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Giant birds take flight on Picton Main to announce spring festival

Story and photos by Sharon Harrison
A few recognizable local bird species flew through Picton Main Sunday afternoon, and while that won’t come as a surprise to local birders or anyone interested in feathered friends, these particular birds came in the form of giant puppets.

In a collaboration with the Department of Illumination, headed by artistic director Krista Dalby, and the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory (PEPtBO), downtown Picton welcomed the puppetry and masked figures as onlookers, amazed by the strange flock, couldn’t help but giggle at the gaggle before them.

Take-off point for the birding festival parade was Gardiner’s Village Plaza, where the avian brood glided their way along Picton Main, ultimately migrating to Benson Park.

The flapping performance was undertaken to help bring awareness to next weekend’s Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory’s Spring Birding Festival.

New for the Department of Illumination’s ever-growing contingent of giant bird puppetry this year was the majestic woodpecker.

Some passersby were in awe, pedestrians and shoppers stopped in their tracks to admire the masterpiece, some grabbed their phone cameras, and a few motorists honked their horns – with one or two connecting the avian blue jay imagery with support for a certain baseball team.

Scaling both sides of the almost entire length of Main Street, the height and width of the menagerie did encounter a few impediments along the way in the form of lamp posts, telephone poles, tree branches and awnings which had to be walked around or ducked under to avoid any eventful entanglements, where no birds or puppets were harmed during the negotiation.

The PEPtBO annual spring birding festival runs May 12-15 on Long Point Road in the County’s South Shore, and celebrates the return of migratory birds who spend the summer here, or in many more cases, this is a stopping off point for refuelling, to get food and rest, before heading to their far northern summer breeding grounds.

The unique four-day festival will be hosting a number of events from bird banding demonstrations, birding walks, tent talks, and for those who rise with the sun, a sunrise meditation, as well special Mother’s Day events. Visit the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory’s website at

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