By The Post-Journal Staff
On Friday and Saturday, the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History in Jamestown will host the third annual Roger Tory Peterson Birding Festival.
Peterson became one of the most respected and revered birding personalities subsequent to the publication of his innovative Field Guide to the Birds in 1934 that has remained in print to this day. The Institute, which was founded in 1984 as an educational institution charged with preservation of Peterson's lifetime body of work, fittingly presents this annual birding festival named for him. The festival events open with a reception at RTPI on Thursday at 7 p.m., where RTPI president Jim Berry will exhibit some of Peterson's memorabilia and John Rappole, former Smithsonian researcher and author, will speak on climate change and bird distribution.
Birders of all levels of expertise are being invited to the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History in Jamestown this weekend for the third annual Roger Tory Peterson Birding Festival.
During the festival, participants can choose to bird in Peterson's footsteps - visiting the same landscapes of the Allegheny Plateau that Peterson visited as an 11-year-old boy interested in nature; attend lectures on birding topics; and choose among field trips and other events geared to their level of expertise - from absolute beginners in birding to advanced birders who will enjoy some of the most advanced birding experiences available in New York state.
In a departure from previous festivals, for this year the Friday events will be focused mainly, but not exclusively, on young people and those who are beginners to birding. Among other events, attendees can meet and attend a talk by the famous photographer Michael Smith, whose picture of a mad bluebird has captivated thousands. You will be able to watch bird-banding demonstrations and live exhibitions of birds of prey. Festival registrants can participate in guided walks on RTPI property and the Hundred Acre Lot that are geared especially for beginning birders. Friday evening, visitors can attend a special screening of one of Roger Tory Peterson's wildlife films that has not been available for viewing for many years and see the magic that Peterson's personality and enthusiasm brought to his productions.
Intermediate and advanced birders will appreciate the events designed for them. Many of the events on Friday will hold appeal for those who love birds, but there are also extended birding field trips for intermediate and advanced birders. On Saturday, there will be workshops to help with bird identification and field trips to show off the special birding environments in the area. A pre-festival field trip will take festival registrants to see many of the LBJs (little brown jobs) that nest in reclaimed-coal-mine grasslands in Pennsylvania and in a related workshop, Sara Morris, an ornithologist from Canisius College in Buffalo, will help visitors learn to sort them. The festival keynote speaker is Jeff Gordon, the new president of the American Birding Association.
What: RTPI's third annual Roger Tory Peterson Birding Festival
When: Thursday, Friday and Saturday
Where: RTPI and various other locations
For more information or to register, visit birdfest.rtpi.org.
* 2.0 miles from downtown Jamestown.
A separate post-festival trip to the Adirondacks will give advanced birders the opportunity to observe the rare birds of that region.
The public is invited to come to the RTPI for all or any portion of the events. Registration is required, and information on rates can be found online at birdfest.rtpi.org.
For more information about the Roger Tory Peterson Birding Festival, contact Jim Berry, president of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 665-2473, ext. 225; or Mike DeSha, festival chairman at email@example.com, or by calling 676-3559.
Other area happenings:
What: Frewsburg Community Yard Sales
When: Friday through Sunday
Where: throughout the Frewsburg community; maps will be available at VSK Emporium on Main Street as well as the Carroll Town Hall and Myer's Memorial Library
Cost: no admittance fee
For more information, call 450-8065,
* 6.0 miles from downtown Jamestown.
What: Walk in Beauty Exhibit - Trail Walk
When: 6 p.m. Friday
Where: Audubon Center and Sanctuary, 1600 Riverside Road
Cost: donations appreciated
This guided walk will take place along the trail where newly installed artwork by the iXpress artists of Aspire will be on display.
For more information, call 569-2345 or visit www.jamestownaudubon.org.
* 7.4 miles from downtown Jamestown.
What: Chautauqua Regional Youth
Ballet: Spring Gala Performance
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Reg Lenna Civic Center
Cost: $6 to $20
This performance will feature all CRYB students.
For more information, visit www.cryb.net/school.html.
* 0 miles from downtown Jamestown.