27th John Scharff Migratory Bird Festival

Bird-lovers are invited to spend a weekend witnessing the magnificent spring migration at the 27th annual John Scharff Migratory Bird Festival in the Harney Basin of Oregon. The festival is set to take place on 4, 5 and 6 April 2008, with the base of activity being in the city of Burns, Harney County.

Visitors can expect to see thousands of migratory birds – from waterfowl to shorebirds, wading birds to songbirds and raptors to cranes – as they rest and feed in the expanse of Oregon’s high desert. The festival schedule is packed with birding activities as well as cultural and historical information, which are sure to educate and entertain the entire family – beginners and experienced birders alike.

One of the highlights of the John Scharff Migratory Bird Festival will be the art show and sale which will run the duration of the festival in the Burns High School Gymnasium. Visitors will have plenty of opportunity to view and purchase original wildlife paintings, sculptures, photographs and much more. Paintings by renowned wildlife artist Steele Roberts-Ross will be a special feature of the art show and sale.

The kickoff celebration on Friday night will include the presentation “Milestones in Raptor Conservation” by Trish Nixon, a raptor specialist from the Peregrine Fund’s World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise, Idaho. Her talk will focus on raptors that have been rescued from the brink of extinction as well as those which are still endangered and what can be done to help them. Trish will also introduce the audience to one of her favorite raptors and will be available to answer questions related to birds of prey.

Audiences at the Saturday night banquet will hear (from a Theodore Roosevelt impersonator) how Malheur National Wildlife Refuge was established 100 years ago. They will learn how migratory birds in the Harney Basin were in dire straits at the turn of the 20th century, a situation which was turned around through the dedication of a few individuals – to the benefit of following generations right through to current times.

The John Scharff Migratory Bird Festival program has a host of birding tours and activities to choose from. These include Birds of Sagebrush Communities, Birding British Style, Birding the Neighborhood, Mysteries of Juniper Woodlands, Owl Prowl, Brunch with the Birds, and Sage Grouse Early Bird Tour. Workshops include The Art and Science of Bird Photography, Building Bird Houses, Dark Sky Discovery and BLM Burns Wild Horse Corrals.

Bird watching enthusiasts will not want to miss the opportunity of spending a weekend engaged in their favorite activity. So start planning now to enjoy the John Scharff Migratory Bird Festival to the full.