Learn all about the world of migratory and resident birds at the Wings over Weston event Saturday, May 12 at Weston Bend State Park near Weston. The event, a birding festival for the entire family, is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
Activities will focus on birds, their ecosystems and bird watching. There will be guided bird hikes and programs on building bird houses and feeders, how to use binoculars and making bird masks and hats. Other activities will include face painting, mural painting, touch tables, story time, a migration obstacle course and more. Prizes, raffles, and refreshments will be offered throughout the day.
Special guests will include Operation Wildlife with live rescued birds and the Missouri River Bird Observatory in Marshall, who will band birds and allow children to release them into the wild. The Bluegrass Tornadoes with provide live entertainment, and Missouri Wildflowers Nursery will sell Missouri native plants for the benefit of Wings over Weston.
Wings over Weston is sponsored by Burroughs Audubon Society of Greater Kansas City, Missouri State Parks, Kansas City Power and Light, City of Weston, Platte County Parks and Recreation, and the Missouri Department of Conservation. Volunteers will be on hand from the Missouri Master Naturalists Loess Hills and Osage Trails Chapters, The Wildlife Society from Missouri Western State University, Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge and Friends of Squaw Creek.
Saturday’s event is part of a two-day program to celebrate the world of birds. On Friday, fourth grade students from the surrounding areas have been invited to visit the park for a hands-on experience about birds. The students will rotate among five educational stations staffed by trained volunteers.
This is the third year for Wings over Weston, which showcases the kind of landscape birds depend on to survive and thrive. Weston Bend State Park is part of an Important Bird Area or IBA. The IBA program is a global effort to identify and conserve areas that are vital to birds. The IBA that includes Weston Bend State Park is known as the Iatan/Weston River Corridor IBA and contains one of the largest surviving tracts of old-growth bottomland forest along the entire length of the Missouri River.
Weston Bend State Park is located south of Weston at 16600 Highway 45 North. For more information about the event, contact Weston Bend State Park at 816-640-5443. For information on state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.