Do you like festivals? Do you like birds? What about festivals about birds? This weekend from Saturday, October 5 to Sunday, October 6 Ridgefield will play host to the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge’s 14th annual Birdfest. Birds will be celebrated in several locations across Ridgefield throughout the weekend with a variety of events including Audubon live bird shows, workshops, educational and bird-watching walks and a salmon bake. For a full list of events, go to the Ridgefield friends website.

The festival is held each year to celebrate the seasonal migration of sandhill cranes through the refuge. This year the festival will also recognize the featured bird: the Stellars’ Jay as listed on the events schedule.

There will be many exciting opportunities to learn about birds from the festival. There will be an Audubon live bird show where spectators meet owls, falcons and a vulture and learn about their unique adaptions. Attendees to the festival will also have a unique chance to learn the secret language of birds from Jon Young. After all that sitting around and learning about birds, festivalgoers can shake their legs on a guided family bird walk. There are also guided naturalist and geology walks, as well as an ethnobotany hike for those less ornithologically-inclined.

There are plenty of non-bird related activities. There will be food vendors and a salmon bake for the hungry, storytelling for nature-lovers of all ages, an English Ivy and basketry workshop for those who oppose to this pesky invasive vine and support basket weaving, flintnapping demonstrations, and more.

Since the weather has been on the rainy side lately, it is recommended that festivalgoers wear plenty of warm layers. Bird lovers will not have to huddle in the rain to experience bird fest: many events will be in-doors.

For more information about the festival, visit the Friends of the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge webpage and the schedule of events website.

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