Virtual Bird Festival brings remote nature online

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partnered with Audubon Alaska and Manomet for the second annual 2019 Arctic Refuge Virtual Bird Fest. From Monday September 23rd until Friday September 27th, new media will be added daily as part of #ArcticBirdFest. The public can keep track of upcoming events at arcticbirdfest.com. Media can also be seen on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partnered with Audubon Alaska and Manomet for the second annual Arctic Refuge Virtual Bird Fest. (Photo Courtesy USFWS)

According to Allyssa Morris, the Environmental Education Specialist for the National Arctic Wildlife Refuge, this festival is a way to bring a part of remote nature to the world.

“The refuge doesn’t have any roads leading into [it],” said Morris. “You can only access it by either flying in or floating in the river. You can hike to the refuge via the Dalton Highway but

there really is no entrance or roads accessible. Through birds we want to make the refuge virtually accessible to the rest of the world.”

Morris says they chose to have the festival at this time of the year, because most of the migratory birds that breed in the Arctic Refuge have left the state.

“Arctic Refuge has over 200 bird species that have been recorded in the refuge,” said Morris. “Those species migrate down to the… states; to all of the lower 48 states. They even migrate to 5 other continents. A lot of the birds that are being born in Artic Refuge, people in the lower 48 may see them in their backyard. Birds are just a way of connecting humans across the world.”

For those in Fairbanks who want to celebrate this festival in person, the ‘Beaks, Geeks and Treats’ event will be taking place Wednesday September 25th at Venue in Fairbanks, starting at 5pm.

Artist Michael Boardman, who designed the poster for the festival, will be there to talk about his visit to the refuge this summer.

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