Winter Wildlife Festival celebrates its 10th year

A ruddy duck swims at the Marsh Causeway near Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge in Knotts Island, N.C., in this December 2018 image. [File/The Independent News]


VIRGINIA BEACH — Children’s and adult art classes, workshops, and storytelling will be among the activities offered during the 10th Annual Winter Wildlife Festival, which continues today and concludes tomorrow.

Exhibits, workshops and classes will be held at Princess Anne Recreation Center, 1400 Nimmo Parkway, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Some additional children’s activities are scheduled for the Princess Anne Area Library, 1444 Nimmo Parkway.

Over 40 wildlife and outdoor vendors will attend the festival, said Festival Coordinator Katie Webb, a recreation specialist with the Virginia Beach Department of Parks and Recreation.

Area experts will conduct workshops on a variety of wildlife including whales, amphibians, reptiles and woodpeckers. Art classes for adults and children will include some techniques for wildlife painting, and the participants will paint a picture to take home. Other events will include nature walks, night time owl prowls, and birding trips.

On Sunday, events include walk-up workshops at noon and 3 p.m., and excursions are scheduled for all three days. The festival offers a number of excursions that shine a spotlight on natural resources, habitat and, of course, area wildlife.

These include a Whales and Wildlife Sea Adventure coordinated by the Virginia Aquarium, as well as nature walks and photography classes. Excursions are held at sites such as Brock Educational Center and area parks and natural areas.

Wildlife experts will also be available with exhibits and expertise, and children will have a chance to see live animals, participate in singa- longs and hear stories.

The Winter Wildlife Festival, which began in 2010, is sponsored by the Virginia Beach Department of Parks & Recreation as well as Virginia Beach Public Library, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, False Cape State Park and Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The Virginia Beach Audubon Society and Lynnhaven River Now also serve as co-sponsors.

“My Birding Career” was the topic of the keynote speech, delivered by Birder Sharon Stiteler at Zeiders American Dream Theater, located in Town Center. Stiteler, a Minnesota resident, works as a tour guide, birding consultant,bird field technician, and bird bander.

The festival’s purpose, Webb said, is “to promote wildlife viewing and wildlife recreation.”

Visit vbgov.com/winterwildlife for information.

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The Independent News

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