Contact: Joanna Wilson, Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC’s DuPont Nature Center to host
award-winning author of shorebird story on May 18
SLAUGHTER BEACH (May 10, 2012) – The Friends of the DuPont Nature Center at Mispillion Harbor Reserve will host an evening social featuring Newbery Honor and National Book Award-winning author Phillip Hoose beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 18 at the center. Admission is free.
Hoose will be promoting his new book, “Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95,” the extraordinary story of one shorebird’s strength, adaptability and determination in the face of challenges that push his species toward extinction. Readers will meet rufa red knot B95, a member of a subspecies of the red knot, and named B95 for the letter and numbers on the orange tag placed on his leg by a research team.
Each March, the red-bellied, robin-sized shorebird embarks on a 9,000-mile journey from the top of the world to the bottom, from Tierra del Fuego, Argentina to breeding grounds in the Canadian Arctic, making the return trip in August. At more than 20 years old and weighing a mere four ounces, he has flown more than 325,000 miles – the distance to the moon and nearly halfway back, earning him the nickname “moonbird.”
Every year, the moonbird’s companions are fewer and fewer, with the rufa red knot population plummeting due to changes at important stopover sites along their migratory circuit – changes caused by human activity. The rufa red knot can still be saved, however, and young people such as 15-year-old Mike Hudson, profiled in the book as founder of Friends of the Red Knot, can make a difference. The book also includes tips for getting involved in conservation. Preorders will be accepted for the book, which will be available in early July.
The evening also will include music by Em McKeever, a silent auction, light refreshments and spectacular views of Mispillion Harbor from the center’s large deck. Guests may spot red knots among the migratory shorebirds arriving for their annual rest stop along the bayshore, where they fuel up on horseshoe crab eggs to help them complete their 9,000-mile journey.
Perched on the edge of Mispillion Harbor at the intersection of the mouths of the Mispillion River and Cedar Creek, the DuPont Nature Center at Mispillion Harbor Reserve, a DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife facility, regularly offers a variety of interactive exhibits, school tours and educational programs. The center is located at 2992 Lighthouse Road, east of Milford. From May 1 through Aug. 31, the center’s regular hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, closed Mondays. Admission is free and open to the public.
For more information about the DuPont Nature Center and its programs, please call 302-422-1329, or visit http://www.dupontnaturecenter.org/ .
Vol. 42, No. 176