Wilderness Road State Park will host a special birding program on Saturday, June 5 at 1 pm, entitled Backyard Birds. The purpose of the program is to encourage participants to discover the exciting and educational experience of feeding birds in their very own backyard. Through a special PowerPoint presentation and hands-on material, participants will also learn the benefits of having these feathered friends around their home. The program is free of charge, although regular parking fees do apply. Participation will be limited to the first 50 visitors to register.
The PowerPoint presentation will showcase the most common birds that frequent backyard feeders, the do’s and don’ts of bird feeding, and the benefits have having them in your back yard. “Most people enjoy seeing the vivid colors of birds and listening to their various songs, but having birds in your yard can be very beneficial,” explained Mike Brindle, concessions manager at Wilderness Road State Park and co-presenter of the program. “Hummingbirds help to pollinate flowers and fruit trees; Bluebirds and Wrens eat insects, bugs and spiders; and woodpeckers save thousands of trees each year by eating bugs and insects that would otherwise kill the tree they are in.”
New to this year’s program is the addition of a more in-depth look at our backyard birds, with ranger Olivia Norton sharing her knowledge of ornithology, the study of birds. Norton is currently working on a degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Management at Lincoln Memorial University and recently just completed two courses Management of Game Birds and Ornithology. Norton will be giving a more scientific view of birds and their unique characteristics. She will discuss the different types of feet and beaks of the birds and what they are specifically used for and will also give interesting fun facts about their bones, muscles, eyes and hearing.
Brindle adds that the program will be presented by bird enthusiasts, not scientists. “We are not Ornithologists, we are simply bird lovers that wish to share our knowledge of something Olivia and I feel very deeply about,” he says. “We want to cover everything from how to identify birds by sight and sound to how to attract particular birds to your yard and how we can help to conserve one of nature’s most treasured gifts.”
Information about back yard bird feeding will comprise of what types of food to offer and what they will attract as well as what feeders to use and how to keep them clean. “My dad got me interested in feeding birds many years ago,” Brindle explains. “I remember getting so excited when certain birds would find my feeders and immediately call to tell him. We are always asking each other, ‘have you had one of these type birds’ or ‘have you seen one of these?’…If you have never fed birds before, now is a great time to start and discover just how fun, exciting and educational it can be.”
For more information, or to register, please call the park office at 276-445-3065