Birding Festival highlights North Alabama offerings
Staff Reports, Hartselle Enquirer
Bird lovers from throughout the state will be flocking to Decatur next month for the North Alabama Birding Festival. The festival, set for May 5-7, will celebrate the diversity of birds along the North Alabama Birding Trail and Wheeler Wildlife Refuge.
Events will include three days worth of tours of fowl-populated areas of the refuge, Guntersville, Scottsboro, Huntsville and the Shoals. All tours will originate from the Holiday Inn in Decatur.
Speakers for the event will include Charles Seifried, Bobby Harrison and Robert Reed.
Seifried is an internationally recognized photographer who lives in Decatur and specializes in panoramic images. His photographs have included the hidden treasurers of Bank Head Forest, as well as natural sites around the world.
Harrison is an associate professor of art and photography at Oakwood College in Huntsville. He will speak on the rediscovery of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. He was one of the first three people to be involved in the search to see and identify the bird in Arkansas. He is also an award-winning wildlife photographer.
Reed is immediate past president of the Alabama Ornithological Society and editor of AOS's newsletter "The Yellowhammer." He co-authored the book, "Alabama Bird Watching, A Year-Round Guide."
Special events will include a Catfish and Barbecue Social with Silent Auction May 5 at the Holiday Inn and Suites. Harrison will speak on the Ivory-billed Woodpecker and participants will be able to bid on items donated by area artists and businesses. Pre-registration is required for the reception and the cost is $25.
On May 6, there will be a reception at the Carnegia Visual Arts Center featuring Seifried's work. There will be a book signing that night.
Pre-registration is required for the reception and the cost is $20.
Also on Saturday, there will be a Birding Festival Expo at the Holiday Inn. Children's activities, including a field trip walk to the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, will take place from 7 a.m.-9 a.m. Other activities will begin at 9 a.m. and last until 4 p.m. and include bird house construction, feeder and seed distribution, landscaping to attract wildlife, live wildlife demonstrations and bird deco carving.
Admission to the expo is free.
The Huntsville Botanical Gardens will be on hand to present a seminar on turning your backyard into a certified wildlife habitat. That class will take place from 10 a.m.-noon and costs $20.
The North Alabama Birding Trail was established in 2005. It contains 50 designated stations that allow visitors to observe a plethora of birds.
For registration or more information on the festival, call 350-2028.