Wrangell is the gateway community for the Stikine River Delta, where the arrival of thousands of bald eagles creates the largest springtime concentration in North America. The festival is the perfect opportunity for adventurous birdwatchers to observe millions of shorebirds, which migrate to the delta each spring. The Stikine River and its tributaries are located within the Stikine-LeConte Wilderness Area of the Tongass National Forest.
Many birds, including Bald Eagles, concentrate along the Stikine River in April to feed on little oily fish known as hooligan. Two thousand or more birds move between the Middle Arm and North Arm of the Stikine River. Hundreds of thousands of gulls also arrive in the spring to take advantage of this valuable food source. Gull species present at this time include: Banapartes, Herring, Glaucous, Glaucous-winged, California, Mew, Ring-billed, Thayers and Black-legged Kittiwake.
This year’s feature artist is Elizabeth Kunibe from Juneau, Alaska. She works in paints and wood. She will be working with kids in the Wrangell School District during the week and offering public art classes on the weekend. She is also an anthropologist and has researched Tlnigit farming practices.
Noah Strycker, a 27 year old photographer, birder and adventurer will be here to share with us bird behavior from new and surprising angles. Noah explores the astonishing homing abilities of pigeons, extraordinary memories of nutcrackers, self-image in magpies, life-long loves of albatrosses, particle physics of starling flocks, and other mysteries—revealing why birds do what they do, and how we can relate. With humor and wit, and drawing deep from cutting-edge science and anecdotes from the field, Noah’s presentation will leave you with renewed inspiration about close connections with birds. For more information, checkout his website and blog.
Other events include a PHOTO CONTEST, speaker and bird walk, Ducks Unlimited dinner, and the Muskeg Meadows Golf Club Annual Membership meeting and Angerman's Inc. sponsored golf tournament. The 2013 schedule is still posted so you can get an idea of activities for next year.
Wrangell’s Stikine River Birding Festival provides an ideal opportunity for all ages to celebrate the spring migration. Events are scheduled for all ages and interests. The festival is sponsored by the Tongass National Forest and U.S. Forest Service International Programs in partnership with the City and Borough of Wrangell, the Wrangell Convention and Visitors Bureau, the James and Elsie Nolan Center, Wrangell Public Schools and the Copper River International Migratory Bird Initiative.
Alaska Airlines has graciously awarded the Festival with a Travel Discount Code to be used from April 21 through April 29, 2014! Use Discount Code ECMV123 when making your travel arrangements on Alaska Air.