May 2, 2006 > Bird Fest
by Vidya Pradhan
Mark your calendars! On May 6, a real treat is in store for kids and grown-ups alike. Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge is hosting its annual South Bay Bird Fest at the Environmental Education Center in Alviso. The Bird Fest, now in its 14th year, celebrates not only the scores of bird species found in the Bay Area, but also the migratory birds that make their annual journey through our neighborhood. In fact, it used to be known as the International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD).
The festival offers non-stop entertainment; face painting to magic shows to music. The atmosphere will be one of a street fair with several local nature centers and environmental organizations putting up stalls with activities. Among the highlights is a live owl presentation by the Sulphur Creek Nature Center. Kids will see and learn about our nocturnal neighbors up close and can make a bird ID book to take home. Docents will conduct guided tours to teach visitors to identify birds using the bird ID book.
May is a great time to see baby birds, and, with luck, visitors will be able to spot some of the baby avocets, ducks, geese and owls nesting in the refuge. Safari tours conducted in a minivan will give a close look at the wildlife and also a glimpse of our very own sinking ghost town, Drawbridge.
An amazing show called the "Magic of Water" will be presented by Kathy Machado of the Santa Clara Valley Water District. Festival goers can spend time with the refuge astronomer looking for sun spots and making a sundial.
For the little ones, there is face painting and story time when they will hear exciting bird stories. Mr. Mustard will be selling hot dogs, tofu dogs and other snacks and beverages.
This event is sponsored by US Fish & Wildlife Service, San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society, city of San Jose, and Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program. So bring your kids to a fun-filled day of activities that educate and entertain. Best of all, the activities are free.
For a list of activities visit www.fws.gov/desfbay/birdfest.htm. For more information, contact Laurie McEwen, event coordinator at (408) 262-5513 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, May 6
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Environmental Education Center
Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge
1751, Grand Blvd, Alviso