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Membership - Great River Birding Festival Press Release
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From: Third Annual Great River Birding Festival
May 14-16, Wabasha, MN

Attention MVP Members:
below you will find a press release for the festival. We would
appreciate your help in making sure it is distributed to all media
source you think might be interested. Send it to your local papers,
radio stations and TV news channels. It's all about toot'n our horn and
making it happen! Lets make some noise!

This Press Release is available in electronic format.
E-mail request to Kelly Larson, [email protected], or call

Third Annual Great River Birding Festival
May 14-16, 2004

Lake Pepin ? MN/WI, Red Wing to Wabasha - Alma to Bay City
Welcome to the 3rd Annual Great River Birding Festival!
Imagine exploring the Mississippi backwaters by boat in search of
Prothonatary Warblers. Hop aboard and ride the rails through the Tiffany
Bottoms floodplain forest, an open railcar birding trip you will never
forget! Visit with live birds of prey and the people who work to
preserve them! We are proud to offer this exciting weekend of quality
programs and events and invite you to explore our wonderful communities
along the way. The Great River Birding Festival is a collaborative
project of the Audubon-Upper Mississippi River Campaign and MVP, the
thirteen communities that surround Lake Pepin. These communities are
known collectively as Mississippi Valley Partners (MVP), and the group
works to promote tourism for our small river towns and is best known for
creating the infamous 85 Mile Garage Sale.
The Mississippi Flyway is recognized world wide as a Globally Important
Bird Area. An amazing 326 species (60% of all the species in North
America) use the river as a migration corridor. The river valley also
provides food and shelter for up to 40% of all of the waterfowl in North
America during the Spring and Fall migrations. In the Spring, birders
coming to this area can see over 265 species of migrating and resident
birds. The system of locks and dams along the Upper Mississippi River
has changed the face of the river and the land surrounding it creating a
mosaic habitat of floodplains, backwaters, river islands, sloughs,
mudflats and fresh water marshes. The surrounding bluffs are graced with
mixed hardwood forest that give way to blufftop prairie and farmland.
Here, Lake Pepin forms the widest expanse of open water on the
Mississippi River. Incredibly scenic, rich in history, and teaming with
wildlife, the Upper Mississippi River Valley will captivate the visitor
with natural treasures and charming river towns.

Page Break....

The Great River Birding Festival (May 14-16) is in it's third year and
has been well received by both avid birders and novices. Festival
headquarters is in Wabasha, MN, home of the National Eagle Center. Over
18 guided birding events are scheduled this year to take advantage of
the peak of the neo-tropic migration! Discover the floodplain forests of
the Tiffany Bottoms by motorized rail car. Experience intimate birding
adventures in secluded Mississippi backwaters by boat or canoe. Add a
new dimension to outdoor recreation with birding by bike on the Cannon
Valley Trail. Explore a wide range of aquatic habitat including marsh,
lake, river, vernal pools and floodplain forest. Tucked between majestic
limestone bluffs and verdant hardwood valleys are unique blufftop
prairie, oak savanna, and remnant sand dunes. This year we are featuring
a number of designated family bird walks and beginners seminars.
Minnesota author, naturalist and photographer Stan Tekiela will be
debuting his new audio field guide to Birds of MN and instructing
several of the novice workshops. Seasoned birders from the Minnesota
Ornithologists Union, the staff of Audubon’s Upper Mississippi River
Campaign, and the US Fish & Wildlife Service will be leading our trips
and presenting a variety of afternoon seminars. In addition to all the
great birding adventures, the weekend includes a number of special
community events. The University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center will be in
Stockholm, WI on Saturday, May 15. Their educational program will
feature three common owls found in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Visitors
will enjoy a close up experience with these spectacular nocturnal
hunters and learn more about their secretive lives. The National Eagle
Center in Wabasha offers visitors a nose to beak experience with three
majestic Bald Eagles. Harriet, Angel, and Columbia are the Center’s
resident educational birds. Each of these beautiful birds were treated
and rehabilitated at the U of M’s Raptor Center. While their injuries
left them unfit for release back into the wild, they now serve as
ambassadors for birds of prey everywhere. Other festival attractions
include two wonderful evening receptions featuring entertaining slide
shows by Gary Krogman and Stan Tekiela. For a full list of birding
events visit our web site at mississippi-river.org or call toll free

(Include both pages for a longer press release. Use only the second page
for a condensed version.)


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