Last week, I had the opportunity to participate in the Alabama Coastal Bird Fest. If you live near the coast or simply love birds, this is well worth your time and travel. It started 10 years ago when Dr. John Borom convinced a number of organizations to band together to offer an opportunity for bird enthusiasts to enjoy the wealth of opportunities the coast offers together. In sharing their respective resources, there was a lot of opportunity to learn, share ideas, and locations for great coastal birding.
The Bird Fest is a three-day event with a wide variety of programs, trips, and opportunities to choose from. The culminating event is a bird expo, which is a great family-oriented day of programming in Fairhope. They had a raptor presentation by the Mobile School District Environmental Center with their osprey, barred owl and screech owl available to view up close. All of those birds were injured and are cared for by the environmental center staff and used for teaching. The Boy Scouts were giving away woodpecker houses. The event was free, open to the public and had photography, other conservation organizations, sharing their opportunities.
The birding during the Bird Fest was fantastic! I consider myself a neophyte in birding. One of the trips I took had some serious bird watchers, who were generous in sharing their expertise and knowledge to a novice. One of the days, we saw 47 species of birds. Both days we had birders from Canada, England and all over the United States, so this Bird Fest has grown larger than just a local program.
During the event, I had an opportunity to meet the directors of the Wehle Center part of Forever Wild lands in Bullock County, the Weeks Bay Foundation, the Alabama Coastal Foundation, Five Rivers, and the Audubon Society members. All these organizations have fabulous materials to make working with your girls easier and maximize the area's natural resources. I was pleased to hear we had many troops participating in the Alabama Coastal Clean Up a few weeks ago. We will be following up with those organizations for more specifics. We will also be discussing how we can partner with these organizations. In the meantime, here are their websites.
Wehle Center - Forever Wild - Bullock County - www.outdooralabama.com/public-lands/stateLands/WNC
Five Rivers Delta Resource Center - Spanish Fort - www.alabama5rivers.com
Mobile School District Environmental Studies Center - 6101 Girby Road, Mobile - open to the public, check hours
Weeks Bay Foundation - Fairhope - www.weeksbay.org
Alabama Coastal Foundation - Mobile - www.joinacf.org
Mobile Bay Audubon Society - www.mobilebayaudubon.org