Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
TETLIN: Upper Tanana Migratory Bird Festival was a Hoot!
Alaska Region, May 15, 2004
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The warm sun and light wind made for a perfect day to fly a peregrine kite in Tok Memorial Park at the 3rd annual Upper Tanana Valley Migratory Bird Festival on May 15th. This year's theme, "Champions of Conservation," focused on renowned naturalists. Over 100 children and adults enjoyed the roulette ?Wheel of Birds,? face painting, bird sounds matching game, and ?Bird Jeopardy.?

The day began with a bird banding demonstration at the Tok Fairgrounds by Tetlin Refuge staff. The clear weather was not advantageous to mist netting birds as most were winging their way to their final destinations. The staff finally caught one fox sparrow and was able to demonstrate and explain the banding process.

Morning presentations took place at the Tok Mainstreet Visitor Center located at the junction of the Alaska and Glenn Highways in the heart of Tok. Presentations included a local wildlife rehabilitator speaking about her role in bird recovery and care, and a Bird Treatment and Learning Center (Bird TLC) education staff member from Anchorage. Impressive great horned and great grey owls shared the stage with the presenters. The concluding festival event was a "Famous Naturalist Contest" which involved local 4th graders who portrayed renowned naturalists that they had researched in class. Each student, in costume, gave a brief presentation and read a poem on their naturalist's accomplishments. The "Famous Naturalists" and winning entries were Rosalie Edge (founder of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary), Jane Goodall, Teddy Roosevelt, Dian Fossey and Marjory Stoneman Douglass (?Mother of the Everglades?).

Partnering with several community organizations, Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge hosts this annual festival to promote an awareness of bird conservation and to encourage participation in the arts. The festival was deemed a success by the more than 250 people who enjoyed a beautiful day dedicated to birds and their conservation.

Contact Info: Kristen Gilbert, 907-786-3391, Kristen_Gilbert@fws.gov
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