For those of you who love wildlife, this is the festival for you.
This year is the 11th annual event and it takes place March 28, 29 and 30. Centered around the fascinating sandhill crane, the festival also features other wildlife, geology and history of the area.
The sandhill crane migrates from Mexico and California to the frozen Alaska tundra each spring. For several weeks, thousands of these birds stop off in Othello, Washington, to feed in the local cornfields. It’s the final stop before making the last leg of their long journey.
The festival features lectures, children’s activities, an art contest, banquet, silent auction, exhibitor booths, bus tours and more. One of the highlights is the adorable burrowing owls that live in abandoned badger holes near the local farm fields. These sweet creatures are becoming quite rare so they are always a treat for those who get to see them.
Other area wildlife includes swans, pelicans, curlews, hawks, coyotes, deer, many species of dragonflies, rattlesnakes … the list goes on and on.
I’ve been attending the festival for about eight or nine years and I learn something new every time. It’s great fun and I enjoy seeing the familiar faces of those who travel from all around the U.S. to attend.
Of course, I do have an advantage as I live in Othello. I can visit our local wildlife refuge any time of the year. It’s a great place to indulge in one of my favorite hobbies -- photography.
I have written many articles about our wildlife refuge and what can be found there. I am currently working on a special newspaper supplement about the festival.
I’m helping organize the event this year and it’s been an experience. Lots of work, yet lots of fun!
I’d love to meet some of my readers at this year’s event. If you are a wildlife watcher, you should think about attending. More information can be found at www.othellosandhillcranefestival.org. You can find the link to the right.