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Festival of the Cranes

January 9-10, 2016Sandhill_Cranes_150x118

Join us as we celebrate the majesty of the Sandhill and Whooping Crane. Events include birding walks, Rachel Carson tours, Operation Migration film, live raptors, and children activities…And of course thousands of Sandhills and a few Whoopers to view up close! Festival will begin at Saturday at 6:30 A.M. and Sunday at 7:00 A.M. at the Wheeler NWR Visitor Center

                                                   Saturday, January 9, 2016    

Schedule of Events

 

6:30 AM          Sunrise Breakfast at the Refuge.  The early birders get the biscuits!  Come out and enjoy a good breakfast with other hearty souls in the Visitor Center classroom before joining Refuge Manager Dwight Cooley on an early morning birding walk.  Watch the cranes and other waterfowl arriving in the fields to begin their day of feeding and loafing.  The Wheeler Wildlife Refuge Association will be providing and serving the Jack’s 6th Avenue sausage biscuit, breakfast pastry, coffee and orange juice.  The $5.00 cost per person will benefit future refuge programs.  (Classroom)

 

All Day            Visit the Observation Building to view thousands of Sandhill cranes along with several Whooping cranes, ducks, geese, raptors and perhaps a bald eagle from the comfort of the heated building.  There are bleachers and spotting scopes available along with volunteers and staff standing by to answer all your questions.

 

9 – 11 AM       Children’s Activity in the Classroom.  Calling all kids (regardless of age) to join in the fun educational activities – create a crane mask, crane puppet and crane origami.  Visit with the FWS Blue Goose and the ICF Whooping Crane mascots.

 

9 AM               President Theodore Roosevelt as portrayed by Joe Wiegand entertains audiences nationwide with his reprisal of President Theodore Roosevelt.  As a one man theater show, Joe’s T.R. shares stories full of adventure, laughter, and inspiration.  T.R. will be in character throughout the day.  (Auditorium)

                       

10:30 AM        International Crane Foundation Presentation with Co-Founder George Archibald

The future of many crane species was once as fragile as the delicate and graceful birds themselves.  George Archibald’s visionary leadership in international conservation efforts over the past 40 years has given flight to crane conservation worldwide.  In 1973, when cranes were in a perilous situation and many were on the brink of extinction, Archibald, along with Cornell University colleague, Ronald Sauey, Ph.D., established the International Crane Foundation (ICF) in Baraboo, Wisconsin as the world center for the study and preservation of cranes.  (Auditorium)

 

11:30 AM        Auburn University’s Southeastern Raptor Center Presentation

                        The Southeastern Raptor Center presents their educational program to teach about birds of prey.  You can see these birds up close while learning about habitats, conservation and ecology.  Hawks, eagles, falcons and owls will educate and excite audiences of all ages.  (Auditorium)

 

11 AM -           Domino’s Pizza Lunch with drink and desert, sponsored by WWRA.

THUR               A $5.00 donation per person will be accepted and appreciated and will benefit future refuge

1 PM               programs. Have a good lunch and help support the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge Association. (Classroom)

 

 

1 – 3 PM         Children’s Activity in the Classroom continues.

 

1 PM               President Theodore Roosevelt Speaks!        

                        Theodore Roosevelt was a soldier and statesman, explorer and scientist, historian and author.  Our youngest president, he personified a vigorous nation on the cusp of the American Century.  TR’s stories entertain and inspire today.  (Auditorium)

                       

2:15 PM          The Power of One Voice:  A 50-year Perspective on the Life of Rachel Carson – Film Premiere.

                        This groundbreaking documentary examines the life of Rachel Carson and the profound implications of her environmental work.  The film features interviews with Rachel Carson’s adopted son, Roger Christie, her biographer, Linda Lear, and other notable writers, scientists and advocates.  By highlighting the power of Carson’s voice, the filmmakers hope to inspire others to add their voices to this essential conversation.  (Auditorium)

 

3:30 PM          Auburn University Southeastern Raptor Center Presentation

                        The Southeastern Raptor Center presents their educational program to teach about birds of prey.  You can see these birds up close while learning about habitats, conservation and ecology.  Hawks, eagles, falcons and owls will educate and excite audiences of all ages.  (Auditorium)

 

5:00 PM          Day one of Festival of the Cranes comes to an end.  Don’t miss Day two!

 

 

                                                         Sunday, January 10, 2016 

Schedule of Events

 

7:00 AM          Nature Walk with President Theodore Roosevelt.  Come early and join President Roosevelt on an early morning nature walk.  Meet at the Visitor Center information desk.

 

9 – 11 AM       Children’s Activity in the Classroom.  Calling all kids (regardless of age) to join in the fun educational activities – create a crane mask, crane puppet and crane origami.  Visit with the FWS Blue Goose and the ICF Whooping Crane mascots.

 

9:00 AM          Romancing the Crane withICF Co-Founder George Archibald

                        George tells the story and shares the video of “Tex”.  A wonderful story of dedication to save a species from extinction.  (Auditorium)

 

10:00 AM        President Theodore Roosevelt Speaks!

                        More fun and inspirational stories from our greatest conservation President.  (Auditorium)

 

11:30 AM        Auburn University Southeastern Raptor Center Presentation

                        The Southeastern Raptor Center presents their educational program to teach about birds of prey.  You can see these birds up close while learning about habitats, conservation and ecology.  Hawks, eagles, falcons and owls will educate and excite audiences of all ages.  (Auditorium)

 

1:00 PM          The Power of One Voice:  A 50-year Perspective on the Life of Rachel Carson – Film Premiere

                        This groundbreaking documentary examines the life of Rachel Carson and the profound implications of her environmental work.  The film features interviews with Rachel Carson’s adopted son, Roger Christie, her biographer, Linda Lear, and other notable writers, scientists and advocates.  By highlighting the power of Carson’s voice, the film makers hope to inspire others to add their voices to this essential conversation.  (Auditorium)

 

2:30 PM          Crane Dancing with ICF Naturalist Amber Wilson

                        Learn how to dance like a crane (and have fun doing it!)  Jump, play, and just have fun with your whole family during this interactive program!  (Auditorium)

 

3:30 PM          Afternoon Birding with Dr. George Archibald

                        Join Dr. Archibald for an afternoon walk on the trails and around the grounds of the Visitor Center.  The cranes will be on the move as daylight dims and the sun begins to set providing some wonderful photo opportunities.  A great way to end the day and the Festival of the Cranes 2016!

A Crane Affair to Remember

For more information, contact the Wheeler NWR Visitor Center at 256-350-6639 or check out our Friends of Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge group website at www.friendsofwheelerrefuge.org. Like us on Facebook at the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Complex page.

Festival is open to members of the general public.

Last Updated: Dec 16, 2015
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