ERCA hosts annual Festival of Hawks

 

A great horned owl is fed at the Canadian Peregrine Foundation’s tent during the Festival of Hawks 2014 at Holiday Beach Conservation Area on Sept. 14. Photo by Adam D’Andrea

A great horned owl is fed at the Canadian Peregrine Foundation’s tent during the Festival of Hawks 2014 at Holiday Beach Conservation Area on Sept. 14. Photo by Adam D’Andrea

Former Holiday Beach Migration Observatory president Bob Hall-Brooks shows a cardinal to a crowd during the Festival of Hawks 2014 at Holiday Beach Conservation Area on Sept. 14. Photo by Adam D’Andrea.

Former Holiday Beach Migration Observatory president Bob Hall-Brooks shows a cardinal to a crowd during the Festival of Hawks 2014 at Holiday Beach Conservation Area on Sept. 14. Photo by Adam D’Andrea.

By Adam D’Andrea

 

Local bird enthusiasts flocked to Holiday Beach Conservation Area last weekend, armed with binoculars, cameras and an eagerness to learn about their favourite animals.

Hosted by the Essex Region Conservation Authority and the Holiday Beach Migration Observatory, the first weekend of the 2014 Festival of Hawks gave bird lovers a chance to see thousands of migrating hawks, songbirds, hummingbirds, dragonflies and butterflies. Various workshops and walks were also held during the weekend, including amphibian, dragonfly and monarch butterfly walks.

“People will travel all around the world to Amherstburg for fall migration and it’s something we have right here in our backyard,” said Danielle Stuebing, ERCA’s director of community outreach services.

According to Stuebing, Holiday Beach is a great spot to witness the migration because of the narrow crossing point across the Great Lakes, as birds prefer not to fly across open water. “It’s almost like a geographical funnel.”

Stuebing was happy with the attendance throughout the first weekend of the festival, which will resume Sept. 24-25 and feature activities such as digiscoping, blue sky photography workshops and dark sky night star gazing. One popular aspect of the event is the Adopt-a-Hawk program, where participants can have their pictures taken with birds before allowing them to go back to the wild.

“We actually having a banding program so people can see them very closely and have a chance to adopt a bird, hold it and release it back into the wild,” Stuebing said.

Comments are closed.