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Wings Over the Rockies 2017

Birds, Bats, Bears and Beyond

In 2017 Canada will celebrate its 150th birthday. Canada was founded upon its nature and wildlife that remain symbols of our nation. The 21st Wings Festival appropriately explores the theme Birds, Bats, Bears and Beyond in recognition of Canada's interconnected but increasingly challenged wildlife international migratory birds; mysterious bats and grizzly bears, symbols of wilderness. The festival will bring in experts provide insights into the lives of these animals and the conservation challenges in protecting them.

We are honoured that Danny Catt, an internationally known conservationist, photographer and environmental educator will be the Keynote Speaker at the Gala. Danny spent more than a decade in the upper Columbia Valley in park planning when he received a Rotary International ‘Preserve Planet Earth' scholarship to study conservation around the globe. Since then Danny has explored and photographed the people, landscapes and wildlife of close to 100 countries. Now head of British Columbia Institute of Technology's Fish, Wildlife and Recreational Land Management program he inspires future generations of wildlife conservationists. For more information on Danny Catt please check The Special Guest Page.

Wings Over the Rockies Festival pulls back the curtains of nature in the Columbia Valley, providing opportunities for visitors and locals alike to engage in wildlife watching and through a wide variety of presentations and field trips, learn about the relationship of habitats, flora and fauna in our backyard – the envy of the world.

 

Columbia Wetlands Waterbird Survey

Due to the outstanding contribution of 79 volunteers, 51,261 birds were recorded over three survey dates during the fall Columbia Wetlands Waterbird Survey (CWWS)! The highest single day count was recorded on October 15th, 2016 when 20,784 birds (75 species) were counted at 85 locations. This is an incredible accomplishment for our region and this effort is worth celebrating! Data will contribute to long-term conservation efforts in the Columbia Wetlands.

The CWWS began in 2015. It is a five-year coordinated bird count where the major goal is to mobilize and coordinate citizen scientists to collect data that will be used for application to designate the Columbia Wetlands as an Important Bird Area (IBA). IBA is a global initiative with over 600 sites across Canada.

For more information, or to sign up and participate in the spring waterbird surveys, please contact Rachel at racheldarvill@gmail.com, or call 250-344-5530.

Photo Credit: Don Delaney

Eagle Eye Tour: Whooping Cranes in Saskatchewan

Are you ready for some more great birding connected to the Wings Over the Rockies festival, but you can’t wait until next May?

Eagle-Eye Tours is offering a tour to search for Whooping Cranes along with many other migrant species this fall in central Saskatchewan.

Along with small numbers of Whooping Cranes, there are thousands of Sandhill Cranes, tens of thousands of Snow Geese and Canada Geese, with lesser numbers of Ross’s and Greater White-fronted Geese pouring through. There are also large numbers of other waterfowl including all three species of scoters, plus raptors and passerines, especially large flocks of Lapland Longspurs with Snow Buntings and possibly Smith’s Longspurs, and Northern Shrikes.

This is a great opportunity to experience incredible fall migration through the prairies.

Go to http://www.eagle-eye.com/Saskatchewan-Whooping-Crane-Birding-Tour for full details on itinerary, featured birds, what to expect, and registration.

Eagle-Eye Tours is based in the Columbia Valley and is a long-time supporter of the Wings Over the Rockies festival. Eagle-Eye is owned by Cam Gillies, our gala banquet emcee and frequent field-trip leader.

Be sure to mention Wings Over the Rockies when you book. Eagle-Eye Tours will donate a portion of the proceeds from this tour to the festival.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email Cam 250-342-8640 or travel@eagle-eye.com.

Columbia Valley Wetlands

Photo: Vic Panei

The Columbia River Wetlands, one of the longest undisturbed wetland ecosystems found in North America, stretches over 180 km in length from Canal Flats to Donald, BC. This impressive ecosystem gained international recognition when it was chosen a Ramsar wetlands in 2005 and represents one of the few remaining intact portions of the Pacific Flyway critical to migrating birds.

Wings Over the Rockies Festival provides the opportunity for visitors and locals alike to engage in bird watching and to learn about the relationship of habitats, flora and fauna in the Columbia Valley, our backyard – the envy of the world.

Photo: Pat Morrow

Click on the image below to view photos of 2016 and past festival events.

Click on the image below to view some stunning bird photos seen during the festivals.

 

Dates for the Wings Over the Rockies Festival for the next three years:

May 8 to 14, 2017

May 7 to 13, 2018

May 6 to 12, 2019