Bird lovers of all feathers can head to Bluemont this weekend for a morning of avian education and exploration.
“World Migratory Bird Day Festival” will feature bird walks, games, activities, and free coffee from 9-11 a.m. Saturday at Lacey Woods Park, organizers say. Attendees to the free event are asked to meet at the park’s basketball court near the intersection of Washington Blvd and N. George Mason Drive.
The Wildlife Rescue League will also showcase some of its live feathered friends, including a blue jay named “Snafu.”
Arlington County naturalists Jennifer Soles and Ken Rosenthal are organizing the weekend event. Rosenthal told ARLnow on Monday that festival attendees have a chance to spot interesting birds because several species often flock to Lacey Woods Park, which he described as a “green oasis that will get the birds in.”
Last year, Rosenthal said attendees spotted a blackpoll warbler. These songbirds typically weigh less than an ounce but migrate over 1,800 miles across North America, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and 88% of blackpoll populations have died out in the last half century.
Many other birds that can be spotted in Arlington migrate between North to Central America — such as hummingbirds and osprey.
Soles and Rosenthal say all the printed materials for the event are in English and Spanish, but they are seeking one to two volunteers who can help translate some of the discussions on Saturday into Spanish.
Soles said these migratory birds “live half their lives in Spanish-speaking countries” and hopes that Arlingtonians with roots in Central American countries like El Salvador and Guatemala will attend the event and get a chance to recognize some familiar species.
“We sort of share these birds between us,” said Soles.