Hatchie BirdFest takes flight this weekend
BROWNSVILLE TN (May 25, 2015): Nature enthusiasts are invited to learn about the more than 200 species of birds that occur in West Tennessee during the third annual Hatchie BirdFest Friday, May 29 – Sunday, May 31, in Brownsville. The free three-day event will offer a variety of activities for all ages including hikes, educational seminars and bird related booths.
The BirdFest opens Friday evening, 6 p.m., at College Hill Center with a reception featuring the music of Wildwood Express, an old-time string band. You can also bid on bird related items during a silent auction to benefit the local girls soccer team.
Following the reception, participants are invited next door to the Ann Marks Performing Arts Center to hear the American Bird Conservancy’s Emily Jo “EJ” Williams. As director of North American Birds and Habitat, Williams will speak about the lifecycle of birds, including birds that summer in Tennessee and spend the winter in the tropics. She will also talk about identifying, protecting and restoring habitat both north and south to bring back the birds.
Bird watching hikes on Saturday will be geared for both beginners and experts. Excursions will originate at the Delta Heritage Center and will visit the Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge as well as other areas in Haywood County. Hikes begin at 7 a.m. Those wishing to participate, can pre-register online at www.HatchieBirdFest.com.
Saturday’s activities also include a Bird of Prey program that gives attendees an opportunity to experience the birds at close range. Other speakers include Park Ranger Tara Dowdy, noted photographer and Cornell University-trained bird recorder Joe Guinn, and UT Martin retired ornithologist Dr. David Pitts. An afternoon butterfly hike will be led by Allan Trently, a biologist with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.
On Sunday a special early morning bird watching excursion will be led by Wildlife Biologist Bob Ford. If you are interested, please meet at the Delta Heritage Center by 7 a.m.
Sunday afternoon UT Extension Horticulture Specialist Carol Reese will give a program about designing landscapes that are bird-friendly and attractive.
The weekend also includes a photography exhibit and exhibitors representing the Tennessee Ornithological Society, Tennessee Wildlife Federation and more.
For more information about the Hatchie BirdFest and a complete schedule, visit www.HatchieBirdFest.com or call 731-779-9000.