|A Common Grackle released after a banding demonstration at last year’s Migration Celebration.|
This coming Saturday is International Migratory Bird Day, and people all over the Western Hemisphere will be celebrating the miracle of bird migration. So on the same day our two World Series of Birding teams (the Redheads and Anti-Petrels) spend 24 hours birding in New Jersey, the rest of the Cornell Lab is throwing open its doors for a day of demonstrations, bird walks, face painting, and fun.
If you’re near Ithaca, come by for this fifth annual Migration Celebration on Saturday, May 14, 10:00 A.M.-3:00 P.M. at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology [directions]. Admission is free and the event goes on rain or shine. This year’s theme is “Go Wild—Go Birding!”
Exhibits and activities will focus on the incredible journeys made by migrating birds and highlight scientific work being done at the Cornell Lab. Visitors can go on guided bird walks in Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary, take nest-monitoring walks, watch bird-banding demonstrations, and learn how bird “point counts” are done. Other exhibits will provide information about creating bird-friendly backyards using native plants.
|Live birds presented by the Cornell Raptor Program always fascinate visitors. Here, Bari Greenfield shows off Pauline, a hybrid falcon.|
The popular Cornell Raptor Program will be back, too, featuring live eagles, owls, and hawks with experts on hand to explain the habits of these fascinating birds. Ithaca Area Storytellers will captivate all ages with tales of about birds and nature. Children may be banded like a bird for the day and “migrate” from one exhibit to another, while their progress is monitored at “recapturing” stations—a great way for everyone to learn about one of the key tools for studying bird movements and life spans. Visitors will also find face-painting, a migration obstacle course, and more.
And if you’re too far away to make it? There’s a good chance an event is happening at a nature center, park, or museum near you. Here are some examples. And you can always gather some friends, a picnic lunch, and go out and celebrate yourself. See you out there!
(Images: Alex Chang)