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Radford Roosting Festival celebrates area’s feathered friends

roosting fest 2010-webBy LAURA ENDERSON

laura@southwesttimes.com

RADFORD -In Bisset Park on Saturday, feathers will fly from noon to 3 p.m. during the 6th annual Radford Roosting Festival.

“We hope this event will increase awareness of the diverse, abundant bird population and birding opportunities in our city,” Cooney said.

The festival serves to educate people about the area’s local birds. According to Deb Cooney, Tourism Director for the City of Radford, the city is home to over 200 different types of birds thoughout the year.

“With our diverse environment, we attract migratory birds, water birds and so many more,” Cooney said. “The entire region is home to so many types of birds that birding is one of our major tourism assets.”

In keeping with this year’s theme, “Celebration of Flight,” the festival will include live birds, kite building and flying demonstrations with Donald Jacobs of the ‘Got Wind Kite Club,’ along with educational stations and other activities for both children and adults.

“There really is something for everyone,” Cooney said. “And there is no admission charge.”

Local bird expert Clyde Kessler will be hosting two bird walks at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Kessler is with the touring company, Radbird, which specializes in local birds.

Lee Chichester will present Flight of the Raptors, which will highlight the differences between hawks and falcons, at 12:30 p.m. Chichester is a member and officer of the Virginia Falconers’ Association.

The festival got its start when Dr. Bob Sheehy, a Radford University biology professor who rehabs injured vultures, gathered together with a few friends to teach the community about vultures. After a few years, Sheehy spoke with the Visitor’s Center about helping to take over and expand his teachings into an event. Now annual Radford Roosting Festival celebrates all the area’s birds, not just vultures.

Last year’s festival took place in February, but because of bad weather, the event has been moved to March this year. Cooney said it should be exciting, because there will be different birds in March than there is in February. This year’s festival is sponsored by the Radford Visitor’s Center.

 

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