Club to celebrate spring migration

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Thorncrag is home to approximately 23 species of nesting migratory birds.

LEWISTON – Bird clubs and Audubon societies all over America are celebrating the arrival of migratory birds this month.

International Migratory Bird Day was created in 1993 by visionaries at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. Now under the direction of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the day continues to focus attention on one of the most important events in the life of a migratory bird – its journey between its summer and winter homes.

The theme this year is “North America’s Boreal Forests.”

The special northern forests encompass about 1.5 billion acres and stretch from Alaska to Newfoundland. The region includes one of the world’s largest intact forests dotted with lakes, rivers and wetlands. More extensive than the Brazilian Amazon, the Boreal offers refuge to grizzly bear, caribou, wolverine, gray wolf and a variety of other resident wildlife.

The region’s importance, however, extends beyond Canada and Alaska to the Lower 48, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. Billions of birds of more than 270 species migrate long distances from these locations to the Boreal, where they nest and raise young in what is known as North America’s bird nursery.

In Lewiston, the Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary is home to approximately 23 species of nesting migratory birds. Some of the local favorites that have made the journey to Thorncrag are the yellow-rumped warbler, the red-eyed vireo, and the familiar American robin and phoebe.

Thorncrag will celebrate with the annual Bird Festival on Saturday, May 20. An early morning bird walk at 7 will be an opportunity to hear and see many of the returning migrants to the area.

The festival will also include nature games for children, nature sketching, bird artists, landscape demonstrations to attract birds to a yard, music, a picnic at the fireplace and fun for the whole family.

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