ad State Park in Ewing, VA will host a special birding program on Saturday, June 6 at 5 PM., entitled Our Feathered Friends.
Activities include a PowerPoint presentation, viewing of actual birds, and a bird-watching walk along the Wilderness Road Trail, a Virginia certified Birding Trail. The trail runs 8 miles along an old railroad bed. The program is free of charge, although regular parking fees do apply. Participation will be limited to the first 50 visitors to register. Interested visitors can register by calling the park office at 276-445-3065.
The PowerPoint presentation will showcase the most common local birds, fun facts about our feathered friends, the do’s and don’ts of bird feeding, and the benefits 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; Robins help to maintain a healthy lawn by eliminating grubs and other pests; and woodpeckers save thousands of trees each year by eating bugs and insects that would otherwise kill the tree.”
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 we 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.”
Administrative Specialist Karen Southerland, who came to work at Wilderness Road State Park in 2005 after moving from England with her mother and son, will present a comparative retrospect between birds in the United States and those she grew accustomed to in England while employed at the Lost Gardens of Heligan.
“I have always been an animal lover,” said Southerland. “Working as a wildlife conservationist at The Lost Gardens of Heligan just added fuel to my passion. Many of the birds that I have come to know and love since living here, remind me of those back home. I just wanted to be able to share some of my knowledge and past experiences.”
The comparison and contrast feature will include birds in England that resemble birds in the United States.
“Karen has shown me several pictures of their birds, and I was surprised to see that several of their birds closely resembled our birds here in America,” explained Brindle. “For instance, their Robin looks very similar to our Bluebird, while our Robin looks very similar to their Blackbird. Also, their buzzards are like our hawks, they are birds of prey, whereas our buzzards eat roadkill and other dead animals.”
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 or e-mail us at: [email protected].