Looking back at spring migration highlights, we would be remiss not to mention great outings such as Wings Over Weston (WOW).

A Kentucky Warbler banded at the Wings Over Weston Festival
in Weston Bend State Park. School groups cycled in all day.
Photo by: Michael O’Keefe
     Wings Over Weston: Weston Bend State Park is located about 30 minutes north of Kansas City. It is an Important Bird Area (IBA)… From, “The Important Bird Areas Program (IBA) is a global effort to identify and conserve areas that are vital to birds and other biodiversity. By working with Audubon chapters, landowners, public agencies, community groups, and other non-profits, Audubon endeavors to interest and activate a broad network of supporters to ensure that all Important Bird Areas are properly managed and conserved.”

     The festival serves several purposes, but is in large part meant to bring awareness of the conservation and enjoyment of birds to the general public and school who may not otherwise have known about them.
     This year’s festival was hugely successful despite the cool and windy weather. On Friday, over 150 school children cycled through the many booths and activities. Among the booths there, MRBO set up a banding station and brought birds in from an array of nets nearby. Each of the groups was able to see birds being banding as concepts of migration, life history, and conservation were explained. Saturdays festivities were open to the general public with similar activities taking place. The many visitors enjoyed booths and displays that featured information about migratory birds, Missouri wildlife, games and activities, including bird bingo, a bird maze, and live birds from Operation Wildlife. Visitors learned about the importance of the region as an Important Bird Area (IBA), the basics of bird-watching, and some common birds of the area on one of the beginner bird hikes. Other activities included a native plant sale and Make-a-Bird Feeder.

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