Going to the Birds

Celtic music, food, fire-eating warriors, handmade wares and endangered birds are only some of the ingredients of the third annual Celtic Festival Benefit, which takes place Saturday at Betwixt & Between Community Center. Originally scheduled to happen in March, when the festival benefit was rained out, the all-day, indoor event is presented by The Celtic Cauldron and Rescuers of Environmental Life, Earth and Animal Foundation (R.E.L.E.A.F.) and benefits the On The Wing Again bird sanctuary, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the rehabilitation of orphaned, injured and sick birds of all species and their return to the wild, and to the education of the public concerning the value and place of these species in our ecology. As well as taking care of injured birds, On The Wing Again also offers educational programs, taking birds to schools, libraries, civic groups and many other places to teach the history of the birds and of their place in the environment.

A typical program involves birds such as the red-tailed hawk, peregrine falcon, American kestrel, screech owl, great horned owl, barn owl and black vulture, and discussions include their characteristics and habitat, as well as a description of why these particular birds cannot be released back into the wild. Lasting between 25 minutes and an hour, the program ends with a look at our habitat and our interrelationship with the environment. As well as having some birds on show, the festival will feature a full night of activities including Celtic Fusion dancing, African drummers, bellydancers and wares sold by artisans from Dallas-Fort Worth and the surrounding areas. Providing a full day of family entertainment to support other nonprofit organizations, R.E.L.E.A.F.'s festival benefits are a great way to show support for groups that are working to preserve our natural environment and its wildlife.

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David Wilson

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