Wings Over Water festival to host stellar line-up

Published on Thu, Apr 2, 2009 by Jack Kintner

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Three outstanding speakers and a return appearance by the popular “Hunters of the Sky” program from Sardis Raptor Center as well as a host of activities geared for kids highlight this year’s Wings Over Water festival on April 18.

First up at 10 a.m. is David Hancock, a part-time Blaine resident and one of the most knowledgeable experts on eagles in North America with over 50 years in field research in the northwest.

Hancock’s website is located at, and is linked to live cams streaming images of eagle nests in the area. One near the Orphaned Wild Life (OWL) center in Ladner, B.C. has eggs that were within a day or two of hatching at press time.

At 1 p.m. local falcon expert David Drummond will talk about backyard birds and how to attract them. “The more variety in your backyard habitat, the greater are the opportunities for these amazing birds to forage, nest and raise a family,” he said.

Drummond, like Hancock a career wildlife biologist, is the founder of the Merlin Falcon Foundation.

At 5 p.m. in the Blaine School district’s Performing Arts Center (PAC) at 975 H Street, award winning bird photographer Paul Bannick presents “The Owl and the Woodpecker: Encounters with North America's Most Iconic Birds.” He’ll cover five key habitats in the area and how these two key species define and enrich northwest habitats.

Bannick is well known for his outstanding bird photography, and for this one you’ll want to arrive early for a good seat. His website is

As always, the day will be filled with other activities that will center in the former Worldly Treasures building at 638 Peace Portal Drive and the Blaine Boating Center conference room at 235 Marine Drive.

Local geology expert and retired teacher Jim Jorgensen will lead two field trips to look at and experience the geology of Semiahmoo Spit, and the MV Plover, Blaine’s historic ferry, will depart from gate two at the Blaine Boating Center for hourly wildlife cruises beginning 10 a.m. and lasting until the last departure at 3 p.m.

These wildlife field trips cost $5 to defray expenses, but everything else that day is free.