Othello Sandhill Crane Festival this weekend

Mar. 19—OTHELLO — Birds, lectures, birds, tours, birds, geology, birds, activities, birds and all things birding await birdwatchers at the 2024 Othello Sandhill Crane Festival, scheduled for Friday through Sunday in Othello.

Lectures will be held, tours will depart and activities will be at the Othello Church of the Nazarene and McFarland Middle School, next door to each other on South 10th Avenue. Participants are asked to use the Nazarene Church parking lot and enter through the church front door. The buildings open to festival participants at 4 p.m. Friday.

Tours are scheduled Friday, mostly starting before 4 p.m., but participants will meet at various locations around Othello. More information is available on the festival website,

Most lectures are scheduled for Saturday and cover a variety of topics, from sandhill crane physiology to the biodiversity of the Washington desert to capturing birds in motion. Lecturers discuss the geological forces that made the Grand Coulee and early explorers in the region, native grasses, bees, frogs and wolves, among other topics. Local service clubs will be serving Friday night dinner and Saturday breakfast.

Tours are scheduled all three days and go to well known — but safely distant — crane viewing spots, tour wildlife areas on foot and by boat and bicycle, look at geological sites of interest and include photography workshops. Activities for children are set up in the MMS cafeteria.