The 18th Annual Salt Lake Bird Festival is taking place this weekend. The event is one of the most unique bird festivals in the country and allows people to explore the distinctive habitat the Great Salt Lake provides.
The festival is a celebration of the birds that use the Great Salt Lake as a home or important stopping point in annual migrations. It includes bird-spotting field trips on and around the lake, as well as workshops and speakers aimed at people of all interest levels in birding. Neka Roundy is the chair of the Great Salt Lake Bird Festival.
“Part of our mission is definitely education," she says. "And education of the next generation coming up so they can appreciate the wildlife that we’re living right next to and is in your backyard.”
Julie Zickefoose is an artist and naturalist from Ohio who’s been writing about and drawing birds for more than thirty years. She’s one of the festival’s keynote speakers. She says she was drawn to participate because of just how unique the Great Salt Lake is.
“You know in the middle of quite a bit of development here’s this great natural area that I think a lot of people are tempted to take for granted," she says. "Because, If you can’t fish on it, and you don’t really want to boat on it, what good is it? I think one of the wonderful things about having a festival is that we’re showing people what it’s good for.”
The festival runs through Monday. Tickets are still available to the Saturday night dinner where Zickefoose will present her keynote address.