The 39th Annual Winter Wings Festival kicks off on Thursday, February 15th for four days of birding goodness at Oregon Tech. The festival includes activities for all ages with presentations, workshops, a vendor/trade show, and hands-on activities. Keynote speakers include; Moose Peterson, Stephen Shunk and Dr. Kevin McGowan.
New this year is the attendance of Wildlife Images from Merlin, Ore. Wildlife Images operates as a wildlife rehabilitation and education center with programs on wildlife and conservation. They will be bringing in several animals for display and education during part of the free activities of the festival.
Peterson is a Nikon Ambassador, known worldwide for his wildlife, aviation and landscape photography. Peterson's keynote will be on Friday night of the festival at 7:30-9:00 PM.
"Moose Peterson had been in the photography industry for over 40 years." Says, Steve Spencer, Owner of Leo's Camera Shop and volunteer for the Winter Wings Festival.
"He has lots of awards and is a real honor to have him [at the festival]." Spencer continues, "He is one of the only photographers I know that has a filter named after him. He is very talented; a great photographer and he should be wonderful. It's a don't miss presentation."
Shunk is a leader in woodpecker knowledge and education. "North Americas foremost expert on Woodpeckers. We all know people that are just really geeked out on some particular hobby to where it just wows you, and that's Steve for Woodpeckers" states, Dave Hewitt, volunteer for the Winter Wings Festival. "[Shunk] just published the definitive guide to the North American Woodpeckers. He just knows all the ins and out on identification, behavior and the things that make Woodpeckers nifty."
Shunk's keynote will be on Thursday night and will discuss his extensive knowledge of Woodpeckers.
McGowan is the world’s foremost authority on ornithology. McGowan’s keynote will focus on Waterfowl and Raptors the two main groups focused on for the festival.
Seats are currently available for the keynote speakers. "We have about 175 signed up in each of our keynotes, but we can hold up to 350 at the OIT auditorium." says Diana Samuels, Co-Coordinator of the Winter Wings Festival. "There is still plenty of room. Tickets for these keynotes are $10 each with a registration or get a pass and go to all three of our keynotes for only $25."
The festival includes field trips, opportunities to get into the habitat of the birds for both studying the animals as well as photographing their majestic beauty. Extensive details on the field trips, availability and limitations can be found at http://winterwingsfest.org/field-trips-birding-and-cultural/
Keeping with tradition, the Winter Wings Festival once again will be holding a photography contest. This years contest has a few new changes compared to years past. The contest is now includes an all digital submission platform as well as an contest specifically for Instagram users.
"We are excited about the photo contest!" exclaims, Steve Spencer. "We narrowed down [the contest] to photographs taken during the event. We give out prizes for first, second, and third."
"This year with the online presence growing all over the world, we are introducing an Instagram contest." states Spencer. "We will be giving out two special awards... One award for the most Instagram posts with our tag (#wwf2018contest)... and the images with the most likes with the same tag will get a prize."
Complete rules for the contest can be found at http://winterwingsfest.org/photocontest/
The Winter Wings Festival has something for everyone. For complete details, on the event, registration and more visit them online at http://winterwingsfest.org/. The festival can also be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/winterwingsfest/.