Mason County News
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Wings Over the Hills This Weekend
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 • Posted April 24, 2014

The fourth annual Wings Over the Hills Nature Festival will take flight on April 25, 26, and 27 at Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park in Fredericksburg, Texas as nature lovers converge to enjoy the great diversity of wildlife found in the Texas Hill Country. In addition to the featured Hill Country’s natural fliers, birds, bats, butterflies, moths and dragonflies, this year’s festival will also include programs on snakes and spiders. Beginning with a 5K walk and a 3K stroll in Lady Bird Park on Friday morning and ending with field trips to excellent Hill Country birding venues on Sunday, the activities will include nature talks, hummingbird banding demonstrations, butterfly and dragonfly chases, children’s activities, vender craft sales and education displays.

This “naturally wonderful weekend” will again feature a live raptor flying demonstration by John Karger’s Last Chance Forever Birds of Prey Conservancy in San Antonio on Friday evening. See a variety of raptors, including hawks, owls, vultures and eagles that were rescued and rehabilitated by Karger’s staff

A Children’s Pavilion will be set up on Saturday in the park from 10:00AM to 2:00PM to entertain and educate youngsters about our natural world through interactive games and activities. A butterfly tent featuring live area butterflies will be set up at the beautiful new pollinator garden, where visitors can watch the interaction of birds, insects and plants. Butterfly and dragonfly chases around the park area will teach participants how to identify these colorful insects.

A van will shuttle festival attendees to a local ranch on Friday and Saturday where hummingbird banders from the Gulf Coast Birding Observatory in Lake Jackson will allow up close observation and photography of the colorful tiny birds. The banders will also discuss the life histories of the hummers.

A wide variety of topics will be covered by area speakers during talks all day Friday and Saturday. These experts will share their knowledge of birds (including quail, hummingbirds, and owls), bats, butterflies, moths, dragonflies and pollinators. New subjects to this year’s festival will feature snakes and spiders. Festival goers will have a choice of two speaking topics being given simultaneously.

Rolf Nussbaumer will conduct a nature photography workshop on Saturday afternoon. Nussbaumer, one of the state’s top nature photographers, will demonstrate and discuss the techniques he uses to produce outstanding nature photographs.

Field trips are being offered on Saturday and Sunday to excellent Hill Country venues where both endangered species, the Golden-cheeked Warbler and Black-capped Vireos, can be seen.

These all day field trips have found more than 80 species of birds on previous festival trips. In addition to the mentioned birds, three bunting species, kingfishers, hawks, orioles and sparrows will likely be found.

The Wings Over the Hills Nature Festival is sponsored by the Friends of the Fredericksburg Nature Center and all proceeds will be channeled into developing the Fredericksburg Nature Center in Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park. This outstanding nature area has been developed almost entirely by volunteers on a scenic ten acre section of the park.

For full schedule details, including purchasing tickets and passes, visit the web site at: www.wingstx.org

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