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Annual Stanwood Festival Celebrates Snow Geese

Each year, migrating geese and trumpeter swans swarm to Stanwood, Washington.

These whirling, flapping migratory flocks fill farm fields, looking like fresh snowfall on the muddy rows of stubbled winter crops. Old barns, riverside trees, and the massive snowy lump of Mount Baker create a beautiful backdrop for late winter birdwatching.

The birds feed together and take flight en masse.

As they arrive, avian enthusiasts flock to Stanwood to lay eyes and digital cameras on the large gatherings of "Canadian tourists."

But there's more than just geese on the weekend itinerary.


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Tours and classes also expose festival-goers to raptors and rare shorebirds.

Visitors to the Stanwood Camano Snow Goose and Birding Festival can expect to talk with knowledgeable local avian guides. These guides are equipped to educate the public and lead them directly via bus tour to the best spots to photograph large masses of migratory birds.

In short, this is a birders’ dream come true in Stanwood. And the cool part is that you don’t have to make any reservations, show up and pay $5 to get on the bus at the appointed place and time.


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Here’s what you’ll want to do, when you go.

First, book a hotel room. Stanwood is a cool place, and you can stay at the historic Stanwood Hotel, a place renowned for live blues music and blue-collar brews on tap.

Then, try some unique dining. Your best bet would be Polska Kuchnia, the only Polish restaurant in the Greater Seattle Area. Try the from-scratch piroshki — you won't be disappointed.


The Snow Goose & Birding Festival happens on a Saturday and a Sunday.

Saturday events are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday events are from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Click here for full info.

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Managing Editor
Richard Porter
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