Monday, September 30, 2013

Tucson Bird & Wildlife Festival Recap: Part 1

-- Erin Olmstead, Festival Coordinator

On Thursday evening, August 16, we kicked off the third annual Tucson Bird & Wildlife festivities with the Nightlife Social. Registered participants and event volunteers gathered at the Riverpark Inn for refreshments and a preview of the Nature Expo vendor area. Some highlights:

An awesome volunteer crew from Wildlife Rehab of Northwest Tucson introduced us to some very special guests: an Elf Owl, a Harris's Hawk and a Great Horned Owl, rescued and rehabbed but not releasable, have an important outreach role. Did you know the Elf Owl is the world's smallest owl!? This tiny dynamo weighs in at about 40 grams, or 1.4 ounces!

This amazing Elf Owl stole the show at the Nightlife Social. Thanks, NW Rehab!

We awarded the freshly engraved Sky Islands Birding Cup trophy to the winning team...

2/3 of team Birding the Midnight Oil hoist the trophy
John Yerger and Jake Mohlmann, aka the affable guides of Adventure Birding Company, along with teammate Keith Kamper, are the Sky Islands Birding Cup Big Day champs for the third year in a row!  This year, despite an inauspicious pre-dawn flat tire in Portal, team Birding the Midnight Oil tallied a whopping 185 species!
Each of the competing teams regaled us with stories of great birds seen the day before. This got everyone pretty excited for their upcoming birding field trips, as well as for next year's Cup competition and fundraiser.

Stay tuned for more photos, highlights, shout-outs, sightings, from the third annual TBWF!

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