Driftless Birding Fest scheduled for November 9

The Driftless Area Education and Visitors Center located in Lansing will host the Driftless Birding Fest Saturday, November 9. The Fest will include speakers, exhibits and self-guided field trips to area hotspots.

Speakers will include William Reiter-Marolf, who is a biologist with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Upper Mississippi River Refuge. His presentation will begin at 10 a.m. and will include information on the Upper Mississippi Fish and Wildlife Refuge and the bird research that is done throughout the entire refuge.

At 1 p.m., Pamela Eyden, editor of the book “Birds of the Upper Mississippi and the Driftless Area,” will read selected stories from the book at the Driftless Area Education and Visitors Center. Along with other editors of the Big River Magazine, she helped put together the 39 stories that appeared in the magazine over a 22-year period.

These stories cover a lot of ground, from how birds evolved from dinosaurs to what it’s like to care for a vulture. Most of the stories cover birds’ life cycles, as well as things that set them apart, such as sledding crows and macho kestrels. Stories also chronicle birds that have recovered from near elimination - bald eagles, pelicans and peregrines - and others that are on the decline - nighthawks and red-headed woodpeckers.

Most of the stories also give advice for spotting their subjects. Stories such as “Paddling for Birds on the Mississippi” and “Favorite Fall Birding Spots on the Upper Mississippi” offer general advice on birding in the Driftless Area.

The self-guided field trips that are part of the Fest day will include the Brownsville, MN overlook, the Stoddard, WI overlook, Army Road located near New Albin, Red Oak Road located near Harpers Ferry and the Ferryville, WI overlook. At the Brownsville Overlook, United States Fish and Wildlife staff members will be available from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. to answer questions and help visitors in their birding efforts. From 9 a.m.-11 a.m. there will be area birders at the Ferryville Riverview Park answering questions and helping visitors as well.

Maps and directions to each field trip site will be available Friday, November 8 from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., as well as November 9 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., at the Driftless Area Education and Visitors Center.

The Driftless Area Education and Visitors Center is located at 1944 Columbus Road just north of Lansing. It is operated by the Allamakee County Conservation Department. For more information on this program or any program offered by the Allamakee County Conservation Department, contact the Driftless Area Education and Visitors Center by telephone at 563-538-0403 or by following Allamakee County Conservation via its online presence.

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