Fall Fun Fest: Birds & Butterflies – Year of the Bird: 365 Days of Bird Conservation at Pringle Nature Center Sept. 15

/Photo by Jon Del Rivero on Unsplash

Children and adults will be able to see live owls and hawks at an annual bird/fun festival in Bristol on Saturday, Sept. 15.

The event, free and open to the public, will be held at Pringle Nature Center in Bristol Woods County Park, 9800 160th Ave., from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.The festival, titled “Fall Fun Fest: Birds & Butterflies – Year of the Bird: 365 Days of Bird Conservation,” features a variety of activities. Free fun includes: owl/hawk presentation by falconer Ed Foster, Wisconsin Falconers Association South Western director, of East Troy; the Kenosha Public Museum offering real dinosaur fossils to be cleaned by festival visitors; museum talks on how dinosaurs evolved into birds; Monarch butterfly tagging at 1 p.m. by Pringle Naturalist Valerie Mann; Kohl’s Wild Theater, offering conservation-themed drama, song and puppetry presentations; 11 a.m. to noon bird walks conducted by Rick Fare, educator with Hoy Audubon Society of Kenosha and Racine Counties; nature/animal book giveaway, and music by the local band Grateful Deadliners, at 11.30 a.m.

Some activities have a small fee, including children’s crafts such as a Mexican bird rattle and ornament; hay rides; pumpkin and rock painting; tree climbing, and food, including bar-be-que sandwiches, and beverages. Tickets for those activities will be available to purchase at the event. By becoming a Friend of Pringle at the event, you will receive five free tickets to use for the activities.

Exhibitors include representatives from Gateway Technical College, Pressed Creations, Center for Sustainable Living, Hoy Audubon, Bong State Recreation Area and Chiwaukee Prairie.

The festival is a combination of International Migratory Bird Day and the center’s annual Fall Fun Fest. The city and county arranged the IMBD as part of their responsibilities as being named a Bird City Wisconsin. The city of Kenosha became a Bird City Wisconsin in 2012. Kenosha County became a BCW in 2014.

The Fall Fun Fest is one of two events raising money for equipment and supplies for the environmental education program at the center. The education program includes hands-on learning activities for students on school field trips.
More information is available online at pringlenc.org and hoyaudubon.org or from the center at 262-857-8008 or Kenosha County Parks at 262-857-1869. Event organizers and/or sponsors include Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser, Pringle, Hoy Audubon, Kenosha County, Kenosha County Parks and the City of Kenosha.

Information also is available at Pringle’s web site for volunteering at the event and/or details on helping birds.

IMBD, coordinated by the Environment for the Americas, helps raise public awareness about the importance of birds, loss of their habitat and related topics. IMBD is the only international education program that highlights and celebrates the migration of nearly 350 species of migratory birds between nesting habitats in North America and non-breeding grounds in Latin America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.  Birds migrate north in the spring and south in the fall.

IMBD, started in 1993, has been celebrated at more than 500 sites in the Western Hemisphere. More information is available at www.birdday.org.

Bird City Wisconsin is an organization that promotes bird education by designating cities, counties and other jurisdictions as a Bird City when they meet certain requirements. The requirements include having good bird conservation practices, preserving and expanding habitat, offering bird lectures/lessons/information to the public, and celebrating IMBD with a festival. More information is available at www.birdcitywisconsin.org.

Bristol Woods County Park is 197 acres of upland forest, wetlands, oak savanna remnants, prairie and lawn areas. Within the woods are four miles of trails for bird and wildlife observation, nature education walks, hiking and cross county skiing. The nature center is open year round Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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