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Get a Bird's Eye View of Nature at the Tommy Thompson Park Spring Bird Festival

May 09, 2012

MEDIA ADVISORY

For Immediate Release               

(TORONTO, May 9, 2012)

The Tommy Thompson Park Spring Bird Festival is set to soar on Saturday, May 12 with a variety of activities for people of all ages and birding abilities at Tommy Thompson Park (TTP), Toronto's largest greenspace that provides critical stopover habitat for migrating birds and designated a globally important bird area. Thousands of birds pass through and stop in Toronto during spring migration, travelling from wintering grounds as far as South America, heading to breeding grounds as far as the arctic.  Last spring, the Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station banded 1,172 birds during the migration window of April 1 to June 9, and recorded 163 species. 

 "Many people don't realize what a fantastic place Toronto is for bird watching during spring migration," says Ralph Toninger, Toronto and Region Conservation. "There's a huge variety of bird species in Toronto. Last year, 106 species were recorded at the Tommy Thompson Park Spring Bird Festival!  We encourage everyone to grab their binoculars and experience nature through bird watching. It's easy and fun to do for the whole family."

Festival goers can learn more about bird watching, one of the fastest growing hobbies in North America, while learning about the amazing phenomenon of migration and the importance of bird conservation from local experts. This year's event has more guided bird hikes than ever before, family nature walks, photography workshops, fun activities and interesting bird displays, free shuttles, kids activities, plus a chance to see birds up close in the researcher's hands at live bird banding demonstrations at the Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station.

The Baillie Birdathon is a nation-wide sponsored bird count run by Bird Studies Canada to raise critical funds for bird conservation efforts. It is the oldest sponsored bird count in North America during which seasoned watchers will compete to see how many species they can spot in 24 hours. This year's 2012 Celebrity Birdathoner is Candice Batista, the resident Eco Expert on CTV's The Marilyn Denis Show. Candice will be doing her Birdathon with David Love, Director of the Living City Foundation and expert birder, from 6 a.m. to noon at the festival. With a minimum pledge of $20.00 towards Candice's Birdathon, festival participants can join her as she scours Tommy Thompson Park for as many species as she can find.  Space is limited, so visit www.springbirdfestival.ca to pledge Candice and register.

The Robert Bateman 2012 Get to Know Contest will be launched in Toronto at the Tommy Thompson Park Spring Bird Festival. Since 2000 this contest inspires Canadian youth to "get to know their wild neighbors" by getting outdoors and actively connecting with nature.  The Contest provides young people with the opportunity to use their creative abilities, be it art, writing or photography, to develop a broader understanding and appreciation of the natural world.  Entries can be submitted online at www.gettoknow.ca until July 16th.

WHEN: Saturday, May 12, 07:00 AM- 04:00 PM

Please check www.springbirdfestival.ca  for a complete list of scheduled activities. Most activities require pre-registration.  Please note pets are not permitted within the park.

WHERE:  Tommy Thompson Park @ Leslie St. and Unwin Ave. Toronto, ON

PARKING: Limited free parking available in the TTP parking lot and along Leslie St. and Unwin Ave.

Toronto and Region Conservation

With over 50 years of experience, Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) helps people understand, enjoy and look-after the natural environment. Our vision is for The Living City®, where human settlement can flourish forever as part of nature's beauty and diversity.  For more information, call 416-661-6600 or visit us at www.trca.on.ca; www.ttpbrs.ca; www.springbirdfestival.ca

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Media contact:

Elizabeth Oakley
Tel: 416-661-6600 ext 5856
media@trca.on.ca

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