Live entertainment, arts & crafts, dining, vulture watching
and other activities to celebrate the Fall migration of the vultures
to Makanda, Illinois. The Artist's community in the small village of
Makanda is blessed every fall with hundreds of black and turkey
vultures. Home to Giant City State Park, Makanda has an abundance of
large trees and cliffs, appealing to the vulture families. The Turkey
Vulture (Cathartes aura) is extremely beneficial to our ecosystem.
Being scavengers, who don't kill their prey, vultures play a vital
roll in the food web. Vultures eat carrion (dead flesh), like road
kill and dead animals. Because they have such a unique digestive
system, they can eat diseased and infected carcasses and there is no
trace of bacteria in their droppings. Up close the turkey vulture is
certainly one of the most unattractive creatures, but in flight they
have the grace and beauty of eagles. Turkey Vultures have lived in
the trees and cliffs of Makanda since the last ice age. They rear
their young in the cliffs during Summer and return to the trees in
the fall. The artists of Makanda in the Valley of the Arts wanted to
have a fall festival much like the one they have in the Spring and
with the number of vultures flocking to the valley, the theme for
Vulture Fest was hatched.
10:00a.m.-7:00p.m. Saturday, 10:00a.m.-5:00p.m. Sunday - Live
Eagle & Bird of Prey Programs by The World Bird Sanctuary --
Wildlife Art Show & Sale and Environmental Fair -- Special
Attractions: The World Bat Organization, Ralph Duren Master Bird
& Game Caller, Gen Ebert Mammals of Wisconsin and the Walker
Stonefish Family, Native American Stories, Music and Dancing!
For the fifth year, Southern Illinois is inviting all bird lovers
to attend Birding Fest 2005! The event has something for everyone by
providing a venue of programs, guided hikes and tours for people of
all ages, rain or shine. All programs will take place at the Cache
River Wetlands Center and include guided canoe tours, birding hikes,
an owl prowl, live bird demonstrations, wildlife photo exhibits, and
much more. Look and listen for Black-bellied Plovers, Snowy Egrets,
Mississippi Kites, Cerulean Warblers, Indigo Buntings and more.
Birding Blitz teams in past years have seen over 150 species in
24-hours and have raised money to support habitat restoration in the
Cache Watershed. Check out the Birding Blitz link for a list of
species seen over the past four years.