Eighth Annual Hatchie BirdFest is going virtual
BROWNSVILLE TN (April 9, 2020): The eighth annual Hatchie BirdFest is going virtual. The event, hosted by the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville, Tenn., will take place largely on Facebook through live streaming and pre-recorded video sessions presented April 24-26.
“While we’re not able to present a physical festival this year,” explains center director Sonia Outlaw-Clark, “we can offer a virtual experience for bird enthusiasts through online resources.”
Using Facebook as the platform for the virtual festival, organizers hope to encourage birders and novices to learn more about birds and nature and encouraging backyard birding practices during this time of social distancing.
Traditionally, the kick off of the festival has included a key note speaker. This year is no different. Beginning at 6 p.m., Friday, April 24, viewers are invited to log onto the Hatchie BirdFest Facebook page (facebook.com/hatchiebirdfest) to learn how to access a conversation with Bird Watcher’s Digest editor Dawn Hewitt. Her subject for the evening will be titled “The Perils and Pitfalls of Editing a Birding Magazine.”
Hewitt, who has been with North America’s oldest popular magazine about birds since 2013, started her love of birding when she took a college ornithology course in the late 1970s. Since that time she has visited all 50 states and birded in most of them, as well as Central and South America, England, Scotland and Thailand. Her life list is around 1,100 and she looks forward to adding to the list when it is safe to travel again.
Early risers can go hiking Saturday and Sunday mornings (virtually via Facebook Live) at 7 a.m., with bird expert Bob Ford. Ford is a wildlife biologist and National Coordinator of Partners in Flight, an initiative to stop bird population declines globally, before these species become endangered, and to “keep common birds common.”
Pre-recorded videos, featuring guest speakers on a variety of subjects, will be uploaded throughout the day Saturday and Sunday to offer educational opportunities. Saturday evening includes a virtual walk around Oneal Lake to learn about “Creatures of the Night” with Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge Manager Brian Roberts.
Participants are invited and encouraged to leave their questions in the comment areas online and answers will be provided by experts as quickly as they are able. Remember it will be hard for some who are live in the field to respond immediately.
This is a free event and easily accessible for everyone. You are invited to log on to Facebook and join the informative and fun virtual experience. For more information visit facebook.com/hatchiebirdfest or call the Delta Heritage Center at 731-779-9000.