Category Archives: Festivals & Events

Pelican Island Wildlife Festival, Florida

This Saturday, March 11, the 14th edition of the Pelican Island Wildlife Festival will take place at Riverview Park in Sebastian, Florida. The festival celebrates the 103nd anniversary of Pelican Island and the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Events at the festival will include:

+ Live wildlife shows
+ 5K run
+ Boat tours of Pelican Island
+ Live music
+ And much more

Sixteen different species of birds breed on Pelican Island. In total thrity species use the island for feeding, roosting or nesting.

Visit the offical website of the festival for more information.

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Burrowing Owl Festival, Cape Coral Florida

The fourth annual Burrowing Owl Festival will take place in Cape Coral, Florida this Saturday, February 18.

Cape Coral is the home to Florida’s largest population of Burrowing Owls. The birds, among the smallest of owls, grow to approximately 9 inches in height. They make their homes in new or existing burrows in the ground. They are active in daylight and during the night.

The nesting season for the owls starts in mid-February and lasts until July. Since the birds live on and under the ground, domestic cats and dogs, as well as foxes, pose a threat.

The birds are protected by Florida state law and a permit is required if construction is to destroy an empty owl nest. Cape Coral has a “Starter Burrow” program to help residents who want to attract the birds to their property.

Events planned for this year’s festival include educational programs with live owls; workshops on digging starter burrows; nature walks; and an appearance by mascot Bob the Burrowing Owl. The event takes place at Rotary Park and admission is just $1 for visitors over 12; children are free. For more information see the website of the Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife.

Burrowing Owls – the Cape’s Other Greatest Asset
The Burrowing Owls of Cape Coral, Florida
Official bird gets boost

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Update: Polish Pigeon Fair Roof Collapse

The death toll in Saturday’s exhibition-hall collapse disaster in Katowice, Poland has risen to at least 67 62. On Monday, a 34-year-old man died in hospital from injuries sustained during the collapse.

The pigeon fair brought visitors from many European nations and among the dead were seven foreigners, including one person from the Netherlands. At least 140 people were injured. 91 of the injured remained in hospital as of Sunday. About 500 people were believed to be inside the building when the roof collapsed at about 5:00 p.m. local time on Saturday. It is estimated that fair attendance was as high as 4,000 people earlier in the day.

The last survivor was pulled from the wrecked building on Saturday night. By Sunday, rescuers stopped searching for survivors. The cause of the collapse is still under dispute. Local police have said that heavy snow on the roof caused it to collapse, but building officials stated that snow was removed regularly and the cause of the collapse was still unknown. Vibrations from loud music and the great difference in exterior and interior temperatures have also been named as possible causes. The exhibition hall was constructed in 2000.

Polish president Lech Kaczynski has visited the site, and declared a national period of mourning to last for three days.

Polish roof collapse kills at least 66 at racing pigeon exhibition
Dodental ramp Polen opgelopen
Tientallen doden door instorten hal Katowice
Roof collapse: ‘No more survivors’

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Roof Collapses At Polish Pigeon Fair

At least seven sixty people were killed Saturday in Katowice, Poland when the roof of an exhibition hall collapsed. Hundreds of people were inside the building at the time of the collapse, attending the Pigeon 2006 fair organized by the Polish Association of Racing Pigeons Breeders. Read more about the roof collapse at ABC News. An updated story can be found here on CNN.

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“The Greatest Pigeon Race In The World”

The Sun City Million Dollar is an international pigeon race which concludes 4 February in Sun City, South Africa. This year more than 4,000 pigeons will participate in the final leg. The pigeons have competed in training and practice races since October. The final race will be 632 kilometers. Participants come from all over the world; this year there are 74 birds from the Netherlands enrolled. Birds from Namibia, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia and Sweden participate, along with birds from 22 other countries.

Thousands of pigeons to fly over Sun City
Official site of The Sun City Million Dollar

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Final Section Great Florida Birding Trail Opened

The final section of the Great Florida Birding Trail (GFBT) was officially opened on 14 January 2006. The dedication ceremony was held at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, part of the South Florida Birding Trail.

The GFBT consists of 4 sections: the East Florida section ; the West Florida section; the Panhandle section; and the recently-opened South Florida section. The statewide 2000-mile trail was completed with the opening of the South Florida section. According to the GFBT’s official website, the trail is “designed to conserve and enhance Florida’s bird habitat by promoting birdwatching activities, environmental education and economic opportunity”.

The Trail consists of 446 sites in total.

The East section, which opened in November 2000, has 136 sites over 21 counties, including Seminole State Forest, the Disney Wilderness Preserve, and Ravine Gardens State Park.

The West section, opened in November 2002, has 117 sites over 18 counties, including Twin Rivers State Forest, Honeymoon Island State Park, and Sand Key Park.

The Panhandle section, opened in May 2004, has 78 sites over 14 counties, including Blackwater River State Park, Turkey Creek Park, and Point Washington State Forest.

The recently-opened South Florida section has 116 sites over 12 counties, and includes the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

Now is a great time to go birdwatching in Florida, because the resident bird populations are joined by migrating birds who winter in Florida. Receding water levels help to concentrate bird populations around food sources. For birders, the cooler weather also makes for more pleasant days out.

So far at least 350,000 free trail guides have been distributed to requestors from all 50 states and nine different countries.

New Fla. trail is a bird-watcher’s bliss
Great Florida Birding Trail

Related links:
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Florida Department of Transportation
Wildlife Foundation of Florida
Florida Park Service
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Audubon of Florida
Visit Florida

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