San Francisco Bay Flyway FestivaL


20th Annual

Feb 19-21 2016


The Schedule and website are for 2015. Thanks for your patience as we plan our 20th anniversary event February 19-21, 2016.


Our 3rd Annual San Francisco Bay Osprey Days birdwatching, nature and history event is coming up June 26-28, 2015 headquartered at the Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve. Check our San Francisco Bay Osprey Days Facebook page for more details soon. Take an Osprey Mom’s boat trip with Dolphin Charters and Mare Island Preserve volunteers Sat May 9, 11am-1pm.

January 2015

Dear Flyway Festival Fan and Friend:

For 19 holiday seasons, the Flyway Festival has been on my mind and in my heart at this time of year. Last evening, the insistent honking of a flock of Canada geese flying in formation over our Mare Island Preserve visitor center, was a reminder that the Flyway Festival is just around the corner. Imagine. In just about two months, we will be coming together for our annual gathering to celebrate the return to San Francisco Bay of more than 1 million shorebirds and as many as a quarter million waterfowl and thousands of hawks and songbirds, on their annual migration.

As the Festival Director, there are many things to consider in planning the event. Sometimes, like this year, I wonder where we will hold the Flyway Festival as our most recent home on Mare Island was rented this summer. In recent years I wonder if there will be sufficient rain to fill our seasonal wetlands where waterfowl and shorebirds gather to rest and feed and where we view them up close during guided outings. Or, like last year, my concern becomes how to ensure a great event, even in the pouring rain! This year, there’s no reason to worry about whether seasonal wetlands will be filled. We’ve received an abundance of rain.

So, no matter the weather or the location, you’re assured a warm welcome to another celebration of San Francisco Bay’s wild side. This year, our annual migration celebration falls on Valentine’s Day. We know who you love. So, come out and show and share your love for all things wild. And, on Sunday of the Festival, help me celebrate my birthday, too. How fun is that?!

What keeps me, and our wonderful team of volunteers working together to put this great event on each winter? You do. About now, we begin to hear from you and from our exhibitors, artists, guides and presenters. You are all eager to learn the details of the Flyway Festival. Why the excitement? Wildlife and the special wildness that is unique to the north shore of San Francisco Bay. Mare Island’s naval and maritime history. Splendid scenic vistas of the Bay from so many spots where our guided outings occur.

The Flyway Festival is a magical weekend when so many people come out to marvel at nature that they may not even notice on a daily basis. For just one weekend it is not about the one community we live in, it is about the entire ecosystem of wildlife that knows no city limits or other boundaries.

As much as anything, what draws us together during the Flyway Festival, is our reverence for the sacred, the solace, the solitude that stirs our souls when we share moments of wonder together in the wild and when we experience the beauty and magic of the migration ritual. Will you join us?

It’s up to you and me to keep the Flyway Festival forever free

Will you support the Flyway Festival with your donations of cash and auction/raffle items? If you believe with all your hearts as I do, that the Flyway Festival fills a special need and purpose here on the “north shore” of San Francisco Bay, I hope you will give a generous contribution to help us keep the Flyway Festival free and provide the absolutely highest quality experience we can deliver.

Help us get the invites out and put on our migration celebration

Will you tell your friends, co-workers and family about the Flyway Festival? Will you volunteer? Whatever way you can, please help us ensure another Flyway Festival. We are most grateful.

We’re headquartered on the “north shore” of San Francisco Bay

Our main Flyway Festival headquarters, Building 253, 575 Connolly St. is at the former Mare Island Naval Shipyard where our Wildlife and Birding Expo includes exhibits and interactive activities offered by 75 or more non-profit, natural and historical resource agencies, slide shows, and a live raptor show along with commercial art, birding suppliers and digital equipment and optics vendors, and a fine art exhibition entitled, Bay Area Wetlands to Ridgetops, a silent auction and raffle and good food. 

On behalf of my fellow board members and our Flyway Festival coordinating team, we look forward with great anticipation to once again spending the weekend with you and many other times together this year.

Call or email either Sarah[] or me [] 707-249-9633] with questions and suggestions.


Myrna Hayes

Festival Director and Co-founder

Mare Island Heritage Trust


Love Wild Life

Join us for our 20th annual celebration of the migration through San Francisco Bay of more than 1 million shorebirds and hundreds of thousands of ducks, geese, hawks, songbirds and other wildlife at the peak of migration. February 19-21, 2016

Credit and special thanks for fantastic birdlife photos throughout this website goes to Lee Ann Baker.