An annual birding and wildlife-watching festival is coming to Southern Nevada for a second time. The Wings and Wildlife Festival will take place March 11 – 15, 2010 along the riverfront in Laughlin. The fee is only $30 plus separate fees for the banquet and field trips. Pre-registration is required, either online or on-site. Check-in starts at 9 a.m., Thursday, March 11, at the Riverside Resort Hotel and Casino, 1650 S. Casino Dr.
The festival is sponsored by the Southern Nevada Birding and Wildlife Trails Partnership, whose mission is to promote ecotourism in the rural areas of Southern Nevada.
A celebration of all things wild in the Mojave Desert, the Wings and Wildlife Festival promises days of exploring, fun and learning along the Colorado River. Popular educational seminar topics that are being offered again include falconry, bats, bighorn sheep, attracting hummingbirds, wildlife uses of plants, and binocular use. Seminars new this year include dragonflies, wetland habitats, live reptiles, and rock art. Seminars will be held at both the Aquarius and Riverside hotels.
Transportation will be provided for field trips, which will take bird and wildlife enthusiasts to such sites as Big Bend of the Colorado River State Recreation Area, Colorado River Heritage Greenway Trail, Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve, Hualapai Mountains, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, and Wee Thump Joshua Tree Forest. Kayak trips will allow bird and wildlife viewing along the Black Canyon, Colorado River and Topock Gorge.
A wine and cheese gathering is planned for Friday night, with renowned local photographer and artist Sharon Schafer displaying her work with a presentation entitled, “Land of Little Rain: Images from the Mojave Desert.” An evening banquet and presentation by Ted Floyd, is planned for Saturday. Floyd is the editor of Birding Magazine, the flagship publication of the American Birding Association. On Friday and Saturday, there will also be approximately 20 informational booths, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nevada Department of Wildlife, Red Rock Audubon Society and others. Exhibitors will have information on wildlife watching and will include live raptors and reptiles, and even a bird taxidermist.
Festival registration, agenda and fees are available at www.wingsandwildlifefestival.org. Online registration will be available until the start of the festival. Festival-goers who wish to register at the door will pay a late registration fee and will take their chances on getting in on field trips.