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Desert Museum celebrates winged creatures

Festival of Flight a 3-day event of animals, art and food

The Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum will celebrate winged creatures and the Year of the Bat during the Festival of Flight beginning Friday. 

The three-day event features raptors, bats, hummingbirds, insects and other flying critters. The Desert Museum will offer hands-on science exhibits,  arts and crafts, music and a tequila tasting.

"We're celebrating all things that fly from birds and flying insects to bats," said Linda Meschino, district service supervisor for the museum.

"We are giving people an opportunity to help us celebrate those things," she said.

Visitors can take an hour-long photography course at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, where they can learn useful techniques for shooting photos of animals in flight. Those who want to take the course can contact the museum's Art Institute.

"This is the first year of the event and we're hoping to see good crowds come out. We are trying to accomplish educating the public about all of these animals in the Sonoran Desert region," said Meschino.

For more information on the Festival of Flight, visit the Desert Museum's website or call 833-2702.

The Ironwood Terraces restaurant, the largest dining venue at the Desert Museum will be participating in the event by offering a special menu that highlights local and sustainable food.

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Brent Bristol/Flickr

A Costa's hummingbird is one of many winged animals featured during the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum's Festival of Flight, which takes place Friday through Sunday.

Youtube Video

If you go

What to expect

  • Birds walk, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
  • Butterfly walk, 10 a.m.
  • Raptor free-flight, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. 
  • Sonoran Super Market, 10:30-11 a.m.
  • Running wild, 11-11:45 a.m. (Warden Oasis Theater)
  • Photos with a raptor, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Live and (sort-of) on the loose, 12:15-1 p.m. (Warden Oasis Theater)

Other offerings

  • Learn about butterflies, ethnobotany, agave, bats, hummingbirds and raptors
  • Temporary tattoos, family activities, hands-on crafts, microscopes and live bugs
  • Keeper talk (outside the hummingbird aviary)
  • Bat presentation
  • Music in the Desert Garden
  • Tequila sampling
  • Lunch at the Ironwood Terraces