Huron Fringe Birding Festival
is about more than just birds

By Liz Dadson

Kincardine council

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The Huron Fringe Birding Festival is about more than just birds.

That's the word from Doug Pedwell who spoke to Kincardine council in committee-of-the-whole Wednesday night (March 5).

Pedwell said there are a number of Kincardine residents involved, and this spring marks the 17th year of the festival.

Based at MacGregor Point Provincial Park, the eight-day event runs the first two weekends after the May 24th holiday. This year, it will be held May 23-26 and May 29-June 1.

The festival does concentrate on birds, but also features photography, astronomy, relaxed nature hikes, and so much more, said Pedwell.

The reason there is a birding festival, he said, is because the Lake Huron shoreline is one of the last bird migration routes with enough tree cover. Other areas include the Niagara Peninsula and Long Point.

The festival organizers know this because they have used geolocators on birds to discover their migration routes.

Pedwell said there are 475 species of birds found in eastern North America - 340 species have been recorded in this area.

Bird-watching generates more than $60-billion in the North American economy each year, said Pedwell. "It's the fastest-growing recreational activity in the world. It can be done anywhere, it's a healthy activity, it's inexpensive and it's fun."

There are more than 80 events offered at this year's Huron Fringe Birding Festival, Pedwell said, including full-day excursions, half-day trips, early morning bird hikes, Birding MacGregor, relaxed nature walks, wildflower hikes, butterfly hikes, Hidden Treasures of the Huron Coast (new this year), identifying dragonflies in the field, nature and landscape photography on the South Bruce Peninsula, photographing waterfalls, and "Bird 'Till You Drop."

Pedwell urges people to find the festival registration on the Friends of MacGregor Point Provincial Park website, click here, and register on-line before all the events are full. 

"It's good to promote this with our residents," said deputy mayor Anne Eadie.


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Tuesday, March 11, 2014