Bridgeland’s April 27 Nature Fest will be a hoot as event-goers attempt to break the world record for the most people giving a simultaneous bird call, finely feathered aerialists perform seemingly impossible stunts and a world-renowned zoologist entertains with his even more famous contingent of animals.
The event, which attracted a crowd of more than 7,000 last year, will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Bridgeland’s Oak Meadow Park.
Houston Chronicle nature columnist and noted bird watcher Gary Clark will teach the crowd how to call the northern cardinal, common to the Houston area and known for the male’s bright red plumage. To break the world record, more than 801 people will need to make the bird call for 10 seconds or more. Nature photographer Kathy Adams Clark will be on stage to help.
“We will teach both the whistle and the mnemonic call, a common trick in the bird-watching world to help us remember a bird’s song,” Gary said. “The northern cardinal has a beautiful song, starting with ‘cheery, cheery, cheery,’ and should be easy for the crowd to learn.”
And even if the hundreds of amateur bird-callers nail the attempt, Gary cautions participants not to expect cardinals to flock to the area.
“A bird rarely comes when a human makes a bird call,” he said.
The “call of the wild” attempt will be conducted amid acts featuring reptiles, famous monkeys and other animals as the Crocodile Encounter and Staples Animal Safari make repeat appearances during the free event. The gravity-defying “Feathers in Flight” aerialist show is new this year, as are a roaming menagerie of entertainers, including a human topiary.
“This is going to be another fantastic community event, with a full day of entertainment that will delight event-goers,” said Peter Houghton, Bridgeland’s Vice President of Master Planned Communities. “We are thrilled to bring Nature Fest back for a sixth year. It has become a much-anticipated event in northwest Houston.”
Headliner Brian Staples with Staples Animal Safari is back for a second year with more than 100 animal traveling companions, from big cats to movie star monkeys, including a baboon featured in “Evan Almighty” and a formerly paraplegic macaque that was nursed back to health by Staples and has starred with Eddie Murphy. Nature Fest event-goers also can visit the animals backstage between performances of "Primarily Primates" and "Animal Magic."
Also expected to be a crowd favorite is the Feathers in Flight duo, who will perform dizzying stunts on a “tippy hoop,” an aerial hoop that rotates on its axis, allowing greater movement and more daring maneuvers.
Crowds will go wild for other activities during the day, including camel and pony rides, a petting zoo, bubble runners, bumper boats, bounce houses, miniature train rides and other family-friendly activities. To tame hungry event-goers, a flock of Houston gourmet food trucks will again be on hand, including Bernie’s Burger Bus, The Lunch Bag, Kona Ice, The Golden Grill, Custom Confections, Frosted Betty, Pho-jita Fusion and L’es-Car-Go “French Gourmet Kitchen on Wheels.” Plus, mascot Bridgeland Bill will celebrate his first birthday during Nature Fest.
Admission to Nature Fest is free; however, some activities may require a small donation benefiting Habitat for Humanity Northwest County (NWHC), which will use the proceeds to build affordable housing and promote home ownership. Since 1989, Habitat NWHC has built more than 200 homes for needy families in suburban northwest Harris County. For more information about Habitat NWHC, contact Karly Grilliot, 281.477.0460 or email@example.com.