Wednesday, April 15, 7 to 9 PM

Join us for a fun night of birdy trivia. A great kick-off to your festival weekend!

Location: Steens Mountain Brewery, 353 W Monroe Street, Burns, Oregon

Free. Maximum number of people is 6 teams of 4. Individuals and teams need to sign-up ahead of time by contacting Steens Mountain Brewery at (541) 589-1159. 

The trivia is run a bit like rank choice voting. You get to bid points each round, in the hopes of maximizing your points. There are two halves consisting of two rounds each, one photo ID "half-time" round, one audio round, and a bonus round that consists of two questions.


Trivia rounds: 1. Bird Basics, 2. Marshy Malheur, 3. Famous Ornithophiles, 4. Bird Photo ID,  5. Bird's the Word, 6. Beyond Birdy, 7. Audio Bird ID Round, 8. Bonus Round


Thursday, April 16, 12 noon

In this program, historian Gregory P. Shine will examine how the posting of a little-known army captain, Charles Bendire, to Camp Harney in 1874 would expand the nation’s understanding of western birds and bird behavior, and catapult Bendire to national prominence in the world of ornithology – ultimately to a leading position at the Smithsonian Institute, where his specimens collected from the Harney Basin informed, and today continue to inform, scientific understanding.   

Shine is a historian, writer and educator who has been researching, writing, and presenting on topics related to the history of the American West for nearly 30 years. He is a member of the editorial board of the Oregon Encyclopedia, a co-sponsor for this program.

Location: Burns Elks' Lodge, 118 N Broadway Ave, Burns



Thursday, April 16

2:30 to 3 PM at the Harney County Chamber of Commerce

4:30 to 5 PM at The Book Parlor (tentative)

The Biggest Year in the Life of an Extreme Birder! Join lifelong naturalist, birding legend, and 2020 Harney County Migratory Bird Festival Keynote Speaker KENN KAUFMAN for a meet and greet and book signing!

"At sixteen, Kenn Kaufman dropped out of the high school where he was student council president and hit the road, hitching back and forth across America, from Alaska to Florida, Maine to Mexico. Maybe not all that unusual a thing to do in the seventies, but what Kenn was searching for was a little different: not sex, drugs, God, or even self, but birds. A report of a rare bird would send him hitching nonstop from Pacific to Atlantic and back again. His goal was to set a record - most North American species seen in a year - but along the way he began to realize that at this breakneck pace he was only looking, not seeing. What had been a game became a quest for a deeper understanding of the natural world. Kingbird Highway is a unique coming-of-age story, combining a lyrical celebration of nature with wild, and sometimes dangerous, adventures, starring a colorful cast of characters."

Free signing. "Kingbird Highway" and other Kaufman books available for purchase. You are, of course, welcome to bring your own Kaufman books for signing!


Thursday, April 16, 3 to 4 PM

[NEW] Birding the vast expanse of Harney County's 10,000+ sq. miles can be daunting. Which birds are where? and when? Dan Streiffert has been birding and photographing in Harney County for 12+ years. This presentation showcases his approach to taking advantage of particular birding 'routes' that cover the diverse landscape and discovers the array of birds and other wildlife available. Dan will share tips and tricks for seeing particular species at different times of the day or throughout the year. 

Location: Harney County Community Center



Thursday, April 16, 4 to 6 PM | Friday, April 17, 10 AM to 12 PM

[NEW] Harney County Library Archivist Karen Nitz has an amazing downtown walking tour planned for you! This 1 - 2 hour leisurely walk along Broadway and surrounding blocks takes you from the origins of Burns to our recent years' revitalization efforts. This is a terrific opportunity for locals and visitors alike to get the inside scoop on Burns, Oregon, and a timeline of life in Harney County. And...have you met Karen Nitz? Wealth of knowledge + charming personality = incredible!

Free. Meet at the Harney County Historical Museum


Thursday, April 16, 5 PM

Come down to Harney County's main street on Broadway for an evening of socializing, scavenger hunting, wine tasting, frequenting local businesses, getting acquainted with fellow birders, and enjoying the true community flavor of Burns and Hines.

The Harney County Chamber of Commerce will be open until 7 p.m. for Festival Check-In - let us know you've arrived, pick up your registration confirmation and itinerary and ask any questions to get you on track for the weekend. Festival Check-in resumes Friday, April 17, at 5:30 a.m., at Bird Central, in the Burns High School gymnasium.

