Celebrate the American white pelican at festival this Sunday

Event is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the 11th at Hawkeye Wildlife Area in Swisher

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SWISHER — Each year, in late summer and early fall, huge flocks of American white pelicans stop in Iowa as they migrate south to winter in the Gulf Coast states and Mexico.

The public can learn more about these birds and see them in action during the seventh annual Pelican Festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Hawkeye Wildlife Area, 2564 Amana Rd. NW, Swisher.

Admission is free.

The event, sponsored by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Audubon, Iowa City Bird Club, Army Corps of Engineers and the Cedar Rapids Audubon Society, features a variety of educational programs, as well as exhibitors and activities for children.

Volunteers with spotting scopes will be available lakeside at Coralville Lake to help visitors view pelicans and provide pelican facts. Presentations include the following:

— 12:30 and 3 p.m. — American white pelican.

— 1 p.m. — Geology of Coralville Reservoir.

— 1:30 p.m. — What’s the Bee Neez?

— 2:30 p.m. — Peregrine falcon.

Funny Face Painting by Lori also will be offered and the Boy Scouts plan to serve up food.

Exhibitors include Cedar County Conservation, Eastern Iowa Beekeepers Association, Iowa County Conservation, Iowa Nature Plant Society, Iowa Ornithologists’ Union, Iowa Wildlife Federation, Iowa Raptor Project, Johnson County Conservation, Prairie States Mushroom Club, Sierra Club, Songbird Project, Sustainable Iowa Land Trust (S.I.L.T.), Swisher Fire Department and Raptor Advocacy Rehabilitation & Education (RARE).

For more information, call (319) 338-3543, extension 6300.

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