Posts tagged: bird festivals
WILDLIFE WATCHING — Organizers have assembled a collection of field trips and speakers while nature is supplying the wildlife for the 16th annual Othello Sandhill Crane Festival. Sign up in advance on the website; many activities fill quickly.
Events kick off Friday (April 5) with boat tours on Potholes Reservoir and a “biking for cranes” tour.
Saturday’s events include tours of burrowing owl/ground squirrel habitat, tours that feature geology shaped by prehistoric flooding, tours of prime crane viewing locations, and dozens of lectures at Othello High School. Lecture topics this year will cover everything from crane biology to wildlife photography.
Vendors, children’s activities, and the opportunity to view raptors up close and in person will be also available throughout the day on Saturday. More tours will be available on Sunday.
The Othello farming community plays a central role in supporting crane migration each year. Cranes and other migrating birds feast on corn and grain left over from last year’s harvest, and some fields are left open through the migration season to allow birds the chance to rest during their travels.
WILDLIFE WATCHING — The headline attraction at the annual Othello Sandhill Crane Festival has already arrived for the April 5-7 series of programs, field trips and banquets based out of Othello and the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge.
Of course, plent of other birds, including long-billed curlews, and waterfowl, are enjoyed by viewers on festival field trips.
WILDLIFE WATCHING — A graphic design student at Eastern Washington University has captured the grace of the Othello Sandhill Crane Festival's featured attraction in artwork that has won the $500 top prize in the festival's annual art contest.
Xengyeng Xiong's computer-generated design, inspired by traditional origami cranes, will be featured on brochures and posters for the April 5-7 festival based out of Othello.
“I knew that one of (the committee’s) main goals was to attract a wide range of audience, so I wanted to make the poster modern…that’s how I ended up with a very geometric and clean layout design for the poster,” she said.
Biologists, geologists, birders, local farmers, authors, and historians will be leading tours and lectures at the annual event, which highlights the annual migration of the large cranes through the area.
The theme for this year’s festival will be “Migration” in honor of the dozens of bird species that travel through central Washington every spring and fall.
The Othello Sandhill Crane Festival is a nonprofit event chaired by an all-volunteer committee, and proceeds generated by the event go toward providing the following year’s festival activities.
WILDLIFE WATCHING — Organized outings and access to experts are among the benefits of visiting festivals celebrating the arrival of migrating birds.
Based near Usk in the Kalispell Tribe's Wellness Center, the day includes a tour to see tundra swans gathering at Calispell Lake, plus lunch and short presentations by several speakers on topics ranging from swans to wolverine research in the area.
Preregister for the tour here. Cost: $10 adults, $5 youths under 13, includes lunch.
Info: (509) 447-5286.
WILDLIFE WATCHING — As spring migrants continune to arrive in our region, so has a list of helpful thoughts from the American Bird Conservancy.
Here's the ABC's top 10 things people can do to aid or protect declining birds in their homes and yards.
10. Join a bird conservation group such as ABC—learn more about birds and support important conservation work.
9. Support bird-friendly legislation—Example: Congress is considering HR 1643, a proposed bill that provides for bird-friendly federal buildings.
8. Keep feeders and bird baths clean to avoid disease and prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
7. Buy organic food and drink shade-grown coffee—increasing the market for produce grown without the use of pesticides, which can be toxic to birds and other animals.
6. Reduce your carbon footprint—use a hand-pushed or electric lawnmower, carpool, use low energy bulbs and Energy Star appliances.
5. Donate old bird watching equipment such as binoculars or spotting scopes to bird watching groups—they can get them to schools or biologists in other countries who may not have the resources they need.
4. Create backyard habitat—if you have a larger yard, create a diverse landscape by planting native grasses, flowers, and shrubs that attract and sustain native birds.
3. Eliminate pesticides from your yard—even those pesticides that are not directly toxic to birds can pollute waterways and reduce insects that birds rely on for food.
2. Prevent birds hitting your windows by using a variety of treatments to the glass on your home. Collisions with glass constitute the biggest source of bird mortality, as many as one billion each year. See ABC’s new flyer.
1. Keep your cat indoors—this is best for your cat as well as the birds, as indoor cats live an average of three to seven times longer. Cats are not native to the U.S. and are responsible for hundreds of millions of bird deaths each year. Some species have gone extinct because of cats! Even well fed cats kill birds, and bells on cats don’t effectively warn birds of cat strikes.
BIRDWATCHING — The Othello Sandhill Crane Festival is history for a year, but wild friends of another feather are giving birder more reasons to travel across the state:
Olympic Birdfest, April 8-10, Sequim, WA
A bird watching vacation for beginners to experts, from leisurely strolls to active hikes. Bird for a few hours, or all day, from the dawn chorus to the evening owl prowl. Enjoy guided birding trips, boat tours, silent auction, gala banquet, and more.
Grays Harbor Shorebird Festival, April 29-May 1
This year’s Shorebird Festival will feature hundreds of thousands of shorebirds and other migrating birds as they gather at the Grays Harbor estuary and area to feed and rest on their northern migration.
Keynote speaker: Bart Rulon an author, wildlife artist, photographer, and illustrator whose paintings and photography of birds, wildlife and landscapes have been exhibited internationally.