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April 21, 2004

Lake Ontario Bird Festival Soars with Activities

MEXICO, NY-Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Resort on the Little Salmon River will be bustling with activity May 1 and 2 as the host site for the Lake Ontario Bird Festival. There is no admission charge and events will take place rain or shine. The festival features live birds and a variety of workshops, food vendors, arts and crafts, and groups with educational displays.

The festival opens at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 1 with the "wake up the bears" children's parade around Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park campground. The campground is located on County Route 16, north of the village of Mexico.

Lake Ontario Bird Festival is a family event, first organized in 1996 by a small group of volunteers. Mexico town Board member Betty Green is one of the original founders of bird fest. She co-chairs the event, along with Barbara Lighthall, co-owner of Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park.

"The purpose of bird fest is to promote awareness among residents and visitors to our area about migratory birds of prey and their route over the eastern Lake Ontario shoreline," said Green. "Thousands of red-tailed hawks, eagles and other raptors fly directly over our area every spring, and many species of songbirds nest here in the summer. Bird fest offers workshops and activities for all ages that focus on enjoying the wildlife and the beautiful environment we enjoy in Oswego County."

Saturday programs are as follows:

  • 10 a.m.: Welcoming ceremony. Flag raising, Junior ROTC; coloring contest winners; bagpipe music with Scott Hunter.
  • 10:30 a.m.: "Wild Wings" with Ellen Post, Live Bird Tent.
  • 11 a.m.: "Build a Blue Bird House" with John Rogers, on the river.
  • 11:15 a.m.: "Social Behavior of Wolves" with Karen Depitro, Clubhouse.
  • 11:30 a.m.: "Another Fine Mess" with Ken Carman, Riverside Tent.
  • 12 Noon: "Hawk Creek Wildlife Center" with Mimi Piciullo.
  • 12 Noon: "The Mexico Brass," Clubhouse.
  • 12:15 p.m.: "Talons! A Bird Of Prey Experience" with Laurie Westman.
  • 12:15 p.m.: "Birds In Their Habitat" with Harry Lappin, at the Clubhouse.
  • 1 p.m.: "Field Sketching and Nature Journaling" with Robert McNamara, Riverside Tent.
  • 1 p.m.: "Wild Wings" with Ellen Post, Live Bird Tent.
  • 1:45 p.m.: "Seeds for Wildbirds" with Linda Donegan, Clubhouse.
  • 2 p.m.: "Build A Bluebird House" with John Rogers, on the river.
  • 2:30 p.m.: "Beginning Fly Fishing" with Fran Verdoliva, on the river.
  • 2:30 p.m.: "Talons! A Bird Of Prey Experience" with Laurie Westman.
  • 3:15 p.m.: "Social Behavior of Wolves" with Karen Depitro, Clubhouse.
  • 3:45 p.m.: "Another Fine Mess" with Ken Carman, Riverside Tent.
  • 4:15 p.m.: "Birds In Their Habitat" with Harry Lappin, at the Clubhouse.

Sunday Programs are as follows:

  • 10:30 a.m.: "Talons! A Bird Of Prey Experience" with Laurie Westman.
  • 11a.m.: "Build A Bluebird House" with John Rogers, on the river.
  • 11:15 a.m.: "Wild Edible Plants and Mushrooms" with Nancy Kaiser, Clubhouse.
  • 11:30 a.m.: "Another Fine Mess" with Ken Carman, Riverside Tent.
  • 12 Noon: "Ed Goetz and the Silver Spurs" on the river.
  • 12 Noon: Skit by New Haven 3rd Graders, on the river.
  • 12:15 p.m.: "All About Bluebirds" with John Rogers, Clubhouse.
  • 12:15 p.m.: "Wild Wings" with Ellen Post, Live Bird Tent.
  • 1 p.m.: "Field Sketching and Nature Journaling" with Robert McNamara, Riverside Tent.
  • 1 p.m.: "Talons! A Bird Of Prey Experience" with Laurie Westman.
  • 1:45 p.m.: "Build A Bluebird House" with John Rogers, on the river.
  • 1:45 p.m.: "Whales Safari - Kayaking with the Great Blue Whale" with Brewster Sears, Clubhouse.
  • 2:30 p.m.: "Social Behavior of Wolves" with Karen Depitro, Riverside Tent.
  • 2:30 p.m.: "Wild Wings" with Ellen Post, Live Bird Tent.
  • 3:15 p.m.: "Wild Edible Plants and Mushrooms" with Nancy Kaiser, Clubhouse.
  • 3:45 p.m.: "Another Fine Mess" with Ken Carman, Riverside Tent.
  • 4:15 p.m.: "All About Bluebirds" with John Rogers, Clubhouse.
  • Children's Activity Tent, Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Viewing of Coloring Contest Entries
  • Make a Pinecone Feeder
  • Face Painting
  • Color-a-Bird
  • New Haven Classroom Feeder Watch
  • "Gardening For Wildlife and Living Green, Living Good" with Janet and John Allen.

Again this year, free shuttle buses, sponsored by A & E Transport, will take visitors to the nearby Derby Hill Bird Observatory, where thousands of migrating raptors are sighted each spring on their journey northward. Shuttle buses will also stop at nearby Mexico Point State Park, at the mouth of the Little Salmon River. Casey's Cottage will be open for tours at Mexico Point State Park.

Lake Ontario Bird Festival is made possible by the generous help of the New York Power Authority, A & E Transport, Entergy Nuclear Northeast, Town of Mexico, and is hosted by Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Resort. Organizational support is provided by Oswego Harbor Festivals, Inc. and in-kind support is provided by the Oswego County Department of Promotion and Tourism.

Additional sponsorship is provided by C & B Farm Garden, Children's Board of Oswego, Constellation Energy Group - Nine Mile Point, Eastern Shore Associates, Eddie's Big M, Greater Mexico Chamber of Commerce, Hiscock and Barclay LLP, Moore's Lumber, Oswego County National Bank, Oswego County Weeklies, PathFinder Bank, Port Lodge Motel, Price Chopper Supermarkets, Pulaski Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce, Redwood Motel, Stewart's Ice Cream Shops, and Tweeter's Feeders.

For information, call (315) 963-7096 or (315) 963-7657.

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