Celebrating the fall migration of hawks, eagles, falcon and vultures, the festival will offer programs by wildlife experts discussing these beautiful birds of prey. There will also be displays showing the life cycles of the birds, a discussion and update on the Osprey reintroduction program in Southeast Michigan and information on raptor rehabilitation taking place as part of the Oak Openings Raptor Project near Toledo, Ohio.
On Saturday, there will be a discussion on falconry by members of the Michigan Hawking Club who will bring along live birds for the program. For many who have attended the festival in the past, one of the highlights has been the program offered by Joe Rogers with his live birds of prey. He will be offering his wit and wisdom on Saturday at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Then on Sunday a program by naturalists from the Howell Nature Center will be featured at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
On Sunday at 4 p.m. the Reg Pettibone's Native American Hawk Dancers will present a traditional Native American dance honoring these wonderful birds. This alone makes the trip to Hawkfest worthwhile. Reg Pettibone and his dancers have performed across the state and nation and will bring with them a look at the traditions and art of Native American performers.
Throughout the day, there will be naturalists tracking and counting the number and types of birds as they make their way across Lake Erie on the southward migration. Up to 17 different species of birds of prey cross over Lake Erie Metropark. Numbers can total up to 200,000 birds during the entire migration season which runs roughly from September through November.
As the naturalists and bird watchers man their spotting scopes at the festival, many of them will be more than happy to let visitors take a look to see what is going on up above.
Hawkfest runs from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
A Metroparks Pass is required for entry into the park and day passes may be purchased for $5. For those who do not have a pass and would rather purchase an annual permit, the 2014 passes are available for $30 or $20 for senior citizens and will allow entry into any Metropark for the rest of 2013 and all of 2014.
For more information on Hawkfest or activates at any Metropark check out their website or call (800) 477-2757.
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