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August 05, 2008

New Photography Exhibit Showcases Miracle of International Bird Migration

Birds in your backyard depend on contested but critical Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for survival

Migration is one of nature’s greatest wonders—each year millions of birds travel great lengths, sometimes across the globe, to find feeding and breeding grounds. Many of the birds in your own backyard come to the Puget Sound from around the world, often on their way either to or from the north coast of Alaska.

A new environmental photography exhibit at Seattle’s Burke Museum explores the phenomenon of bird migration to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a region that is environmentally crucial to the survival of over 190 bird species, yet is a hotbed for political controversy.

Arctic Wings: Miracle of Migration opens Sept. 13 at the Burke Museum and closes Dec. 31. Featuring the work of award-winning photographers Subhankar Banerjee, Michio Hoshino, Mark Wilson, Arthur Morris, Hugh Rose, Paul Bannick, and Brad Winn, Arctic Wings presents over 30 color photographs that capture the global bird biodiversity abundantly represented in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge ecosystem.

Birds from across six continents and all 50 United States migrate to the refuge annually to take advantage of the 24-hour Arctic summer daylight and plentiful, rich food sources. Hundreds of thousands of birds nest on the coastal plain of Alaska during breeding season, mating and storing up fat for the long migration to southern wintering grounds.

Critical to the survival of global wildlife, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has also been identified as a prime oil drilling location, placing the Arctic Refuge directly at the center of heated environmental debates. Arctic Wings highlights the incredibly important biodiversity of this threatened region.

Arctic Wings: Miracle of Migration was organized by the Burke Museum in partnership with Braided River, the conservation imprint of The Mountaineers Books, with help from The Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, Massachusetts. This exhibit will tour nationally following its debut at the Burke Museum, joining another critical wildlife issue-themed exhibits, The Last Polar Bear: Facing the Truth of a Warming World,which is also on view at the Burke through the end of the year.

Major support for the exhibition has been provided by Tom and Sonya Campion, Hugh and Jane Ferguson Foundation, and Peach Foundation. Additional support has been provided by The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Jiji Foundation, Kongsgaard-Goldman Foundation, The Norcliffe Foundation, and Wilberforce Foundation.

Related Events

Arctic Wings: Opening Day

Sun., Sept. 14, 2008

10 am – 4 pm

Celebrate the opening of Arctic Wings: Miracle of Migration and learn about the migratory birds featured in this exhibit. Stephen Brown, editor of Arctic Wings, the book that inspired the exhibit, will be speaking along with Debbi Miller, Alaskan author of illustrated nature books, and Marilyn Heiman, founding director of the Boreal Songbird initiative. Ornithologists will be on hand with a selection of Arctic birds from the Burke collection.

Book Signing and Lecture: The Owl and the Woodpecker

Lecture by Paul Bannick

Wed.,Nov. 12, 2008, 7 pm

Seattle-based naturalist and award-winning photographer Paul Bannick will present a slide show, lecture, and sign his new book, The Owl and the Woodpecker: Encounters with North America’s Most Iconic Birds. His book is a unique blend of personal field notes, rich natural history, and stunning photographs. Tickets are available starting Oct. 1, 2008 through the Burke; $5 for Burke members and $8 for the general public.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(206) 543-9762; FAX (206) 616-1274
burkepr@uw.edu

White-Crowned Sparrow
White-Crowned Sparrow
Photo by Hugh Rose