With this year's festival coinciding with the iconic International Ornithological Congress, I wanted to do a painting that would focus on birding. Birding had its beginnings in Britain and has been popular since the Victorian era of the 18th century. Birding had a different twist then from today, which included collecting feathers, eggs, and specimens. Today birding has a much different focus - keying in on the appreciation, scientific evaluation, identification and the importance of habitat conservation. My painting titled "'An Exceptional Sighting" depicts a female and two male Kirtland Warblers. The Kirtland Warbler is a small warbler found in the Jack Pine forests of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ontario. The survival of the Kirtland Warbler is in question due to a variety of reasons, and it is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.