Birds of prey will be introduced to visitors to the Audubon Center at Bent of the River in Southbury's annual BentFest 2013 on Saturday, September 21st that will be held from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. From 2:15 to 3:00 p.m., a Birds of Prey Show will be held in the Main Tent of the BentFest. From 3:15 to 4:00 p.m. visitors can “Meet a Bird of Prey” at the River Trail Tent. During these special events, BentFest attendees will have the opportunity to see, hear and learn about such birds of prey as red-tailed hawks, barred owls and other native birds in the Southbury region. At 3:00 p.m., the annual BentFest’s popular bird banding demonstration will be held by Corrie Folsom-O’Keefe near the historic barn.
The family-oriented Audubon Center’s annual BentFest is held as a fundraiser for the not-for-profit organization. It will be held rain or shine from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. and will include river and nature walks, tie-dye T-shirt creations, local food vendors, kids’ activities, bird watching, raffle prizes, plus live music by the Willie Nininger Band from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m..
Leslie Kane, Audubon Center Director commented, “We are very excited to welcome popular singer songwriter Willie Nininger, his wife and singer Jan Scruggs, and their very talented accompanist Ken Melton of Bethlehem on vocals and percussion, to our 2013 BentFest. Their eclectic music is very popular in the Southbury region as it’s a wonderful mix of oldies, rock ‘n roll, original music, plus country and folk music. Willie and Jan are Southbury residents and they generously perform throughout this area, New York City and New England region. Their performance between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. will be preceded beginning at 2:00 p.m. with activities for family members of all ages.”
Sept. 21st BentFest2013 activities include nature walks along this historic Pootatuck Road that was the original 1700’s road from Boston to Yorktown, Virginia; an insect safari; walks on the bird-watching boulevard; un-natural nature trail hikes; kids’ bird feeder activity and kids’ favorite crafts with Kara. Green Blessings Center of Southbury will be offering chair massages with all proceeds to go to the Bent. YWARF-Youth Wildlife & Recycling Foundation of Southbury will be selling water with proceeds to go the Bent, and collecting recyclables. Other exhibitors will include Golden Button of South Britain, YMCA, and the Bent’s “Bird Tales” display.
Coffee, tea and pastries will be available to purchase in the Bent’s historic 1800s barn. “For the first time,” stated Kane, “we will create a café in our iconic historic barn for visitors to sit and enjoy refreshments in our post 45 x 30 foot Civil War barn with weather-worn wood and large beams.”
The mission of the Audubon Society is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife and their habitats. Located along the Pomperaug River and bordering Little Pootatuck Brook, the Audubon Center at Bent of the River nature center and sanctuary is a private, not-for-profit organization that protects over 700 acres of numerous natural ecosystems, habitats, un-fragmented forest, grasslands, meadows, swamps and a portion of the Pomperaug River.
The Bent offers more than 15 miles of hiking trails on varied and beautiful terrains that include forests, rocky ledges, grasslands, old meadows, vernal pools, red maple swamps, and river habitats.
For almost one mile, Audubon owns both sides of the Pomperaug River which provides an undisturbed and wild environment where beaver, muskrat, river otter, and mink can be found, and Bald eagles regularly fish. More than 170 species of birds have been recorded and The Bent’s highly diverse eco-systems have been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) in Connecticut, protecting open land and wildlife over one square mile (http://bentoftheriver.audubon.org).
The non-profit Audubon Center is located in the Southbury hamlet of South Britain, off Route 172 at 185 East Flat Hill Road, 0.3 miles from corner of General Store and South Britain Congregational Church. Admission $12/adult, $8/child age 6 to 18, free for children 6 and younger, and $25/family. No pets will be permitted. Tickets can be purchased in advance at http://bentoftheriver.audubon.org, or September 21 at the gate. For information, call 203.264.5098.