Those with an affinity for birds will want to attend this weekend’s 9th annual Wings Over Water festival in downtown Blaine and Semiahmoo.
This year’s event features a world-recognized authority on waterfowl, food and craft vendors, birdhouse building workshops for children and low-cost wildlife and geology field trips.
Organizer Debbie Harger said Frank Todd, conservationist, author and renowned authority on waterfowl and penguins, will speak about his experiences working 39 seasons in the Antarctic, sub-Antarctic and Arctic regions, at 5 p.m. at the Blaine performing arts center on Saturday.
The day-long birding event kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 19, with free indoor and outdoor activities including live raptor presentations by Sardis Raptor Rehabilitation Center, wildlife exhibits, displays, on site craft vendors, children’s birdhouse building workshops and bird viewing stations.
Also at 10 a.m., wildlife biologist and Hancock Wildlife Foundation founder David Hancock will discuss bald eagles of the Northwest and how his web cams have helped him study breading and in-nest activities of the birds.
Then, at 11 a.m., Sue Taylor will present a “Gardening For Birds” workshop at the Blaine middle school cafeteria stage. The workshop will show participants how to transform a yard into a landscape that supports songbirds, butterflies and beneficial insects.
At noon at the Blaine performing arts center (PAC), wildlife speaker and North Cascades Audubon Society president Joe Meche will discuss his experiences and photographs from visiting a local nesting colony of more than 3,000 Caspian terns.
Then, at 2 p.m. at the PAC, wildlife speaker David Drummond, founder of Merlin Falcon Foundation, will give an information presentation about the little-known Merlin falcon and its role in urban and rural environments.
Guided field trips by bus with Jim Jorgensen, retired geology and ornithology teacher, are $5 and are available from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1 to 3:30 p.m.
The tours leave by bus to explore Semiahmoo Spit to learn about the birds as well as the geology of the area. Wildlife cruises around Drayton Harbor on the historic Plover Ferry are also for $5 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Blaine resident Ron Snyder will also tell three “true-life stories” about the Northwest’s Sasquatch legend at 2 p.m. at the PAC.
In conjunction with the festival there will be a wine tasting event from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 18, at Blaine Bouquets at 625 Peace Portal Drive and a multi-media nature art exhibit at the Loomis Hall Gallery at 288 Martin Street.
For more information, call 360/332-4544 or visit www.blainechamber.com/wow.