Story last updated at 5/16/2012 - 12:10 pm
Migration is a fascinating phenomenon having inspired scientists, artists and public for centuries. In Southeast Alaska we are lucky to be able to observe many different species making amazing migratory journeys from humpback whales to hummingbirds.
Birds have been hailed as symbols for migration. Juneau, with about 60-70 percent of its birds being migrants, is getting ready to celebrate their return on May 19, through International Migratory Bird Day activities sponsored by the US Forest Service, Juneau Audubon Society, Juneau Community Garden, Juneau Raptor Center and Capital City Weekly. At the community garden (off Montana Creek Road) there will be a songbird banding demonstration which public can join between 7-11 a.m. and a bird walk that will start at 8 a.m.
Since last year, a special welcome had been added to IMBD activities to celebrate the return of champions of bird migration; the arctic terns. These elegant and powerful birds make the longest recorded journey of any animal (annual round-trip of 44,000 miles) between the earth's poles. Probably the most scenic breeding place of arctic terns in the whole world is our Mendenhall Glacier. So come join the fun from 3-5 p.m. May 19 at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center photo point. Activities include biologists joining public to view terns and take a closer look at their journeys and a demonstration of woodcarving by local Tlingit artist Jno Didrickson. Visitors will also be able to see a live falcon from Juneau Raptor Center at the pavilion.
Arctic terns are thought to see more daylight than any other creature and thus called "birds of sun." Carrying the stories of the world on their wings, "birds of sun" also inspired the idea to have an art competition. You can send electronic copies of your verbal and nonverbal original art (writing, photographs of paintings etc.) inspired by terns by June 1 to win bird-themed prizes including IMDB t-shirts and more. Winners will have a chance to have their work published in CCW.
Email Gwen Baluss at email@example.com for further information about the events and art competition.