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Wildlife festival lands at Aquarius

See and learn about unique species such as Gilded Flickers, Crissal Thrashers and Least Bitterns at the second annual Wings and Wildlife Festival.

Hosted at the Aquarius Wednesday through March 15, the festival is jam-packed with educational seminars and field trips. Topics of discussion will include rescued raptors, falconry, binocular use, bats and bird identification for beginners. Guided tours to the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve, Hualapai Mountains and Laughlin Lagoon, as well as kayak trips along the Colorado River and Black Canyon will serve as the perfect backdrops for viewing birds and wildlife in their natural habitat.

After spending the day in the great outdoors, attendees can head inside for more festivities. On Friday night, renowned Boulder City photographer and artist Sharon Schafer and other nature artists will dislay their work at a wine and cheese social. Exhibitors from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Red Rock Audubon Society and Nevada Department of Wildlife will have information on wildlife watching and conservation efforts, and will include a bird taxidermist and live reptiles and raptors. Those new to birding can participate in a special event called “Birding 101.” At the Saturday banquet, Ted Floyd, editor of the American Birding Association flagship publication, Birding, will deliver the keynote speech.

“Laughlin is a great location for the Wings and Wildlife Festival and Aquarius Casino Resort is excited to host. With the Colorado River and so many recreational areas in our backyard, both bird and wildlife enthusiasts are sure to have a great experience,” said Paul Hobson, Aquarius general manager.

Aquarius is offering room packages for Thursday through Saturday, March 11-13, or Friday through Sunday, March 12-14, for $219 plus tax and are available online at www.theaquarius.com. Room packages include two event registration passes.

The festival is sponsored by the Southern Nevada Birding and Wildlife Trails Partnership, whose mission is to promote ecotourism in the rural areas of Southern Nevada. Registration is $30, which includes participation in all seminars and the Friday evening reception, nature walks and the “Smithsonian Field Guide to Birds” by Ted Floyd. Additional fees are required for the field trips and banquet. For more information on the festival agenda and fees, visit www.theaquarius.com or www.snbwtp.org.

The Aquarius is the largest 24-hour gaming resort in Laughlin, providing 1,907 rooms in two 18-story towers. The 57,000-square-foot casino offers nearly 1,300 state-of-the-art slot machines, the market’s widest variety of table games and highest posted limits, with a modern race and sports book, keno and live poker.

For more information, call 800-662-5825 or 298-5111. For further information visit www.theaquarius.com.

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