Feathered species of all shapes, colours and sizes will be on display at the Lennox and Addington County Museum and Archives this summer.
All told there will be 23 mounted specimens in interactive modules that include audio of a variety of song birds, on loan from the Canadian Museum of Nature. L&A County was able to book the exhibit in part by securing $5,000 in funding from the Museums Assistance Program.
“The theme the whole summer is about birds and nature around us,” said JoAnne Himmelman, curator with the L&A County Museum and Archives. “The Canadian Nature Museum focuses on species within Canada. That was critical when we were looking to bring this in, that these birds would be able to be seen in our backyards, It’s just educating people on how to identify birds by their silhouettes, by their feathers, by their bird song, how to feed them and how to create a habitat for them.”
The exhibit ties in perfectly with bird watching, which happens to be a major tourist attraction for L&A County. With its vast wilderness and diverse terrain of dense forests and large bodies of water, it’s home to a wide assortment of birds.
“We have some real hot spots for birds, particularly on Amherst Island,” said Rob Plumley, economic development officer with L&A County. “This (exhibit) is a great way for people that are novice birders but don’t know the sounds or how to attract them to their yard to take pictures. This is a good introduction to learn and experience some of the things that are right outside their doorsteps in Lennox and Addington.”
Keeping with the bird theme, the museum will host a series of free bird-related talks known as Museum Chit-Chats. The first will take place this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. with the Queen’s University Biology Station on hand to discuss their tree swallow project. They will also perform demonstrations about mist netting and bird banding.
Local wildlife photographer Bill Bickle will be at the museum on July 20 while Anthony Kaduck will lead a talk about owls on Aug. 3. Both those events begin at 10:30 a.m.
Making the exhibit all-ages is a new kids zone located within the museum, which includes toy birds and dinosaurs, model eggs and colouring materials.
The exhibit has already been a hit with some of the first young visitors who got a sneak peak last Friday.
“I think birds are really cool, I really enjoyed the red-wing black bird,” said Fraiser Himmelman. “I’ve never seen a great blue heron up close like that. I know it’s not alive but it’s still pretty cool to see.”
“It’s really cool how the hummingbird is so small but it can actually fly even though the wings are so small,” said Nicholas Harris, who noted he enjoys looking for birds during nature walks. “The wings are so small and they flap so fast.”
Admission to the museum is $3. The bird display runs until Sept. 6. The museum is located at 97 Thomas Street in Napanee.