Friday, April 11, 2008

Fwd: 4/11-4/13 FWC Chinsegut Bird & Wildlife Festival (near Brooksville) for press release with general information (copied below)

News Release

Chinsegut birding and wildlife festival is unique among spring celebrations
March 17, 2008
CONTACT: Kristin Wood 352-754-6722
Bat and owl prowls, live birds-of-prey demonstrations, a dung 'n' doodle (insect) walk and off-site field trips to view burrowing owls and migrating warblers are some of the unique and exciting events featured at the Chinsegut Birding and Wildlife Festival, April 11 and 12.
The free extravaganza in Brooksville kicks off at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Chinsegut Nature Center at 6:45 p.m. with a talk on the Green Key Funnel, a local spring bird migration phenomenon.  Friday night events conclude with a bat and owl prowl at 8 p.m. 
Saturday morning, motivated birders are invited to get up at 6:45 a.m. with the birds for an off-site field trip to view the warbler migration at Green Key.
Also on Saturday morning, events at the nature center take flight at 7:30 a.m. with live bird banding, followed by a bird walk at 8:30 a.m. and birds-of-prey programs at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.   Continuing throughout the day will be programs featuring Florida bats, basic birding, native plant landscaping, bird-box building, wildlife photography, plus butterfly and wildflower walks led by experts Marc Minno and Don Stillwaugh.  Florida Natural Areas Inventory entomologist David Almquist will lead festival goers on a hunt for dung beetles and 'doodle bugs," also known as ant lions.
For the adventuresome, there are several off-site field trips to look for burrowing owls, red-headed woodpeckers, butterflies and wildflowers on some rarely-visited public lands.  For the kids, there are wildlife games and activities from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The grand finale caps off the festivities with participants showing off their skills in the annual bird-calling contest.  Scheduled activities conclude at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
"Healthy Habitat, Abundant Wildlife" is the theme of this year's festival. Vendor and exhibitor booths open at 9 a.m. with refreshments, nature-related books and native plants available for purchase.
Off-site field trip space is limited. To reserve a spot on an off-site trip, call Chinsegut Nature Center at 352-754-6722.   For those traveling from out of town, a block of rooms has been reserved at the Best Western, 352-796-9481, and the Hampton Inn, 352-796-1000, at a discounted rate under "Chinsegut Birding and Wildlife Festival."
Chinsegut Nature Center is just north of Brooksville off U.S. 41. From I-75, take State Road 50 west to Brooksville, go north on U.S. 41 7 miles to County Road 476, and go west 1 mile to the entrance gate on the left.  Admission is free.
Space for additional vendors is still available. Anyone interested in exhibiting items based on the festival's nature-based theme may call 352-754-6722 or visit for information.

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