Bird Fest preview with Mona Smiley-Fairbanks
Puget Sound Bird Fest in Edmonds begins Friday, and one event – the birding cruise – is already packed out. Seasoned visitors to the annual feather festival know to sign up as soon as dates are announced. If you missed out on this year’s cruise, you may want to plan for the weekend lectures and guided walks through local parks and waterfront, and head to Saturday’s raptor exhibition early to snag a seat. For a full listing of events, see the schedule here. And for a preview, we checked in with Bird Fest volunteer Mona Smiley-Fairbanks.
My Edmonds News: Please tell us about this year’s Bird Fest.
MSF: I am just one of the many volunteers who work to make Puget Sound Bird Fest an incredible event. Since I am an artist, my contribution is to help get the artist community excited and involved. Again this year Cline Jewelers has hand-crafted a pendant in honor of Bird Fest with one of my designs. This year it is a Bewick’s Wren. I love to see them in my yard with their little tail feathers sticking straight up and flicking in warning. Also a few months ago another artist, Mary Peterson, put together a show featuring birds that shown in the U district. I arranged for it to be part of Bird Fest by having the show at ARTspot, Cline Jewelers, The Cheesemonger’s Table, and Walnut Cafe. Although I didn’t arrange it, the Library is also showing local bird artists, and a wonderful bird photography show is being featured in the Francis Anderson Center.
My Edmonds News:Please tell us about the children’s project for this year.
MSF: Each year I like to add a new project to the children’s area. This year I did a ‘Design Your Own Feather’ sheet. It has the technical terms for the feather parts so the kids will learn while having fun designing something fantastic. I also did a feather identification sheet featuring a Stellar’s Jay, American Gold Finch, and a Red Shafted Flicker.
My Edmonds News: What are you looking forward to seeing at the festival?
MSF: For the first time my husband and I are going on a sea bird trip hosted by the Edmonds Yacht club. We got the last two seats and I promise I will not forget my binoculars! We will also be going to see Thor Hanson speak about ‘Feathers: The evolution of a Natural Miracle,’ Friday at 7 p.m. in the Plaza Room above the library.
For a full listing of events, see the Bird Fest website.