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Bird Festival repeats at Sellwood Park & Oaks Bottom

by: DAVID F. ASHTON - Portland Audubon Society volunteer Annie Barklis, from the Wildlife Care Center, introduces visitors to Hazel, a northern spotted owl.As surely as migratory birds fly north along the Pacific Flyway in the springtime, so also returns a festival celebrating all things avian to Portland’s Migratory Bird Park, at Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge and to upper Sellwood Park.

The 10th Annual Festival of the Birds began promptly at 7:30 am on Saturday, May 11, with a guided early morning bird walk, led by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service biologists. The festival also featured music, crafts, and games throughout the day.

Replete with booths featuring activities for adults, teens, and children, a highlight once again was the Audubon Society’s “Live Birds” area, at which visitors got a close up look at wild birds such as a Spotted Owl.

“Meeting Hazel the Owl was really cool!” exclaimed three-year-old Amanda Schnell. “Look how she can turn her head all the way around!”

With the cuts in the Parks Bureau budget this year, the Bureau had to seek private contributions to bring the Bird Festival to Sellwood this year. Businesses, individuals, and a donation from SMILE, the Sellwood-Westmoreland neighborhood association, covered the deficit and the show went on.