I was introduced to a juvenile Mississippi Kite at the Raptor Rhapsody Festival at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, a bird that immediately melted my heart. While you scroll through the images of this beautiful bird and enjoy his expressions, also imagine gentle peeps, vocalizations that were so soft that it was easy to miss them in the background chatter.
Life, Birding, Photos and Everything, that I put this couple together and realized his wife and Miki's handler were one and the same!
Hard-shell gourd basket with pine-needle coiling displayed in my art exhibit at the festival
In addition to exhibits, there were many other programs on-going at the festival. Brian "Fox" Ellis, a talented educator and performing artist, uses his stage presence to educate and inspire children and adults of all ages. I had the opportunity to witness his engaging portrayal of the naturalist and artist, John James Audubon, as he told stories related to his historic pursuit of birds in art. To my delight, the story I witnessed was a Cherokee tale about a race between a hummingbird and a whooping crane, the tallest and smallest of our migrating bird species in North America.
It was also a great pleasure to present my own stories about bird encounters and the photography that brings birds closer to me and provides the detail and inspiration for my art. One of those artistic pursuits resulted in the creation of Operation Migration's Whooping Crane Activity Book. Thanks to Operation Migration's staff and volunteers, we were able to have these booklets available at the festival. What a personal joy it was for me to hand these books to teachers and witness the expression of gratitude in their faces. For this I owe a special thanks to both Operation Migration and Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.
Click Operation Migration's Whooping Crane Activity Book to see more pages in this free resource for educator's classrooms and find links for ordering information. The juvenile Whooping crane class of 2010 is about to embark on its first migration journey south behind ultralight 'parents'. To follow this incredible journey, visit Operation Migration's Field Journal. Also, especially adapted for students and teachers, visit Journey North's reports on the ultralight-led Whooping crane migration.
Click this link to see all my posts on the Raptor Rhapsody Festival at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
Raptor Rehabilitation of Kentucky
Life, Birding, Photos and Everything
Brian "Fox" Ellis--Fox Tales International
New River Gorge Birding and Nature Festival
Linked to Bird Photography Weekly #111 to promote the conservation of our world's birds.