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Fallon’s Spring Wings Festival celebrates bird watching with tours, live birds, and family fun in Oats Park



FALLON, NEV. — A migration of birds and bird-watchers will meet in Fallon, NV this May to view and celebrate one of nature’s most impressive seasonal journeys at one of North America’s richest wetlands.

The Spring Wings Festival runs from May 13-15 in Fallon, with trips to nearby Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, which has received national and international recognition as a premier bird-watching hotspot. During the three-day event, guided tours allow bird-watchers of all levels to view some of the 280 bird species known to frequent the Lahontan Valley, including Black-necked Stilts, Long-billed Dowitchers and the American Avocet.  In addition to the guided tours, Oats Park will host family fun, educational workshops, craft activities, food and vendors that will make the festival an exciting, entertaining event for everyone.

The Spring Wings Festival is held in conjunction with International Migratory Bird Day, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife-recognized celebration of conservation and bird migration. The sheer magnitude of the annual bird migration along the Pacific Flyway is staggering. Millions of birds travel all or part of the way between feeding grounds as far south as Patagonia and breeding grounds as far north as the Arctic tundra. Millions stop in the Lahontan Valley each spring to rest and feed before continuing north.

Bird-watching is one of the fastest growing outdoor activities in the United States, with an estimated 100 million participants according to a recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey.

The Festival weekend kicks off with a special presentation by Jennifer Hajj, Education Director for Hawk Watch International.  Ms. Hajj will incorporate original music, audience participation and visual aids into her “Raptor Rapture” program that explores the natural history and importance of birds of prey. The program is Friday, May 13 at the Barkley Theatre in Fallon’s Oats Park Complex. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with a cash bar available from the Churchill Arts Council and light appetizers by the Friends of Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge. A live bird of prey (hawks and owls) demonstration and talk will open the program at 6:30 p.m., followed at 7:30 p.m. by the Raptor Rapture show.

Spring Wings attendees can choose from various birding-focused guided tours throughout the Lahontan Valley beginning Friday afternoon and continuing through Sunday morning.  There will be a full day of free educational activities, exhibits and family fun at Oats Park in Fallon on Saturday May 14.

Parents and children can learn about everything from birds of prey to the ancient history of the Great Basin in interactive presentations featuring live birds and well-known experts.

All Spring Wings events begin at Oats Park on West Park Street in downtown Fallon. For more information about the Spring Wings Festival and to register for tours and the Friday night Raptor Rapture program, go to www.springwings.org. Tickets will be available the first week of February.  For more information on activities around Fallon, call the Fallon Tourism office at 775-423-4556 or 1-866.232.5566.

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