This spring Nature Canada threw the National Capitol region’s first ever Bird Fair in celebration of International Migratory Bird Day at Andrew Hayden Park, part of the Lac Deschênes – Ottawa River Important Bird Area.
Despite unseasonably cold and blustery weather the Fair attracted hundreds of people. Everyone had a great time participating in birding walks lead by expert birders, learning about the banding process by being banded themselves, sitting in a human sized nest and making crafts such as turning recycled milk cartons into bird feeders.
Fourteen local naturalist groups, clubs, businesses and artists came out to share their love of birds by hosting informational tables at the event. The variety of information presented meant there was something for everyone.
In addition there was also a stage area hosted by CBC’s own Dave Brown where several talks and musical performances took place. Another notable appearance was made Deputy Mayor Steve Desroches, who read a formal proclamation from the Mayor of Ottawa officially recognizing International Migratory Bird and Important Bird Areas Day.
One highlight was a “birding walk” that included seventy participants, of which half were Mandarin speakers who were able to follow along thanks an excellent translator.
The real show stoppers were Apollo, Sunshine, Elvis and Darwin. Falcon Environmental Services brought these four birds of prey to show off their flying skills, and in the case of Elvis, dance moves to a captivated audience.
Cited as a “flying success”, the Ottawa Citizen featured the event on the front page of their local paper the very next day.
We are already making plans for Bird Fair 2014, which will be even bigger and better!