Join Rice Creek Field Station for a Feathered Friends Festival on Saturday, May 6, for a day packed with all things birds -- from fun avian activities to up-close encounters with real birds.

This is mostly a “free-roam” event, meaning participants are free to come and go at any time. All ages and groups are welcome and encouraged to attend this free spring celebration of organizers’ favorite high-flyers (children under 17 must be accompanied by an adult).

Events will include:

  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Activity and Demonstration Stations. Stop by tables inside and outside the building to make bird-themed crafts, enjoy food and drinks, gather tips for backyard bird feeding, watch feathered friends at the Rice Creek bird feeders, enter a free chance to win bird goodies and learn about current bird research at SUNY Oswego.
  • 11 a.m. to noon: Beginner Bird Walk. Join a naturalist for this family-friendly walk to look for and listen to birds. Participants will learn how to identify a handful of common species by sight and sound. This walk is offered in coordination with Rice Creek's Junior Naturalist Program. Participants should wear boots as spring trails are muddy.
  • 1 to 2 p.m.: Talk: The Mysteries of Migration. Join local wildlife rehabilitator Jean Soprano for a lively talk including several of her non-releasable birds. Jean, an alumna of SUNY Oswego, operates Kindred Kingdoms Wildlife, Inc. with her husband Len.
  • 2 to 3 p.m.: Bird Banding Demonstration. Biological sciences faculty member Daniel Baldassarre will be safely and humanely catching birds using a "mist net" and banding them for research and monitoring, as part of a continent-wide effort to track bird migration and survival. Organizers said the opportunity to see wild birds up close is one that will stay with you for years to come.
  • 3 to 3:30 p.m.: Raffle Winner Announcements. The winners of raffle prizes will be announced live. Feel free to stick around, or organizers will contact you about how to receive your prize.
  • 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.: Nighttime Owl Prowl. Hit the trails to search for owls while learning about what makes them so unique. Participants should wear boots and appropriate clothing as spring trails are muddy, and also may wish to have a light source such as a flashlight.

Rice Creek Field Station is located at 193 Thompson Road, one mile south of the SUNY Oswego campus. Those driving personal vehicles may park for free, though space may be limited. SUNY Oswego students can request a van pick-up by emailing at least 24 hours in advance.

This event is a student-led project headed by SUNY Oswego zoology senior Aidan Owen with assistance and supervision from Kristen Haynes, assistant director at RCFS.

Owen is currently enrolled in “Leadership in Your Field,” a service-learning class geared towards helping students gain experience with a non-profit organization of their choice. This class can serve as a helpful precursor to internships and co-ops, as well as a great opportunity to give back to the community. Owen previously worked with RCFS as an intern during spring 2022 and is excited to have a blast with everybody at the Feathered Friends Festival.

Questions? Please contact or 315.312.6677

See more information on Rice Creek’s Instagram (@ozricecreek) and Facebook.