Unique birding experiences await during Hatchie BirdFest

Unique birding experiences await during Hatchie BirdFest

Unique birding experiences await during Hatchie BirdFest

BROWNSVILLE TN (May 15, 2017):

Bird watchers and nature enthusiasts are invited to learn about the many species of birds that occur in West Tennessee during the fifth annual Hatchie BirdFest Friday, June 2 – Sunday, June 4, in Brownsville. The free three-day event will offer a variety of activities for all ages including canoeing, hikes, educational seminars and bird related exhibits.

Official BirdFest activities begin Friday morning, 9 a.m., with a canoeing event at Oneal Lake on the Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge. Ranger Tara Dowdy will lead youth and adults in a canoe trip around the lake to identify birds and learn more about West Tennessee’s refuge system. You may choose from two times for this activity, 9 a.m. or 11 a.m.

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. National Partners in Flight Coordinator and wildlife biologist, Bob Ford, will present “An Abundant Natural Heritage: Keeping Common Birds Common” 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 noted photographer and Cornell University trained bird recorder Joe Guinn, Tennessee State Park Naturalist Randy Hedgepath and other regional experts. Seminar subjects cover plant selections for bird habitat, birding techniques, how to care for the environment and more. Participants can also learn about butterflies and wildflowers during a Saturday afternoon hike.

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 Coordinator Bob Ford. Afternoon seminars will also be available.

New this year is a Sunday afternoon float trip on the Hatchie lead by Chickasaw State Park Ranger Shawn Settle and State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath. There is a $20 fee per canoe and participants must sign up by calling the Park at 731-989-5141. Shuttle service will be available from the Delta Heritage Center Sunday afternoon for this activity.

Exhibitors representing the Tennessee Ornithological Society and others will be on hand to answer questions and share information throughout the event.
Pre-registrations are requested and can be done online at www.HatchieBirdFest.com or by calling 731-779-9000. A complete schedule is also available online.

PHOTO: Guided hikes and seminars are presented during the Hatchie BirdFest and include programs appropriate for all ages such as an interactive program featuring birds of prey. The annual three-day event will take place June 2-4, 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 www.hatchiebirdfest.com or call 731-779-9000.

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