Music will mark massive bird migration - October 21 in Manitoba

    Also: Oak Hammock Marsh to Become a Spooky Swamp
    October 28 for Halloween

    Editors: Photos available on request.

    OAK HAMMOCK MARSH, MB, Aug. 30 /CNW/ - Four hundred thousand birds can't
be wrong. Oak Hammock Marsh, an internationally recognized wetlands
conservation area and tall grass prairie near Winnipeg, Manitoba, is the place
to be in October for as many as 400,000 migrating waterfowl - and for wildlife
watchers seeking a memorable experience.
    The nonprofit Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre will host a
"Migration Magic Farewell Weekend Concert" October 21 at 7:30 p.m. in its
multimedia theater. A string quartet from the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra will
perform while visitors view projected images of some of the 300 bird species
that visit the marsh throughout the year.
    Tickets to the 90-minute program, including a wine and cheese reception
during intermission, cost 30 Canadian dollars, or $28.50, in addition to the
center's regular adult entrance fee of five Canadian dollars, or $4.75.
    At sunset on most fall evenings, massive numbers of ducks, Canada geese,
snow geese, shorebirds, and tundra swans stage a dramatic fly-in to the marsh
from surrounding fields, where they feed on grain to gain strength for the
long migratory flight south. The center's literature describes the birds'
return to their overnight accommodations in the marsh as "a spectacular
symphony of sounds and sights."
    According to Jacques Bourgeois, the center's special events coordinator,
"It's a magical moment. The whole sky becomes dark with birds. It looks like
    It's not just bird watchers who flock to Oak Hammock Marsh, home to 30
species of mammals and numerous amphibians, reptiles, and fish. The wildlife
management area covers nearly 14 square miles or about 9,000 acres.
    The award-winning interpretive center offers guided nature walks and
canoe outings in large canoes reminiscent of those used by 18th-century
voyageurs on their trade routes. Visitors can borrow binoculars and wildlife
field guides from the center's staff.

    Supernatural in the Swamp

    Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre will also host a Halloween party
and "Spirit Walk" October 28 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Costumed interpreters
will appear along a nature trail in the guise of the spirits of French fur
traders and Scottish settlers, relating stories of local life in earlier eras.
Guides will explain misunderstood phenomena, like the other-worldly looking
marsh gas and the "quaking bog" - the shifting, bouncing mat of vegetation
that frightened early settlers. Indoor exhibits will demystify "scary"
critters like spiders, bats, and snakes.
    It's all available for the regular admission fee of five Canadian
dollars, or $4.75, for adults; four Canadian dollars, or $3.80, for seniors 55
and older and young people 17 and under.
    The interpretive center is located on Highway 67 between Highway 7 and
Highway 8, about a 30-minute drive north of the provincial capital of
Winnipeg. For information, call the center toll-free at 888-506-2774. Web
site: Additional information is available from Travel
Manitoba at 800-665-0040 (toll free). Web site:

For further information:

For further information: Cathy Senecal, Travel Manitoba, (204) 927-7827,,; Colette Fontaine,
Travel Manitoba, (204) 927-7832,,

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