Wrangell gears up for birding festival

Posted: Friday, April 09, 2010

WRANGELL - Visitors from all over Southeast Alaska will migrate here this spring for the annual Stikine River Birding Festival, taking place April 27 through May 2.

Wrangell is the gateway community for the Stikine River Delta, where the arrival of thousands of bald eagles creates the largest springtime concentration in North America. The festival is also the perfect opportunity for adventurous birdwatchers to observe millions of shorebirds, which migrate to the delta each spring. This delta lies within the Wrangell Ranger District of the Tongass National Forest.

This year's festival features guest artist and illustrator Evon Zerbetz, who will host student classes, adult workshops, a public lecture, book signing and art exhibit. Weekend events include the Ducks Unlimited Banquet, guided bird walk with local author Bonnie Demerjian, Juneau Raptor Center presentation, Muskeg Meadows Golf Tournament, and local arts and crafts fair with silent auction.

Children events include story time at Chief Shakes House, an archeology activity painting Tlingit designs on cedar shingles, and a birdhouse building workshop. Ambitious festival-goers can also take advantage of locally chartered day tours up the Stikine River to view birds, wildlife and stunning wilderness scenery. For a complete schedule, visit http://stikinebirding.org/.

Wrangell's Stikine River Birding Festival (formerly named the Garnet Festival) provides an ideal opportunity for all ages to celebrate 2010's spring migration. The festival is sponsored by the Tongass National Forest, and U.S. Forest Service International Programs in partnership with the City of Wrangell, the Wrangell Visitors and Convention Bureau, Wrangell Public Schools and the Copper River International Migratory Bird Initiative.

For more information contact the Wrangell Ranger District at 907-874-2323 or visit http://www.fs.fed.us/r10/tongass/districts/wrangell/index.shtml.

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