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 Kathy Hocker from Juneau, Alaska. Kathy is a scientific illustrator and was previously a naturalist with Discovery Southeast. She received a degree in scientific illustration from the University of California at Santa Cruz.Through the Artists in the Schools program she’s traveled all around the state teaching kids the basics of her art. She believes there is a rich area of overlap between art and science, two disciplines that are often viewed as unrelated. She will be working with kids in the Wrangell School District during the week and offering public art classes on the weekend. She has also written or co-authored several books.
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 2012 schedule is posted below to get an idea of activities for next year.
Alaska Airlines has provided us a discount code for travel. When making your travel plans, use Discount Code ECMU633 and the discount will be automatically applied to your reservation. Travel dates for the discount are April 22 through May 1.
Wrangell’s Stikine River Birding Festival provides an ideal opportunity for all ages to celebrate 2013’s 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.