Media Contact: Molly Keenan
For Immediate Release
May 16, 2018
Cerulean Warbler Weekend Celebrates its 11th Year
Michigan Audubon adds more family-friendly events and live birds of prey
HASTINGS, Mich. — Join Michigan Audubon on June 2-3 as they celebrate a rare and dazzling bird during the 11th annual Cerulean Warbler Weekend (CWW) at their Otis Farm Bird Sanctuary in Hastings, Mich. This birding festival is packed with bird and nature walks, free family-friendly educational opportunities, crafts, live birds of prey, and more! Individuals of all ages and skill levels are encouraged to join in the fun.
The Cerulean Warbler, a small sky-blue bird, is a species of highest concern in the eastern United States because of a small total population size and significant declines throughout its range. Only about 1,000 of these birds are found in Michigan each year and Barry County is one of the few refuges that remain for them in the state. Otis Sanctuary is adjacent to the Globally Important Bird Area (IBA), Barry State Game Area, which is recognized for providing critical breeding habitat for Cerulean Warblers.
Tours are available during CWW to seek this coveted bird and, historically, have delighted tour-goers with additional species of note such as the Henslow’s and Grasshopper Sparrow, Alder, Acadian and Willow Flycatcher, Yellow-throated and Blue-headed Vireo, and Hooded Warbler. Many tours are caravan style, with the exception of the Bus Full of Birders Tour on June 3, during which participants will be transported via bus throughout Barry County. Tour costs vary from $0-50.
Free family-friendly bird and nature walks begin at 8 and 10 a.m. on Saturday and a new education station with activities and opportunities from several organizations will be open from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. A live bird of prey presentation at 1 p.m. is sure to be a highlight of the afternoon for people of all ages and the day’s festivities conclude with an outdoor screening of “The Big Year” at 9 p.m.
Also new to the festival this year is a stewardship event on June 3 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. for those who would like to help with conservation work on the Otis property and get their hands dirty for a great cause.
A gem of the area, Otis Farm Bird Sanctuary has 128 acres of rolling fields, mature forest, expansive marshland, a stream, kettle hole marshes, and several springs. The variety of habitat on the property offers a unique opportunity to view an assortment of species in a relatively small area. In addition to the notable bird species spotted on tours, Otis Sanctuary is also home to the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake, a federally-listed threatened species.
Otis Farm Bird Sanctuary is located at 3560 Havens Rd., Hastings, MI 49058.
For an up-to-date schedule of events and registration information, please visit michiganaudubon.org. If you have any questions, please call Michigan Audubon Education Coordinator Lindsay Cain at 517-580-7364, ext. 1.
Michigan Audubon connects birds and people for the benefit of both through conservation, education, and research efforts throughout the state of Michigan.