Belle Isle Nature Center hosts family-friendly Valentine’s Day-themed event
The Belle Isle Nature Center will host its annual family-friendly Valentine’s Day-themed celebration, The Birds and the Bees, on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event features photography, crafts, zookeeper talks and other fun learning activities.
“This G-rated celebration encourages guests to show some love for our winged friends that are so important to the environment,” said Amy Greene, nature centers director for the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS).
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Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy winter birding walks led by Detroit Audubon. Citizen science activities will include Celebrate Urban Birds, a program developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to help scientists of all ages identify local birds, collect data, create art and make the earth a little greener.
Visitors will also learn about the danger many windows – especially large ones – pose to birds. Templates for window decals that help prevent bird collisions will be available to make and take home.
Biology department staff and students from Oakland University will be on hand to share information about the significance of native and solitary bees. Hourly workshops on “How to Show Love for Bees” will be conducted, along with honey tastings.
The Birds and the Bees will include an art exhibition featuring works by bee photographer Joseph Ferraro. Valentine’s-themed crafts will include “bee mine” cards and birdseed cakes for children to feed the birds in their own backyards.
Zookeeper talks will highlight the courting and nesting behaviors of birds and the life cycle and communicative dance moves of bees. These talks will be held at the Nature Center’s bird observation window – which allows guests to watch native and migratory birds feed on natural and supplemental food sources – and the observation beehive. Sealed tightly within a double-sided glass case and tunnel, the hive provides bees with year-round access to the outdoors and provides guests an up-close glimpse into their busy daily lives.
The Detroit Zoological Society – a renowned leader in humane education, wildlife conservation, animal welfare and environmental sustainability – operates the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Center. In recognition of its environmental leadership, the DZS received the top Green Award from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) and was named Best-Managed Nonprofit by Crain’s Detroit Business. With an annual regional economic impact of more than $100 million, the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak is one of Michigan’s largest paid family attractions, hosting more than 1.3 million visitors annually. Its 125 acres of award-winning naturalistic habitats are home to 2,000 animals representing 230 species. The Belle Isle Nature Center sits on a 5-acre site surrounded by undisturbed forested wetlands on Belle Isle State Park in Detroit. It provides year-round educational, recreational and environmental conservation opportunities for the community. For hours, prices, directions and other information, call (248) 541-5717 or visit detroitzoo.org.