HAGERMAN, Idaho — The Pacific Flyway is the bird migration pattern in the west and one popular stop along the way for all kinds of birds is Hagerman, Idaho.
This weekend the birds take center stage at the Hagerman Bird Festival that features family-friendly events and field trips to some picturesque places.
“I like the birds, Hagerman is for the birds," said CJ Holmes of the Hagerman Valley Foundation. "The pelicans, the sandhill cranes, the eagles, the osprey all the winter birds are back."
But there is more to this story, in 2002 Hagerman I.D.E.A. Inc. started with locals who wanted to beautify Hagerman and they did, but as the years went this non-profit stalled out until it morphed into the Hagerman Valley Foundation in 2016, they now have a goal to create events that bring tourism to the area.
"Restaurants will have people eating and if we do something each month then that helps the town stay in business and stay alive," said Holmes. "This is our first definite attempt to get kids to come."
The Bird Festival is happening for the fifth year, but this event has leaned more towards adults with the guided tours on private land and some of the state parks in the area.
This year the festival will have arts and crafts for the kids as well as a field trip to get younger people interested in bird rescue and conservation.
But even if you aren't that into birds the field trips would make for a great day in nature as people have the opportunity to go kayaking down Billingsley Creek with Brenda Mitchell, a guided field trip takes people down into Box Canyon that features the 11th largest spring in North America and another trip takes people to Ritter island in the 1,000 springs area.
“There are just so many things that this area has to offer, we are just getting started," said Holmes.
The Hagerman Farmer's market starts in June and it runs from 11-3 and the Hagerman Valley Foundation hopes to bring more events and tours to the area in the future.
Here is a list of the events this weekend and for tickets for the field trips click here.
Friday 1-2 Open Registration
Meet & Greet
2-4 All: Free Bird Tour Caravan
Kids: Make a Birdhouse
Bird Call ID
Make a Bird Seed Chart
4-5 Bird Lists
Bluebird Trail Presentation: Hoem
8-11 Field Trip: Box Canyon Springs.
Field Trip: Ritter Island/1000 Springs.
Jeff & Judith Ruprecht
9-11 Kids: Art with Poo
School Art Auction Fundraiser
11:30 Homeschool Barn Owl Box
Noon Bird Rescue Presentation: Schwindt
1-4 Field Trip: Jones Ranch Behind the Gate.
Field Trip: Billingsley Creek Kayak Float.
1-3 Kids: Field Trip
3-4 Kids: Owl Pellet Dissection: Thomas
Make a Bird Cone Feeder
4-5: Bird Lists
Silent Art Auction
6:30 Banquet, Barn Owl Research & Program:
Thomas; Schwindt; Foundation
9 Field Trip: Cassia Crossbill: Karl Ruprecht