Kenai welcomes feathered visitors.[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]
Both birds and humans flock to the Kenai Birding Festival, set for May 17-20 at the Kenai Visitors & Cultural Center located at 11471 Kenai Spur Highway in Kenai. The four-day festival is sponsored by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is a 1.92 million acre (7,770 km²) wildlife preserve located on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. The refuge was created in 1941 as the Kenai Moose Range, but in 1980 it was changed to its present status by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation , and includes nationally recognized speakers, field trips, craft sessions, bird identification workshops, birding float trips down the Kenai River, a children's program and more.
Started in 2005 with a few bird-identification workshops and a trip to the Kenai flats, the festival's original focus was to address local residents' birding interests and widespread reluctance to make an hour plus drive to Homer to attend the annual Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival. The Kenai Birding Festival now boasts attendees from Anchorage and even out-of-state, according to Todd Eskelin, a biological technician who works for KNWR KNWR Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge (Alaska)
KNWR Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge (Alaska) .
This year's featured speakers are Bill Thompson and Julie Zickefoose. Thompson, the editor of Bird Watcher's Digest Bird Watcher's Digest is a bimonthly birding magazine that has been in publication since 1978. Bird Watcher's Digest was the first consumer bird watching magazine. Still today, it is the only national family-owned and operated bird watching magazine. , has written "The Young Birder's Guide to Birds of Eastern North America." Zickefoose is an author and illustrator who has painted several illustrations for the cover of Bird Watcher's Digest. Her new book, due this spring, is "The Bluebird Effect: Uncommon Bonds with Common Birds."
Visit www.kenaibirdfest.com for more information.