By Christine A. Smyczynski
One of the premier birding events in western New York is the annual Birding Festival at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown. This event will appeal to novice birders as well as more experienced birders. There are a number of lectures, field trips, exhibits, and other events during the four-day festival.
The event kicks off on Thursday June 9 with a reception at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute. Jim Berry, president of the RTPI, will give a special presentation on the collection of naturalist Roger Tory Peterson, including some rare pieces of the collection.
The late Roger Tory Peterson, a Jamestown native, was considered one of the greatest naturalists of the 20th Century. He used his skills in painting, photography, and writing to bring nature to everyone.
Also featured at the reception on June 9 will be author Dr. John Rappole, who wrote the following books: Birds of Texas: A Field Guide, Ecology of Migratory Birds: A Neotropical Perspective, and Wildlife of the Mid-Atlantic: a Compete Reference Manual.
Families will enjoy a special event planned for Friday June 10th that is especially designed for young birders and their families. School children and their parents can participate in hands-on activities and a beginner field trip. Also of interest to families will be vendors with displays on binoculars, backyard bird feeders, a live raptor exhibit, and a bird banding demonstration.
The keynote speaker at the Saturday June 11 dinner is Jeff Gordon, President of the American Birding Association. Recently Gordon produced a series of video podcasts in conjunction with the Peterson Field Guide.
There are also three all-day field trips during the festival; a Grassland Nesting Birds trip to Clarion County, PA on June 9, a trip to Allegany State Park on June 10 to look for warblers and a Whirlwind Warbler Tour on Friday June 10 to Allegany National Forest in Warren County, PA.
Overnight accommodations are available in the dormitories at Jamestown Community College for $50/person or $90/couple. Reservations are required. For more information about the festival, visit www.rtpi.org