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Dean Hale Woodpecker Festival

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May 30, 2024 June 2, 2024

The 2024 Dean Hale Woodpecker Festival is lucky to have Paul Bannick as its keynote presenter.  Paul is an award-winning author and wildlife photographer specializing in the natural history of North America with a focus on birds and habitat.  He will be sharing his talk entitled “The Owl and the Woodpecker Revisited” at the festival’s keynote dinner on Saturday, June 1 at the Belfry in Sisters, Oregon.  Paul will also be offering two photography workshops on Saturday.  For more about Paul, see his website

The festival offers a variety of tours over 4 days to see as many as 11 different species of woodpeckers as well as 200 other bird species who make their homes in the diverse habitats of Central Oregon.  Few places in the United States are as rich in such a variety of woodpeckers as this area in Central Oregon, where you can see rarities such as White-headed, American Three-toed, and Black-backed Woodpeckers. There are also wide diversity of birds that are not woodpeckers.

Tours go to places such as Summer Lake, Shevlin Park, Trout Creek Butte, Three Creeks, Cold Springs, the Milli Burn, Abbot Creek, Calliope Crossing, Suttle Lake, and Green Ridge, as well as several other excellent birding areas. In addition to the birding tours, the festival offers native plants/birding tours and an opportunity to experience the birdbanding of kestrels and bluebirds. Tours are limited to ten participants and typically fill quickly.

Sponsored by East Cascades Audubon Society (ECAS), this festival offers a fun, friendly, casual atmosphere that is all about the birds. The trips are guided by local field-trip leaders, with the proceeds supporting the many ECAS conservation projects.  Participants provide their own transportation, and carpooling is required.  Tours are limited to ten participants.   Tours are run in accordance with the American Birding Association’s Code of Birding Ethics.

“The Dean Hale Woodpecker Festival is a great time to bird with old friends, make new friends, and see a great variety of neat birds while enjoying views of the beautiful Cascade Range,” observes festival bird guide, Mark Gonzalez.  “It’s a winning recipe of birds, forest, geology, and companionship in the Great Outdoors.”

Steve Shunk, author of The Peterson Reference Guide to Woodpeckers of North America, is a local birder and founder of the original Woodpecker Wonderland festival.

Online registration opens in April 2024 (currently targeted for April 2), and tours fill quickly.


East Cascades Audubon Society


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The Belfry

302 E Main Avenue
Sisters, OR 97759 United States
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American Kestrel by Blair Dudeck / Macaulay Library