Whidbey Audubon’s stuffed birds allow close-up view of avian world

  • Wed Jun 11th, 2014 3:20pm
  • Life

By Andrea Brown Herald Writer

Birds usually like to keep their distance from human creatures.

These birds you can see up close without ruffling their feathers because, well, they’re dead.

Whidbey Audubon Society will show a collection of stuffed and preserved birds at Bird in Hand, a free event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 14 at Greenbank Farm.

Study the belted kingfisher’s footpads. See the red of a red-tailed hawk.

Don’t worry, the birds on display met an accidental, not deliberate, demise.

Society spokeswoman Susan Prescott said a permitted taxidermist and trained volunteers prepare bird specimens from dead birds brought in from Whidbey Audubon members.

The chapter has a federal permit to keep and display the birds for educational purposes. The birds are used as teaching materials throughout the year.

Bird in Hand is held every other year.

“There’s a big barn with rows and rows of tables with skeletons and stuffed birds,” Prescott said. “It’s for families to share how you can enjoy birds. The society wants people to learn to appreciate birds.”

Kids can look into a microscope and see the feather structure of an owl feather.

Live birds will be on hand. “There will be a couple trainers of raptors and likely be a falcon or a hawk or two,” Prescott said.

Visitors can buy bird items and snacks tastier than bird seed.

There will an “Answer Man” table for the most daunting questions.

For more information, go to www.whidbeyaudubon.org.