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Tuesday, June 18, 2024 at 8:13 PM

Spring Wings Festival

Spring Wings Festival

Author: Courtesy Spring Wings

It’s time for the Spring Wings Bird Festival on May 20 and May 21 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily with events in downtown Fallon and at Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge. Stop by Festival Central on the stage at Oats Park, 199-101 W. Park Street, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Sunday to meet local experts and collect information on the many festival activities. 
The festival is a celebration of the yearly migration of thousands of shorebirds through the Lahontan Valley Wetlands. Stillwater NWR is an avian haven for over 280 species, attracting hundreds of thousands of birds to its sanctuary each year.
The Lahontan Valley Wetlands are remnants of ancient Lake Lahontan. The area is comprised of three distinct management areas - Stillwater NWR, the Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribal Wetlands, and the newly designated Carson Lake Wildlife Management Area. The wetlands were designated a Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve Network in 1988. These are all special places to visit, especially during migration. As many as 250,000 shorebirds have been recorded annually, with peak numbers during spring and fall migration. The area also serves as critical breeding habitat for a diverse group of species and wintering habitat for a variety of raptors.
The festival also celebrates World Migratory Bird Day, an event that takes place during spring migration for birds through this part of the country. In 1993, the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center created its educational campaign International Migratory Bird Day. This educational campaign focused on the Western Hemisphere and has coordinated with many environmental and avian conservation agencies since its inception. Thus, furthering migratory bird conservation around the globe by creating a worldwide campaign organized around the planet’s major migratory bird corridors, the African-Eurasian flyway, the East Asian-Australasian flyway, and the Americas flyway and making a global chorus to boost the urgent need for migratory bird conservation. As many as 700 events and programs are hosted annually in the Americas to introduce the public to migratory birds and ways to conserve them.
Fallon’s Spring Wings Festival began in 1998 as a method of promoting and entertaining locals and visiting bird lovers, growing into one of Nevada’s most beloved wildlife events over the years.
This year’s activities include:
Big Day Birding Competition - Find as many birds as you can on May 20th from 12:01 a.m. Saturday morning until 11:59 p.m. Saturday. The individual or team who spots the greatest number of species will get their name engraved on the official Spring Wings Big Day Birding Contest trophy and bragging rights until the next festival.
Bird Scavenger Hunt - Find the list of birds in Lahontan Valley on the festival website and drop off your completed scavenger hunt at Festival Central by 11:00 a.m. Sunday and get entered in a drawing to win a prize.
Spring Wings Bird Festival Passports - Pick up a passport at Festival Central or download one on the festival website. Take your kid(s) who are 12 and under on a self-guided tour to each location and get their passport stamped if manned or take a photo. Plan on going to Stillwater NWR for your last stamp and present your completed passport to the refuge staff there for a free ride on an airboat. Boat rides are for kids and one parent/guardian.
Great Basin Bird Observatory Bird-a-Thon - GBBO is hosting the 2023 Nevada Bird-a-thon, a state-wide birding community event and fundraiser for bird conservation. Teams and individuals can participate by choosing one 24-hour period between May 5-15 and record as many bird species within Nevada as possible. GBBO’s proceeds from the Nevada Bird-a-thon 2023 will go towards community science projects and research benefiting some of Nevada’s species in greatest need.
The Spring Wings Bird Festival is a collaborative effort between the Lahontan Audubon Society, National Audubon Society, AmeriCorps, City of Fallon, Fallon Convention and Tourism Authority, Great Basin Bird Observatory, Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada Department of Wildlife, Nevada State Parks, Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribe, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
For more information, visit www.springwingsbirdfest.org.