Free. Check-in at the Harney County Chamber of Commerce.


Thursday, April 16, 5 to 7 PM

Join members of the Burns Paiute Tribe for delicious and fresh-made indian tacos at the Arrowhead Plaza during our Thursday evening downtown social. YUUMMMMM!


Location: Arrowhead Plaza - directly across Broadway Street from the future home of the Tukwahone’ Culture and Heritage Center, and kitty-corner from the Harney County Chamber of Commerce


Thursday, April 16, 5 PM

For the second year in a row, our festival kick-off downtown scavenger hunt sends participants on the search for handblown glass eggs from our once-local glassblower Ryan Lisle. Twelve glass eggs will be hidden in twelve different businesses along Broadway Avenue (which just happens to be the location of the Thursday night social event!). As you are frequenting these businesses, enjoying their special wine samples for this occasion, see if you can find the eggs.

If you are the first person to find an egg, you get to keep that egg after the evening is over (we want to leave the eggs in place for the entire evening for others to seek out). Each person to spot an egg should let the business owner know and he/she will record your name for a prize drawing. The prize? A 2020 Festival t-shirt AND and a 2021 Festival Membership...which means you get to register for events in 2021 an entire week before the general public. Thank you for supporting our local merchants. One "keeper" egg per winner.  Thanks to the Portland Audubon Society for sponsoring this event!

Free. Check-in at the Harney County Chamber of Commerce for a map of businesses participating in the scavenger hunt.


Thursday, April 16, 5 to 7:30 PM

We have made birds with “Papier Mache clay,” and pre-made ceramic birds. They are ready for you to JAZZ up with paint, feathers, sequins, glitter, lace, ribbons, and what-not, all materials provided. Pay by the size of the bird, $3 to $20. Bring the little kids, too. We have a chalk wall, if they get bored. 405 N. Broadway, in downtown Burns, corner of Broadway and Washington. See photos of last year’s Bird Jazz event on our website, www. For more information call or text Kate at 360-301-2236 or email

$3 to $20 per bird - your choice. Pay at the door.  All ages welcome.


Thursday, April 16, 6 PM

A local artist will create a follow along painting experience inspired by the Egret!


Dinner provided!

Location: Hines Pine Mill House, 705 Hwy 20 S, Hines, Oregon

$40 per person. Limited seating. Call (541) 295-5650 for reservations

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Friday, April 17, 12:30 to 4:30 PM

New to birding or visiting a new place and want to maximize bird watching opportunities? Join this opportunity for a short workshop AND tour to learn how to use eBird – a real-time, online checklist program that has revolutionized the way birders report and access information about birds and sightings! eBird is a great way for beginning birders to narrow down the potential birds in a particular area and discover local hot spots (no matter where you are!) to maximize your birding time. This workshop is part classroom, part field tour. You can download the eBird app for your iPhone or Android phone before the workshop. Your approach to birding will never be the same!

$40 per person. Must pre-register.


Friday, April 17, 1 to 4 PM

Join (retired) Bureau of Land Management Archaeologist Scott Thomas for digital presentations about 1) the evidence of Clovis Culture in southeastern Oregon, 2) edible spring plants in the Harney Basin, 3) a World War II B24 crash in the Pueblo Mountains, and 4) the Gap Ranch Civilian Conservation Corps Camp. These interesting and detailed discussions will give listeners a visual opportunity to experience the history, archaeology and cultural botany of the Harney Basin. The relaxed 'classroom' atmosphere at Burns High School allows for plenty of personal discussion and casual stretch breaks. Come and go as you please.

Free. Check in at Bird Central in the Burns High School gymnasium for classroom number. 


Friday, April 17, 3 to 7 PM | Saturday, April 18, 9 AM to 5 PM

Stop by and visit with Harney County local Pat Brewster at the Art Show & Sale to learn about falconry and see her beautiful bird in person.


From Pat: "I live and hunt the Eastern Oregon's Outback in the vast sage brush seas, hunting the sought after black-tailed jack rabbit (hare), a large, difficult and elusive game for hawks. Falconry is not a hobby, it is a lifestyle, a commitment to the birds I fly and the environment they hunt in. Falconry is a passion. It is not for the faint of heart or those with little time to devote, as it is a lifestyle. Falconry cannot be put down and picked up at a whim, it is a true passion for your birds and a life as a falconer. I am a Master Falconer. I started my journey in falconry over 20 years ago. I apprenticed under Karen Cottrell the first woman falconer in Oregon and her husband Larry who I still hunt with. I was lucky as these 2 people were instrumental in legalizing falconry in Oregon and populating the wild Peregrines back into existence. I learnt from the best and they graciously took me under their wings creating a falconry family. If you would like to know more about falconry I would be happy to share and answer questions about this amazing lifestyle."

