24th on the 25th – Songbird Festival on the last Saturday of May

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Believe it or not, it’s been 24 years since a fledgling organization in Slave Lake held its first Songbird Festival. It was intended to celebrate and draw attention to the migration monitoring program of the Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory.

The 24th annual festival is a bit earlier than usual this year, being on the last weekend of May. The dates are the 25th and 26th.

The festival always draws people from Edmonton and other points around the province. There are a lot of people who like nothing better than to get out early in the morning and look for and listen to birds. Doing it with expert birders is even more fun.

The action starts at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday the 25th, with the standard pancake breakfast at the Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation. From there the guided birding walks depart at regular intervals. That’s also where the bus to the banding lab collects people wishing to see bird banding. With luck birds will be moving and getting caught in the mist nets.

“There will also be lots of hands-on activities for children,” says the info sheet that went around last week. Also “drop-in programs and nature workshops.”

Admission is free; donations are welcome.

The second day of the festival consists mainly of the 15th annual Bird Run/Walk – also starting and ending at the Boreal Centre. It starts at 10:00 a.m. Coming a bit earlier is recommended.

For more information, call the Boreal Centre at 780-849-8240, or email info@boreralbirdcentre.ca

An orange-crowned warbler at the LSLBO banding lab last week.

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