(Canastota, Town of Lenox, NY – April 2013) The Great Swamp Conservancy is offering two days of animal and bird programs during its annual Spring Migration Festival, set for May 4 and 5. Learn about birds, reptiles, and numerous animals with up close and personal hands on opportunities.  Be sure to bring your cameras and capture your children as they are captivated by the wildlife presented this weekend.

TALONS! Birds of Prey is all about the ancient sport of falconry.  Master class falconer, Lorrie Schumacher and her team will educate spectators about the raptors’ important role in the environment and explain about the role the public can play in raptor conservation.

Falconry is the sport of hunting small game with trained falcons, hawks, eagles and owls, all known as raptors.  The sport is regulated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Licenses are issued in three levels, Apprentice, General and Master; it takes at least seven years to reach Master status.

“One look into the ancient eyes of a raptor and a human knows humility. Catch a raptor on your fist and you’ll feel your heart jump like never before. It’s an experience of a lifetime,” said Schumacher.  TALONS! will be at the GSC both days.

Animal Adventure, located on a 20 acre farm that has been refurbished into an interactive, educational animal park will be at the GSC on Saturday, May 4 only. Jordan and his team have been working for several years to create a place for families to visit and learn about all kinds of animals from all around the globe.

Located in Harpursville, 15 minutes from Binghamton, this park recently received Federal licensing by the USDA that ensures their animals, their care and facilities meet the same standards as zoos and aquariums in the US.  They plan to open soon for daily visitors, featuring Uncle Critter’s Petting Zoo. Jordan has been visiting many venues with his baby animals.

On Sunday, May 5 Dan the Snake Man from Marathon will bring his “Best Pets” program. His shows are designed to educate people of all ages about reptiles and amphibians through informative displays and interactions.  His presentations aim to help audiences understand and appreciate the special nature of these animals and their importance to the environment.

The audience is invited to interact with the animals on an up-close and personal level; viewing, touching and asking questions are encouraged.

“Most people don’t realize that buying a pet on impulse, because it is “cute” when it catches your eye is unfair to the pet and you the buyer. Most reptiles live very long lives and folks don’t realize that a pet may be a lifetime commitment” said Dan.

He has a tortoise over 60 years old. Dan’s collection includes snakes, alligators, spiders, tortoises and lizards. Come and find out which would make the best pet for you.

Also on Sunday the Utica Zoomobile will be at the GSC with a collection of wild animals to entertain visitors.  The Festival will be held May 4 and 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The GSC is located at 8375 N. Main St. in Canastota.




By martha

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