Mackinac Straits Raptor Watch announces registration is open for the Mackinaw Raptor Fest April 5-7, 2019, taking place in Mackinaw City. Most events occur on Saturday, with entertaining and educational sessions indoors at the Mackinaw City School. In addition to the sessions, daily field trips will be held. All weekend, everyone is invited to enjoy free hawk and waterbird watching. Each year the Mackinaw Raptor Fest and the bird research of MSRW attract hundreds of people to northern Michigan. As families enjoy the birds, they learn that the Straits of Mackinac forms a vital resting and feeding grounds for migratory raptors and waterbirds. Saturday April 6 starts with a plenary talk on the conservation of raptors in Michigan, followed by morning breakout sessions on Bald Eagles, Ospreys, Snowy Owls, California Condors, photography of raptors in flight, adaptations of raptors for flight, lead in the environment, wind energy’s effect on raptors, animal tracking via the internet, the migratory mindset of MSRW, and identifying hawks and waterbirds in flight. The afternoon keynote presentation will feature Golden Eagles. MSRW helped prove that Golden Eagles migrate through Michigan in greater numbers than believed, regularly recording more of them than any other hawk count east of the Mississippi (374 in 2015). Starting at 4 pm Saturday, Jenny Schroeder of Hawk Hill Raptors near Genesee will bring several of her rehabilitated birds to St. Anthony’s Church to talk about raptor adaptations and the role of falconry in conservation. A pizza and salad buffet and Silent Auction will follow her live raptor program. The evening ends with the annual Wind Under Wings award for the greatest assistance to birds of prey in the area. Stand-alone tickets for Saturday evening, including dinner, cost $40. The full Fest, including dinner on Saturday night, costs $85. Field trips cost $20 apiece. Registration via www.mackinawraptorfest.org ends March 22. The Mackinac Straits Raptor Watch conducts scientific studies of hawks, owls, and waterbirds migrating through this region of northern Michigan, educates the public about them, and aids in conserving and protecting the resting and feeding stop-over habitat for birds of prey in the Straits of Mackinac region. To learn more, visit the MSRW Facebook, Instagram pages, or www.mackinacraptorwatch.org for migration blogs, past press releases, event dates, support options, and Mackinac Raptor Fest photos. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.