We plan this as a one day event on Saturday May 20th with many activities and a free hot dog lunch to celebrate the 101st anniversary of the 1916 Migratory Bird Convention between the U.S. and Britain (for Canada), officially referred to as the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. The upper Tanana valley is a stopover point for many songbirds and waterfowl making their way north, as well as a summer home for birds that have overwintered outside of Alaska. Spring has finally arrived – the days are longer, the snow has melted, and the sounds of birds have begun to fill the air! Family events are special in a small town and warm spring weather brings everyone out in interior Alaska. This special event features activities such as a 2 hour mist net bird banding demonstration. This year we have invited the TLC Bird group to bring 3 live raptors for visitors to meet. A Bald Eagle, a Great Gray Horned Owl and a Snowy Owl will be there for people to learn from. Other activities include a fun run through a Bird Migration Obstacle Course – participants are Olive-sided flycatchers traveling from Central America to Alaska. In order to complete the journey, participants need to dodge their way to Alaska through a variety of obstacles to partner up and build a nest before they returned to Mexico. Wheel of Birds Trivia – Participants get to spin the wheel and answer a question about birds, with three levels of difficulty for different ages. A prize is given for correctly answering three questions. Bird ID and Binoculars – Participants learn to use binoculars and then are challenged to identify nearby birds with a bird bingo game. They are given field guides and laminated print-outs to help them ID the birds. Pictures of prominent birds are placed in the trees and bushes in case the local aviary residents don’t cooperate. Feathers and Bones Exhibit – Participants get a hands-on experience handling bird wings, feathers, and bones. The table leader prompts participants with questions, such as how different wing and feather shapes supported different uses by birds. The US Fish and Wildlife Blue Goose plans to stop by to participate in this fun event. Art in Nature – Local artists, Serenity Wilkinson and Savanna Rutledge demonstrat their artistic skills and help participants learn how to draw birds with a focus on local migratory waterfowl. Free migratory bird calendars are available for everyone. A delicious lunch is cooked up by Chef Shawn accompanied by homemade pasta salad, potato salad and chips. Free water is available to keep the happy crowd well hydrated. Partners participating in the event include the US Fish and Wildlife Service Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge, the state of Alaska division of Forestry, who brings Smokey The Bear along with a fire engine and the Tok 4th of July Committee who donates use of the site and tables and chairs. Everyone stopping by this free event enjoys the springtime sunshine and learns about the many kinds of migratory birds that come to Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge.
Upper Tanana River Migratory Bird Festival
08:00 to 15:00