Organizers of the annual Wings Over Water Festival set for Oct. 17-22 and Dec. 8-10 are celebrating the event’s 25th anniversary this year, with dawn-to-dusk bird counts, birding in otherwise restricted refuge areas, art, history, hikes and paddles.
The festival takes place at six national wildlife refuges that together cover parts of six northeast North Carolina counties and is the annual fundraiser for the Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society. The society, a nonprofit that supports regional national wildlife refuges, provides educational grants, volunteers and staff who are essential to national wildlife refuges and their visitor centers and support projects such as trail maintenance.
Author and artist Julie Zickefoose, keynote speaker for the 2019 festival, returns this year as keynote speaker. Her books include “Letters From Eden” and “The Bluebird Effect.” She is a contributing editor to Bird Watcher’s Digest.
Zickefoose leads natural history excursions to Latin America and Africa lives on an 80-acre wildlife sanctuary in Appalachian Ohio.
Her talk, “Baby Birds: An Artist Looks Into The Nest,” which is also the title of her 2016 book, examines why and how baby songbirds develop so quickly, with some launching into flight only 11 days after hatching. The keynote reception is set for 6-8 p.m. Oct. 21 at the National Wildlife Refuges Gateway Visitor Center, 100 Conservation Way, Manteo.
Organizers advised that when registering for Wings Over Water Encore events, note that the trip dates are in December.