Activities Galore at the Pinewoods Bird Festival

Organizers of the Pinewoods Bird Festival are looking forward to welcoming amateur and expert birding enthusiasts of all ages to the historic Pebble Hill Plantation in Thomasville Georgia on 13 to 15 April 2008, to enjoy a great program of bird watching events. Visitors can participate in field trips, tours, workshops and enjoy live animal shows and banding demonstrations. Children can enter the art contest and enjoy activities that have been designed to educate and entertain. The festival will include an art show, plant sale, market stalls, horse-drawn wagon rides and much, much more.

In an effort to give personal attention to participants, the field trip groups have been kept to a limited number and each day of the Pinewoods Bird Festival starts off with pre-registration for field trips on a first-come-first-served basis. Field trips on Friday 11 April include the Century Forest Tour, which takes the tour group through an untouched forest with 300 year old pine trees. Visitors can see thrushes and warblers in their habitat in an old-growth magnolia forest on the Woodyard Hammock Tour, and a trip to a cave in the early evening with the Bats and Night Creatures Tour will be rewarded with the sight of hundreds of bats emerging from the cave in their nightly search for food.

Activities arranged for the Saturday program of the Pinewoods Birding Festival include the Pebble Hill Plantation Butterfly and Botanical Tour, as well as the Birds of the Pinewoods Tour. Workshops and demonstrations throughout the day include Birding by Ear, Birdhouse Workshop, Digiscoping and Photography, Hummingbird Banding Demonstration and a Binocular Workshop. The Backyard Wildlife Plant Sale will give handy hints on plants that attract birds to urban backyards. Other activities for the day include tours of the Pebble Hill Plantation Main House, Horse-drawn Wagon Rides, and a reception featuring the Bird Art of Audubon and Sutton.

Saturday’s pre-registered Field Trips and workshops include a very early morning look at the rare Red-cockaded Woodpecker and banding of the Bachman’s Sparrow. The Birding 101 workshop encourages the entire family to learn the basics of bird-watching, which will provide the foundation for hours of fun outdoor family time. The Gamebird Tour shows participants how to trap and band Bobwhite Quail and other gamebird species. Deviating slightly from the birding theme, participants can join the Herp Tour team as they search for and identify snakes, salamanders and lizards.

The Pinewoods Birding Festival program for Sunday repeats some of the previous tours and workshops for the benefit of visitors who were unable to join in before. Additionally, with an early morning start, the Birding Bonanza sets participants the goal of spotting 140 different species in one day. Other activities include a tour through the Birdsong Nature Center and a Kayak Bird Watching Trip on the Wacissa River. Mountain bike enthusiasts can bring their own bikes and join in the dirt-road Red Hills Bird Watching Bike Tour.

The 2008 Pinewoods Birding Festival is the sixth anniversary of this increasingly popular bird watching event and organizers are confident that it will be a great success. So, whether you are an expert or still learning about the joys of birding, the Pinewoods Birding Festival is the place to be.