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First-ever Vancouver International Bird Festival opens with colourful fanfare (PHOTOS)

Beautifully costumed birds walk on stilts amongst the crowd at Jack Poole Plaza on August 20

The costumes took months to design and prepare. The stilts took a bit of getting used to. And the mimicking of bird actions was not the easiest skill for a human to master.

But it all paid off when a flock of fanciful stilt-walking birds and puppets led the procession that officially launched the inaugural Vancouver International Bird Festival.

You can read about the opening ceremonies here.

In the meantime, here are some photos of the grand — in the truest sense of the word — launch of the bird festival, which coincides with the International Ornithological Congress, a once-in-four-years that Vancouver is currently hosting for the first and last time.

For fear of misidentifying some of the birds, the avian names of some of the participants have not been included.