Southlake Journal

February 3, 2014

Bob Jones Nature Center is calling all bird lovers

The nature center will hosts bird-centric events this February.

Bob Jone’s Nature Center is getting ready to count birds.

The Southlake center will host several workshops before The Great Backyard Bird Count, Feb. 14-17, and its event on Feb. 15.

The festivities take flight this weekend as the center hosts two introductory classes on Feb. 8. It also had a photography workshop on Feb. 1.

“The two weekends prior are just lead up events for people who want to be involved with the bird count but don’t know about birds to begin with, but it helps them get their feet wet,” said Holly Gee, the center’s education program coordinator.

The Super Bird Workshop will show those ages 14 and up the basics of bird watching including how to use field guides and apps, identifying similar looking birds and creating a bird journal.

Children ages 11-13 can also participate with an adult.

There is also the Junior Birder Workshop, which shows children 8-10 how to identify the most common birds, create a bird journal and even get to help feed the birds.

“We try to make it accessible, as much as possible, for children,” Gee said. “We want to make sure children get exposed to nature and have an appreciation for nature, that is a goal for us.”

These classes help give bird-watching beginners a chance to get a leg up for the Great Backyard Bird Count on Feb. 15.

Participants will join naturalist Ray Chancellor on a hike to discover wintering birds on migration. Chancellor will show how to identify birds that are just visiting the area during winter.

Guests are asked to bring binoculars and a note pad.

There will be three hiking times at 8 and 10 p.m., and one at noon. Center staff suggest older bird watchers may want to show up at the 8 a.m. adults-only session because younger naturalist may scare away the birds.

The Great Backyard Birdcount is a large initiative hosted by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Audubon and Bird Studies Canada to count birds across the country.

“It’s a great chance to learn about birds,” Gee said. “It’s for fun, but also for scientific data.”

While the Backyard Bird Count is free, the workshops costs $20 for members and $25 for non-members.

To register visit the Bob Jone’s Nature Center website.

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