Location: Burns High School Gymnasium



Friday, April 17, 5:30 PM

Is your mouth watering yet? The Harney County Cattlewomen will be in the foyer at Burns High School to welcome you back from tours, greet you on your way into the Art Show & Sale, and direct you to the cafetorium for the Friday evening events... but don't worry - they won't be empty handed! Enjoy FREE samples of Harney County beef prepared by the cattlewomen themselves. You don't want to miss this tasty opportunity!

Free. Burns High School foyer.


Friday, April 12, 6 PM

A choir performance at a bird festival? YES! Please come and support our local choir students. They are the opening act for Friday's activities! Live bird presentation with the High Desert Museum to follow. 

Location: Burns High School Cafetorium

Free. Donations welcome. 


Friday, April 17, 7 PM | Saturday, April 18, 9 AM to 5 PM

We are so  excited to welcome wildlife staff Suzanne and Miahna from the High Desert Museum to the Harney County Migratory Bird Festival in 2020!

Friday, April 17, 7 PM (Burns High School Cafetorium):

Join members of the wildlife team from the High Desert Museum for an evening of conservation education. Come learn about birds of prey and get an up-close view of some of the species that call both the museum and our region home. Learn about each bird’s natural history, their personal stories, and how you can help conserve their wild populations. YES, live birds will be in attendance!

Saturday, April 18, 9 AM to 5 PM (Burns High School Gymnasium):

Take a trip through the Festival Art Show & Sale and stop at the High Desert Museum booth for another chance to meet some of their ambassador birds. Find out more about their roll at the museum and how you can help support them. Get hands on with raptor biofacts and learn more protecting our local wildlife. Yes, live birds will be in attendance!

You don't want to miss these opportunities to see live birds up close and personal.

Location: Burns High School 

Free. Donations welcome.


Saturday, April 18, 11 AM to 2 PM

The Kids’ Nature Fun Fair is the place to inspire families to welcome wildlife into their backyards. The Fun Fair features several learning and craft activity stations for youth of all ages like decoy painting, making bird feeders or nesting bundles, bird identification, historic or cultural tool making, etc. Activities change each year and everything is FREE! Located in the Burns High School Cafetorium. 



Saturday, April 18, 12 PM until supplies run out

Join event sponsors from the Burns Lion's Club for this FREE activity in the Burns High School Woodshop. Pre-cut birdhouse kits (boards with pre-drilled nail holes), nails and hammers are provided, along with some volunteers for instruction and guidance. Parents, families and friends are encouraged to join youth builders and help with construction - little hammering arms get tired! Materials are provided on first-come, first-served basis and will be available as long as materials last. This workshop is a great way to connect kids with nature and do a hands-on activity together. Bird houses can be taken home immediately after construction. 



Saturday, April 18, 5 to 8 PM

5:30 p.m. Social, Raffle, Silent Auction 

6:00 p.m. Dinner 

7:00 p.m. Presentation

$30 for dinner + keynote presentation

$15 for keynote presentation only

Centers of Survival: Bird Migration and the National Wildlife Refuges 

In North America, billions of birds are on the move twice every year, some migrating thousands of miles and navigating with pinpoint accuracy. These movements are fascinating, but they also make birds harder to protect. Many of the most essential sites for preserving bird populations are the National Wildlife Refuges across the United States. This program will explore the refuge system, including its history and some of the remarkable migratory birds that thrive on the refuges today.

Location: Burns Elk's Lodge, 118 N Broadway Ave


Friday, April 17, 12 to 7 PM | Saturday, April 18, 9 AM to 5 PM | Sunday, April 19, 9 AM to 2 PM

Located in the Burns High School Gymnasium, local and regional artists offer high-quality work. This is a wonderful opportunity to view and purchase original pieces of art, including wildlife paintings, photographs, sculpture, jewelry and much more!

Free entrance.

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Harney County Chamber of Commerce

484 N Broadway

Burns, OR 97720


Tel: 541.573.2636

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