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'Birds on the Niagara' to feature International Winter Bird Celebration

Fri, Feb 14th 2020 09:30 am

“Birds on the Niagara” continues its celebration of winter birds on Saturday, Feb. 15. The event will be held at a variety of indoor and outdoor locations and venues located along the U.S and Canadian sides of the Niagara River.

Now in its second year, the Winter Bird Celebration began in January 2019 with a U.S organizational partnership that includes the Niagara Greenway Commission, state agencies such as New York State Parks, plus Grand Island Footprints Festival and Buffalo Ornithological Society among others.

“Buffalo Audubon is excited to be a part of this celebration again this year. We are pleased to be hosting ‘Birds and Brews’ at Flying Bison Brewery on Valentine’s Day to kick off this weekend. It is especially relevant’ because many of the waterfowl that we will be looking at along the waterways are just entering the courting season and they are in full breeding plumage,” said Tom Kerr of Buffalo Audubon.

A press release explained the Niagara River is recognized as providing a fundamental connection between the Artic and the Amazon Basin for migrating, overwintering, and breeding birds. It also provides a critical source of food, for socialization, and life-preserving conditions during harsh climates.

Generations of outdoor, nature, bird and science enthusiasts have long regarded the Niagara as a winter magnet for wildlife, especially birds. These birds are attracted to the open waters of the winter Niagara and adjacent lakes. Many species of waterfowl, including ducks, geese, swans, and species of rare and unusual gulls, depend on this place as critical habitat.

“This is such an important area, ecologically speaking. Conservation of the birds that are here, and the habitat that they depend upon, are a primary focus of the Niagara River Greenway Commission,” Executive Director Greg Stevens said.

From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, birding tours on both sides of the international border will take place. From 2-4 p.m., indoor programing and displays will be offered at the New York Power Authority’s Niagara Power Vista in Lewiston, which overlooks the Niagara Gorge. At 4 p.m., keynote speaker Jajean Rose Burney, deputy executive director at the Western New York Land Conservancy, will present a program on the “Birds on the Niagara.” She will also discuss the Niagara River as a Globally Significant Important Bird Area, and the recent designation of the Niagara as a Ramsar Wetlands of the International Significance.

For more information, visit www.birdsontheniagara.org.

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