 117 different species during the festival. Raptors were abundant of course, Bald Eagles easy to spot, and a welcome surge of waterfowl came pouring into the area about a week before the festival.

We encourage you to “like” our Facebook page to keep up with plans for the 2015 Festival. Also, if you participated in 2014, please share your favorite photo.

Below is information on this year’s featured speakers.

Bill Thompson IIIThe festival is thrilled to have birder extraordinaire Bill Thompson III join us for the first time in 2014. Bill is the editor of Bird Watcher’s Digest, America’s longest-running magazine for birders. He has authored numerous books, including Bird Watching For Dummies, Identify Yourself: The 50 Most Common Bird Identification Challenges, Identifying & Feeding Birds, and the just-published Young Birder’s Guide to Birds of North America. Bill also writes a weekly blog (Bill of the Birds) and hosts a popular podcast called This Birding Life. Bill was awarded a Citizen Service Award from the U.S Fish & Wildlife Service for his contributions in making the National Wildlife Refuge system more bird and birder-friendly, and was nominated for a “Heart of Green” award by thedailygreen.com for his work in fighting Nature Deficit Disorder by helping introduce kids to bird watching. At Winter Wings, Bill will lead field trips and present the Saturday night keynote on the Perils and Pitfalls of Birding — a humorous narrative about mistakes, accidents, and embarrassing situations he has experienced in his 30+ years as a birdwatcher. Bill will offer tips on how to avoid such situations while poking fun at the unique language, dress code, and food preferences of birdwatchers. The presentation is guaranteed to generate laughs or Bill will clean everyone’s binoculars!

Rick SammonRick Sammon is our keynote photographer and is returning to the Winter Wings Festival after inclement weather forced his appearance in 2010 to be a digital one. A Canon Explorer of Light, Rick has photographed in almost 100 destinations around the world and gives more than two dozen photography workshops and presentations each year (ricksammon.com). He has published 36 books, including Secrets of HDR Photography, Exploring the Light, and Digital Photography Secrets, and is a leader in development of iPad and iPhone photography apps. Rick’s book Flying Flowers won the coveted Golden Light Award, and his book Hide and See Under the Sea won the Ben Franklin Award. Rick has been nominated for the Photoshop Hall of Fame and is considered one of the top digital-imaging experts. When asked about his photo specialty, Rick says, “My specialty is not specializing.” Rick will lead two special photography field trips and will provide our Friday night keynote presentation on Setting Goals for Great Wildlife Photographs. In an informative and fun-filled presentation, Rick will share some of his favorite wildlife photographs, taking us across America and on to Antarctica, the sub-Arctic, and Africa. With every image he will share a photographic technique, digital darkroom tip, or a photo philosophy. This is not just a slide show of pretty images. Rick is here to share what he’s learned over his many years as a professional photographer and he will inspire you to set goals and to never give up.

Brian SullivanBrian Sullivan is one of the country’s leading raptor experts and has been a part of the festival for a number of years. This year, we’re in for a real treat! In addition to leading a special field trip, Brian will provide the Thursday night keynote presentation and share new insights on raptor migration and identification. The spectacle of raptor migration has turned thousands of birders into avid hawkwatchers at sites around the globe. We’ll learn about the features of hawkwatch sites that make them special and the unique ID challenges posed by distant migrating raptors. How do hawkwatchers pin a name to those distant specks at the limit of vision? Brian will show us the way using photos and video, and we’ll get a sneak peak at a new app for smartphones and tablets that uses a video and photo-driven approach to raptor ID (developed with Jerry Liguori). Brian will also give us a look at how new techniques in migration science are being driven by raptor observations from birders, how this work is rapidly changing what we know about migrant raptors and how to protect them. Brian is a project leader for eBird at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, is a co-author on the new Crossley ID Guide to Raptors, and serves as photographic editor for the Birds of North America Online.

Sharon StitelerAlso participating with a special role in the 2014 festival is ‘Birdchick’ Sharon Stiteler. Sharon was given a Peterson Field Guide to Birds when she was seven years old and snapped — she loves birds, it’s just the way she’s wired. Since 1997, Sharon has made it her goal to get paid to go birding, and for years she has been a recognized expert in digiscoping — taking digital photos through a spotting scope or binoculars. She runs the popular birding blog, Birdchick.com, and has been featured by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, All Things Considered, and NBC Nightly News. Sharon is an international speaker and has written for a number of print and online publications including WildBird Magazine, Outdoor News, Birds & Blooms, 10,000 Birds, and Birding Business. She wrote the recently released book 1001 Secrets Every Birder Should Know. When she’s not digiscoping or banding birds, she works part-time as a National Park Ranger. At Winter Wings, Sharon will host a fun Birds and Brews get-together on Thursday evening as well as lead digiscoping-related events and a raptor-centric field trip.

Brochure Cover


Call 1-877-541-BIRD or email gro.t1398354678seFsg1398354678niWre1398354678tniW@1398354678ofni1398354678

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Check out Klamath Basin birding info and recent sightings!

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2014 Photo Contest Winners Announced February 7th!

Major Festival Sponsors

Title Sponsor


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2014 Title Sponsor



This festival is funded in part by the Klamath County Tourism Grant program
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