A Great Fun-Filled Family Friendly Weekend of Activities from Friday, February 17th thru Monday (Family Day) February 20th
An Invite to All from Conservation and Nature Groups on both sides of the Niagara River
Posted February 13th, 2023 on Niagara At Large
Family Day Weekend, February 17 – 20, will definitely be for the birds, as the sixth annual Birds On The Niagara International Festival (BON23) takes place on both sides of the border, offering free family-friendly activities for the entire four days.
The festival, which is the only transboundary event of its kind in North America, was created to celebrate the wonderful winter presence of birds and the nature that sustains them. Canadian participation began in 2018 and the celebration continues to grow.
Birds On The Niagara is a collaboration of organizations, agencies and individuals from both sides of the border, focusing on the intersection between regional winter birds, regional conservation initiatives, regional social justice contexts and inclusion.
This year’s theme is The Future- what is coming our way in the context of changing bird populations, changing habitats and changing cultures.
The Niagara River Corridor is a Globally Significant Important Bird Area and some areas have been designated as a Ramsar Wetland of International Significance. Canadian Co-chair, Marcie Jacklin, a well-known Niagara birding expert and conservationist, says.
“This is a perfect opportunity to enjoy the wonderful nature we have here and to discover the importance of preserving it along the Niagara River corridor. There are great programs scheduled on both sides of the border, including family-friendly educational activities, nature hikes, and informative presentations that motivate those participating to share our passion and our conservation concerns.”
The Festival kicks off on Friday, February 17th, 6 pm, with a Birds and Beer get together at Blackburn Brew House in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Those attending will have an opportunity to meet other participants, purchase a beverage and tasty snacks, and attend an informative presentation by well-known speaker, Justin Peter from Quest Tours. This will be an excellent opportunity for guests to learn about the various gulls that winter here, with tips on ways to identify them.
Throughout the weekend, a Scavenger Hunt Bingo will be ongoing, with prizes awarded at the end of the Festival. Celebrate BON by heading to the Niagara River Corridor to play. Fun for all ages! Submit your winning 4 corners, X, and Full Card to email@example.com for a chance to win a prize. A winner will be randomly selected for each category.
Bird Kingdom, located in Niagara Falls, has also joined in the festivities and is offering a 25% discount on admission with the code WNYYBC25.
This well-known Niagara attraction features birds from around the world. For more information, visit https://www.birdkingdom.ca
On Saturday and Sunday, February 18th & 19th, guided hikes will be offered in various locations. An outdoor family-friendly event, featuring games and educational activities, is also scheduled on Saturday. A chance to view birds using a spotting scope will provide up-close views of the various species that can be found along the river on Sunday.
Monday, February 20th, a guided family-friendly walk through Dufferin Islands to explore the scenic nature trails will definitely be a highlight, providing an opportunity to interact with the local birds that can be found here.
The final event on the Canadian side will be held on Monday afternoon, 12:45 pm, at the School of Horticulture where there will be displays from the three local nature clubs and an impressive roster of speakers.
Well-known local naturalist, Owen Bjorgan, will start off the afternoon with his “Hidden Corners of Niagara” presentation. Owen has spent countless hours filming and documenting the biodiversity of the Niagara Peninsula and aims to create a sense of place in the Carolinian Forest Zone.
Owen will be followed by Jocelyn Baker who will talk about RAMSAR and Wetlands of International Importance. Those in attendance will learn how the RAMSAR designation can help wetlands along the Ontario side of the Niagara River and what barriers there are to getting this designation.
Urban Bird Photography, with noted wildlife and nature photographer, Ankur Khurana, is the final presentation of the Festival and will inspire those in attendance to try their hand at capturing their own images of nature.
The complete program schedule can be found on the Birds of Niagara 2023 website at http://www.birdniagara.org/canada-program-guide.html .
For U.S. activities, http://www.birdniagara.org/us-program-guide.html
It is hoped that the Festival activities will inspire others to become engaged in bird watching and to highlight the value of winter birds and their conservation in the Niagara River Corridor.
There are a number of groups and organization that have been involved in BON23 and we are especially grateful to the Niagara Parks Commission and Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority for their support.
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