Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! No, it’s the inaugural Vancouver International Bird Festival…

The rare Philippine Eagle is the subject of the documentary Bird of Prey, screening at Science World as part of the first Vancouver International Bird Festival.

The birds are coming. And they’re bigger, badder and beakier than ever.

Besides being a popular pastime in North America, Japan and Europe, birdwatching has spawned over 200 festivals in the U.S. and Canada. This year, to coincide with the 27th International Ornithological Congress at the Vancouver Convention Centre, the inaugural Vancouver International Bird Festival takes place (Aug. 19 to 26).

It will be the biggest bird festival ever held in Canada. The Congress expects to attract 3,000, while the festival is expected to bring 30,000 birdwatchers, nature lovers, and outdoor enthusiasts to events in and around the city. (According to Wiki, as of July of this year, 576 species have been documented in B.C.) Events include Return of the Hipster Birdwatcher, bird-themed improv comedy, and a talk by Jennifer Ackerman, author of the bestselling The Genius of Birds.

Here are some highlights of the festival.

Birds on Film—Until the end of August, Science World (1455 Quebec St.) is screening bird films from around the world. And on Aug. 22, Bird Festival Day includes the North American premiere of Bird of Prey (7:30 p.m. in the Science Theatre), an award-winning film about the world’s largest and rarest eagle. A Q&A with members of the film and research team follows the screening. Other Bird Fest Day events include Bird Studies Canada’s Jody Allair explaining the whys and wherefors of birding (Getting into Birding, 12:20 p.m. at Centre Stage). For a detailed schedule, visit scienceworld.ca.

Festival Preview—Meet Vancouver’s Official City Bird , enjoy birds on stilts, presentations, exhibits, bird artists working with children, Unveiling of the Artist for Conservation Student Silent Skies and more at this festival preview. Aug. 18 2-5 p.m. at the Vancouver Public Library Central Branch (350 W. Georgia St.).

Festival Opening Ceremony—Catch the Parade of Birds and a fanfare by Vancouver Symphony Brass Quintet. Aug 20 from 3:20-5:15 p.m. at the Vancouver Convention Centre (1055 Canada Place).

Birdstravaganza—Little Mountain Improv celebrates the festival with a bird-themed comedy improvisation show. Audience members are invited to contribute bird-themed suggestions for the group. Tickets $5 at the door. Aug 21, 8:30-10:30 p.m. at Little Mountain Comedy Department (195 East 26 Ave.).

Purnima Barman received the prestigious conservation prize the Whitley in 2017 for her efforts to save the Greater Adjutant Stork.

Return of the Hipster Birdwatcher—Non-birders are invited to take part in this nature walk around Stanley Park’s Lost Lagoon. While offering identification tips and interesting facts on local species, the event is mostly a casual, social and fun get together. All attendees will get the EyeLoveBirds Vancouver bird app for free on their iPhone, as well as a printed checklist of the common birds of Stanley Park. Aug. 22 from 7-9 p.m. starting at Stanley Park Nature House (712 Lost Lagoon Path).

Birds and Yoga—Ornithologist and certified yoga instructor Kate Fremlin and certified yoga instructor Tracy Groshak lead an outdoor yoga practice at Jack Poole Plaza (1055 Canada Place). The one-hour bird-inspired yoga class explores the bird, wildlife, and nature imagery and inspiration present in yoga. Suitable for all levels, including those new to yoga. Participants are advised to bring their own yoga mat and water. Aug. 25 at 9 a.m. Register at canadahelps.org.

Jennifer Ackerman—The American science writer received acclaim for her 2016 book  The Genius of Birds, a look  at how the brains of birds are different, and more powerful, than the human brain. (Aug. 25 7-9 p.m.) Other “Stars of the Bird World” guests include conservationist Purnima Barman and Dr. Rob Butler, chair of the Vancouver International Bird Festival. Presentations take place at the Bird Theatre in the Bird Expo at the Vancouver Convention Centre. For more info or to purchase tickets go to reg.conexsys.com.

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