The very first Rainier Audubon Bird Festival will be held at Flaming Geyser State Park in Auburn on Saturday, June 25.
The event runs from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. and is organized by the Rainier Audubon Society, a South King County organization dedicated to protecting birds, their ecosystems, and other wildlife.
“Our biggest hope is to increase awareness of Rainier Audubon, to get more people to become members and for people to get involved with birds in south King County,” said Jay Galvin, president of the Rainier Audubon Society.
The Bird Festival will include several different presentations and small events. Galvin often visits Flaming Geyser Park to photograph birds and nature and had gotten to know the park’s rangers, leading to the two organizations partnering up to put on the festival.
For the first three hours, those who sign up early will be able to go on four different Bird Walks which will be led by Rainier Audubon members. The Bird Walks will be guided tours through the park to educate people on how to properly bird-watch. Along with the walks, there will be presentations, including “Backyard Habitats,” a discussion on setting up a backyard with native plants and bird feeders to attract birds, “Photographing Birds,” which will go over the etiquette of photographing birds and the best photography equipment to use.
“Dippers in the Park” will be presented by Rainier Audubon member Dan Streiffert, who records videos of dipper birds, which Galvin says are one of two birds in North America that dive and swim upstream for food.
There will also be a Native Plant ID Walk from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. where people can learn about the native plants and other flora in the park that birds like to eat. “This will be a walk with a naturalist who knows what to look for and it will give folks an idea of what to plant in their own backyard,” said Galvin.
At the Bird Festival, there will also be a table for building birdhouses and a few nature journaling workshops.
“It’s sitting down in nature and writing your own impressions through a drawing or sketch and your thoughts,” said Galvin.
There was a planned raffle and children’s art contest but those have since been canceled, though Galvin wishes for these to be part of future Bird Festivals.
“We’re kind of excited since we’d like this to be an annual thing and maybe in the future have some other chapters join us,” said Galvin. “We’re trying to include family events and people who would like to get to know birds, so bring a picnic and enjoy the park.”
More information can be found at Rainieraudubon.org.