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Monday May 4th, 2015

Posted at 11:00am

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Richard Wyma, Chair Ed Sleiman, Jean Iron (OFO), Mike Malone (Pelee Wings Nature Store), Dave Milsom (OFO) and Gordon Orr (CEO Tourism Windsor-Essex-Pelee Island) unveil the Shorebird Interpretive Sign at the Hillman Marsh Conservation Area

A new resource has been created with an aim to help the thousands of birders who visit the Pelee-Hillman region each May.

The Shorebird Identification sign highlights the 37 species of shorebirds that have been identified in the shorebird habitat, which is unique in North America. The interpretive sign also offers unique details to help birders distinguish these birds from one another.

“The interpretive sign that we unveil today is another amenity we can offer tourists and residents alike to help identify shorebirds as they travel through our region,” said ERCA Chair Ed Sleiman. “More than 40,000 visitors travel from around the world to the Pelee-Hillman area each spring.”

“Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island is well aware of the importance of the birding market to our region,” added Gordon Orr, TWEPI CEO. “Through creating a Birding Committee, we have been able to bring together various partners within the region, all playing a role in further promoting birding hubs and primary sites in our area. With signage amenities like this Shorebird initiative today, it further helps to continue to attract and educate new visitors to our region.”

Birding is one of the fastest growing recreational pastimes amongst the baby-boomer demographic, and incredibly important to tourism here in our region. In fact, it’s estimated that each spring, birding has a local economic impact of nearly $15 million dollars.

The second Saturday in May marks International Migratory Bird Day, and is also the first day of the Hillman Shorebird and Songbird Celebration. Hosted annually, this family oriented event will feature live birds, crafts for kids, a photography contest and walks and talks to highlight the most exciting elements of spring birding. A full schedule of events can be found at www.erca.org/birding.

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