The seventh annual Creston Valley Bird Fest begins May 10 and for good reason.

For three weeks, migrating birds pass through the Valley while local species spring to life. According to Bird Fest Chair Tanna Patterson the diversity of the Creston Valley houses many species.

“We have the wetland, we have the edge between the prairie and the mountain, we also have a little bit of prairie right on the flats. We have rivers, still water, we have slow moving water, we have lakes. Each one of these kinds of habitats brings with it different birds.”

A wide range of activities are planned for the weekend including guided tours on foot, by bike and via kayak.

“Kayaking is one of the best ways to see birds because you can sneak up on them really quietly.” Patterson Explains.

The aptly named Dr. David Bird is the keynote speaker. He will give a presentation on May 11.

“He used to teach ornithology and wildlife studies at McGill University. He’s also spent a lifetime working with birds. He won an award from the ornithological society in Canada, so we are very fortunate to have Dr. Bird.”

The festival would not have taken flight had not Patterson and her friend gone to Wings over the Rockies in Invermere, BC.

“That was eight years ago,” Patterson recalls .”We were driving home and we said to each other, you know this could happen in Creston. And so it did! That was probably eight years ago.”

Now she says, she wouldn’t be able to keep Bird Fest going if it weren’t for her team of ‘Super Women’.

“I’ve been really fortunate to find the perfect women to work with. I could not do this festival without the help of these wonderful women.”

Registration is now open and groups must remain small and quiet in order to get the most out of the experience. Tours will also feature local agricultural producers, a historical town toour, a mushroom foray and children’s activities. To register, visit crestonvalleybirds.ca.