The AF Birding Committeewill hold the American Falls Fall Birding Festival on Saturday, Sept. 27
“We had a nice turnout for our spring festival. We had adults and kids, newbies and pros. We’re hoping to bring together another great group of people for our fall festival,” said Kurtis Workman, committee member and Greater American Falls Area Chamber of Commerce president.
American Falls is one of the birding hot spots in North America because it is on the migratory route for birds flying south for the winter and north for the summer. The American Falls Reservoir and the Snake River attract a wide variety of birds.
At the spring birding festival, participants spotted 43 different types of birds, which according to Kristen Jensen, birding festival committee member, the number is an impressive amount.
“I’ve made special trips to go birding with my son to places touted as being a bird refuge, and we would spot two different types of birds after walking the field for hours. Here in American Falls, we’re blessed to have such a large variety of birds to watch and enjoy,” said Jensen.
The birding festival committee is working to raise awareness of the birding opportunities in Power County and has focused on holding a biannual festival as a way of doing so. The festivals are free to the public and everyone is welcome to attend and enjoy, children under the age of 13 need to be accompanied by an adult.
Several local companies have sponsored the event to make it free for participants, and the birding committee wanted to emphasize how much their donations helped out.
“The monetary donations from Idaho Power, the Chamber of Commerce, and Magnida, and the bird seed and item donations from Mountain Oil Seeds helped make our spring festival a great success. We’re lucky to have such supportive local businesses,” said Todd Winters, birding festival committee member.
The Saturday, Sept. 27, festival will start at the American Falls District Library at 308 Roosevelt Street at 8 a.m. The festival will open with a presentation on bird feeding in the backyard, then move to the American Falls Cemetery at 9:30 a.m. The cemetery, which overlooks the Snake River, is home to a large variety of birds and is also relatively flat.
“We want to make our festival accessible to as wide a variety of people as possible, so we don’t want to make anyone hike long distances up a hill. That’s something we considered when choosing places to go watch the birds during our festival,” stated Havilah Workman, another birding committee member.
At noon, the group will have a no-host lunch at The Bay Restaurant out by the Willow Bay Marina and listen to a speaker talk about local birds. Afterwards, they will walk some trails by the Marina to scout out additional birds, and then wrap up the day at 13 Bottles, a local smoke-free pub.
“The after-party at 13 Bottles is totally optional, as are all events during the day, but the owners are big birding fans and we found that relaxing there after a day of walking trails is a nice way to finish things off,” stated Havilah.
For more information on the festival, please contact Havilah at 540-2473, visit http://afbirdingfestival.us or the group’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/AmericanFallsBirdingFestival.
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