British Columbia Sun

Bird festival elevates B.C. mountain towns’ economies

BC

Key takeaways: 

  • Birdwatchers lately flocked to Radium and Invermere for the Wings Over the Rockies festival.
  • A red-winged blackbird calls in the Columbia Wetlands, which extend 180 kilometers between the Rocky and Purcell mountains. 
  • The bulk of birding events at the Wings Over the Rockies festival occurs in the wetlands. 

Forty years back, Pat Morrow climbed the South Col route up Mount Everest, becoming the second Canadian to stand atop the earth’s highest peak.

But after photographing and filming 6,000-metre mountains around the world, Morrow advanced to the Columbia Valley and fell in love with recording wildlife. 

“I had followed human adventures for so many years,” stated Morrow, who stays outside Invermere, B.C. “All of a sudden, I rediscovered nature.” 

Now, Morrow leads bird and nature photography steps at the Wings Over the Rockies bird celebration in the Columbia Valley in southeast British Columbia. Wrapped up Sunday, the yearly festival features 100 events, including birding walks, kayaking tours, and addresses.

Hundreds of birders worldwide relocate every year to the Rocky Mountain communities of Radium and Invermere for the festival. This year’s celebration was the 25th iteration of the carnival and the first featuring in-person events since 2019. 

Festival pushes tourism

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Hundreds of birders worldwide relocate every year to the Rocky Mountain communities of Radium and Invermere for the festival

According to Pete Bourke, executive director of the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce, wings Over the Rockies are notable supporters of the regional communities’ economies. 

“Individuals come here for the wings, but they spend time and cash in several businesses,” he stated.

“It’s just such a great effect for our province.” 

While neither the Chamber of Commerce nor the carnival keeps statistics on earnings induced by the festival, Pauline Chung, owner of the Piccadilly Motel in Radium, urges the financial footprint is substantial. 

Chung said every year; birders crowd her hotel.

Source – cbc.ca

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