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Kenai welcomes feathered visitors.

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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, 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.

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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.

This year's featured speakers are Bill Thompson and Julie Zickefoose. Thompson, the editor of Bird Watcher's Digest, 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.
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Title Annotation:TRAVEL; Kenai Birding Festival
Author:Pounds, Nancy
Publication:Alaska Business Monthly
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U9AK
Date:May 1, 2012
Words:203
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