Thursday, January 14, 2010

“Roadrunners & Red Rocks”--St. George Bird Festival awaits January 28–31

Bird Southwest Utah at the 7th Annual St. George Winter Bird Festival from January 28–31, 2010. This Community Outreach Program of the Red Cliffs Audubon Society will be an “Educational Experience” for all levels of birders. It is a wonderful opportunity for all ages to attend and learn from the numerous presenters and leaders that volunteer their time. All activities are free, except for the Banquet.

The festival kicks off at the beginning of the week with Educational Programs for students as Hawkwatch International visits numerous schools. Also, prior to the event, there will be a fun photo contest for you to enter. The events for the general public will begin on Thursday evening at the BLM with a presentation, “Birds of Washington County”. Following, will be a social with refreshments and viewing the photo contest entries.

Headquarters for the festival are centered at the Tonaquint Park & Nature Center in St. George. During the day on Friday & Saturday there will be Exhibits, Sales, Presentations, and Kid’s Workshops. The Southwest Wildlife Foundation and Hawkwatch International will have live birds for you to see! Outstanding and unique daytime activities include: Introduction to Birding, Binoculars & Scopes 101, California Condors, Making your Landscape Environmentally Friendly, Not Anywhere Else on Earth, Identifying Western Buteos, Forest Service, Owls, Bird Brained, Desert Reserve, Wildlife Photography of Southern Utah, Birds of Prey, Plant World Tour, Building Bird Houses/Feeders and a Birding for Kids Workshop.

As in the past, we have had a speaker for a special program on the Friday evening at - Dixie State College. This year we are pleased to present Dave Livermore, State Director for The Nature Conservancy of Utah, who is a 29 year veteran and Vice President of the national organization. His presentation is “Conserving Utah's Biodiversity”. Under Livermore’s direction, the Conservancy has completed over 150 conservation projects preserving nearly 900,000 acres of private and public land in Utah alone.

For our traditional Saturday evening banquet, held at Best Western Abbey Inn, the Keynote Speaker is Dr. Ranee Van Buren, specialist on endangered plants and animals in Washington County and an avid birder. Her presentation is “Through the Eyes of a Birding Botanist”. Fine dining, door prizes and silent auction. Register through the St. George Recreation Center: Call: 435-634-4560 or  under programs, Tonaquint Nature Center. Cost is $20.

During the winter months many waterfowl migrate through and stop over in our lakes, ponds, and reservoirs. All field trips are free and open to the public and will depart from the Tonaquint Park parking lot. From the Friday to Sunday there are field trips featuring: Lytle Ranch, Washington Fields/Springs Park, Quail Creek Reservoir-Hurricane Fields, St. George Local Ponds, Toquerville/ Grafton/ Springdale, Rio Virgin Estates, Western Reservoirs, Halfway Wash/Mathis Park, Virgin River Trail, Cedar Valley, Photography Trip, Find the Vermillion Flycatcher, Falconry Field Excursion and Zion National Park.

To view and print a brochure, schedule of events, posters and photo contest forms go to  or  For further information contact the Festival Chairman, Marilyn Davis at 435-673-0996 or e-mail at . You don’t want to miss this exciting event sponsored by numerous businesses and organizations! Make your plans today to join us for a wonderful birding event in St. George!

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