Kids can “Explore the Outdoors” during 4th annual Hatchie BirdFest

Kids can “Explore the Outdoors” during 4th annual Hatchie BirdFest

Kids can “Explore the Outdoors” during 4th annual Hatchie BirdFest

BROWNSVILLE TN (May 21, 2016):

Bird watchers and nature enthusiasts are invited to learn about the many species of birds that occur in West Tennessee during the fourth annual Hatchie BirdFest Friday, June 3 – Sunday, June 5, in Brownsville. The free three-day event will offer a variety of activities for all ages including hikes, educational seminars and bird related exhibits including a special Friday activity for children ages 9-12.

Official BirdFest activities begin Friday morning, 10 a.m., with an “Explore the Outdoors” youth event at Oneal Lake on the Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge. Refuge Ranger Tara Dowdy will lead 9-12 year olds in a variety of activities including how to use binoculars and identify common birds. Please pre-register youth for this activity online at

Friday evening will feature an opening reception for attendees. Guests are asked to gather at Temple Adas Israel, 135 N. Washington, beginning at 6 p.m., where you will enjoy refreshments and music by the Dirt Pilgrims, a quirky, acoustic folk band from Jackson, Tenn. Hatchie National Wildlife Manager, Brian Roberts, will present “Landscape Conservation at the Local Level” at 7 p.m., followed by a question and answer session.
Saturday and Sunday activities will originate at the Delta Heritage Center, 121 Sunny Hill Cove, and includes hikes, seminars and nature related exhibitors. Saturday morning hikes include treks designed for all ages with longer time afield for seasoned birders and shorter hikes for beginners and youth.

Guest speakers for the festival includes UT Extension Ornamental Horticulture Specialist Carol Reese, noted photographer and Cornell University trained bird recorder Joe Guinn, UT retired professor of Biological Sciences Dr. David Pitts and other regional experts. Seminar subjects cover plant selections for bird habitat, Eastern Bluebirds, migratory habits and more. Saturday afternoon participants will learn about butterflies and wildflowers on a hike lead by biologist and butterfly enthusiast Bart Jones.
A Birds of Prey program featuring live bird demonstrations will be held at noon on Saturday. The program utilizes injured birds through the rehab and environmental education program at Reelfoot Lake State Park. Rangers conduct the program that interacts with the audience and includes a Bald Eagle.

Sunday morning hikes are more informal and led by wildlife biologist and Partners in Flight Director Bob Ford. Afternoon seminars include resources for beginner birders and others.

Exhibitors representing the Tennessee Ornithological Society, Tennessee Wildlife Federation and more, will be on hand to answer questions and share information.
Pre-registrations are requested and can be done online at or by calling 731-779-9000. A complete schedule is also available online.
CAPTION: Guided hikes during the Hatchie BirdFest gives participants an opportunity to explore the Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge where they can see and hear a variety of native and migratory birds. The annual three-day event will take place June 3-5, in Brownsville, Tenn.

About the Hatchie BirdFest: The Hatchie BirdFest is held annually on the first weekend following Memorial Day and presented by the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville, Tenn. The three day event features unique outdoor activities for all ages and is perfect for seasoned or beginner birders. Participants explore the Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge and other prime bird watching locations that serve as home to more than 200 species of birds. The weekend includes expert speakers, demonstrations, hikes and exhibitors. To learn more about the festival, visit or call 731-779-9000.

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