Calendar of Events, January - February 2017
 
December
Fri.      Dec. 23  Birdsong will be closed from
                     December 23 through January 3
January
Wed       Jan.  4  Center re-opens
Thur.     Jan.  5  Butterfly Garden Work Day
Sat.      Jan.  7  Winter Sunset Trail Ride
Sat.      Jan. 14  Land Management Overview
                     for Volunteers
Sat.      Jan. 21  Bringing Nature Home
Sat.      Jan. 28  Music to our Ears: a Chorus of Frogs

February  (Call in early February about field trips to 
             Wolf Creek Trout Lily Preserve)
Thur.     Feb.  2  Butterfly Garden Work Day
Sat.      Feb. 11  Take A Child Outside in the 
                     Wintertime!
Sat.      Feb. 11  Ephemeral Wetlands Walk
Fri.      Feb. 17  Great Backyard Bird Count
Sat.      Feb. 18  Great Backyard Bird Count 
Sun.      Feb. 19  Great Backyard Bird Count
Sat.      Feb. 25  Birding Hike at Lake Jackson
                     Archeological Mounds State Park

Upcoming Events
Sat.      Mar.  4  Wild Azalea Workshop
Sat.      Mar. 11  Bringing Nature Home
Sat.      Mar. 18  Old-Timey Plant Sale
~ Program Descriptions ~

BUTTERFLY GARDEN WORK DAYS
Thursdays, January 5 and February 2
9:30AM to Noon

Please join our Butterfly Garden volunteers on the first Thursday of the month to tend our beautiful Butterfly Garden! Bring gardening gloves, knee pads, clippers, and lunch if you wish to stay afterwards.

Our gardeners would very much appreciate the donation of bags of clean leaf mulch for the Garden. Please be sure that the mulch does not contain any stray invasive plants that might take hold. Hand raked or purchased leaf mulch is best! Thank you!

For more information call Donna Legare at (850)386-1148 or Birdsong at (229)377-4408.
 

WINTER SUNSET TRAIL RIDE
Saturday, January 7
4:00 – 6:00PM

Bundle up, bring your friends, and let’s go for a trail ride at Birdsong and watch the sun set over the Gin House Field. We’ll get started in the late afternoon and visit the Spring Pond, Gopher Tortoise Neighborhood, longleaf pine planting site, Big Bay Swamp, and end up at the Gin House to watch the sun go down. We are hoping that our huge flocks of Robins will still be coming in at dusk to roost next door, and we’ll be listening for winter frogs and early evening owl activity.

Bring your binoculars and dress for the weather. Geared for adults and mature children; we may be stopping to hold still and listen for extended periods of time. If it is dark enough when we wrap up, we’ll look for the emerging stars of the winter constellations.

$6 Friends, $10 nonmembers, children half-price. RESERVATIONS, PLEASE. Call us or email by 4PM Friday, January 6th to reserve a space on the trailer.
 

2016 LAND MANAGEMENT OVERVIEW FOR VOLUNTEERS
Saturday, January 14
10AM – 1PM

Join us for a trail ride and conversation about Birdsong’s land management plans for 2017. All volunteers are welcome. Whether you are a seasoned veteran or a newcomer who has been thinking about volunteering, this overview is designed to give you an understanding of our long-range land management vision, and show you specific projects and ongoing efforts we’ll actively engage in this year. This session is important for anyone who wants to help us burn this year, as well as anyone interested in invasive species removal, trail maintenance, and native plant and wildlife habitat enhancement. We’ll spend the morning in the field and return to the house for lunch together. You will get to meet some wonderful people and come away with an understanding of how valuable your role is in Birdsong’s management.

No charge. RESERVATIONS, PLEASE. Call by Friday, January 13th to reserve your place on the trailer, or for more information. Bring a sandwich; drinks and dessert provided. Dress for the weather.
 

BRINGING NATURE HOME
Saturday, January 21, 2017
10AM - 12PM

You may have never thought of your yard being a wildlife preserve. Dr. Doug Tallamy declares that is exactly the role your suburban landscape can fulfill if you want to help save biodiversity! Learn from Dr. Doug Tallamy how to Bring Nature Home.

Beth Grant has been granted permission from Dr.Tallamy. Professor and Chair, Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware, to present his slide show on his book Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens.

Everyone who loves the wonders of the natural world can contribute to the survival of our native birds, butterflies, and other treasures! The pressures on wildlife populations are greater than ever. For example, some bird and butterfly populations are declining at an alarming rate. We all can help to reverse this trend. There is an unbreakable link between native plant species and native wildlife. Non-native plants do not provide the needed resources. Exotic invasives out-compete the natives, reducing needed resources even in areas that have not been developed. By planting natives and eliminating invasives, everyone can provide a welcoming environment for the web of wildlife while also promoting human well-being. By acting on Dr. Tallamy's practical recommendations, everyone can make a difference. Plus there is no better way to involve children in nature than by bringing it to your garden!

No cost. Handouts will be provided. Copies of Bringing Nature Home and our own neighbor Dr. Gil Nelson's book Best Native Plants for Southern Gardens will be available for purchase with all proceeds going to Birdsong.
 

MUSIC TO OUR EARS: A CHORUS OF FROGS
A Winter Evening Frog Ride with Nancy Thomas
Saturday, January 28
6 – 8:30 PM

Have you ever wondered what frogs were making those wonderful calls at night? Join frog and nature enthusiast Nancy Thomas by the picnic tables for a short introduction to the frogs of our area and a brief description of the frogs we may hear that are actively calling this time of year. We will then head out on a trailer ride to the Frog Pond, Big Bay Pond, Big Bay Swamp and the Farm Pond, where we can learn to identify some of those alluring calls. You will come away equipped to identify those evocative sounds wherever you go! Dress for the weather, and wear shoes for walking around the edges of the ponds and swamp. Bring binoculars. Nancy has an excellent handout for you and a frog guide for purchase.

Meanwhile, be listening in your own neighborhood for our winter breeders, especially Spring Peepers and Chorus Frogs!

RESERVATIONS, PLEASE. This program is geared for adults and mature children. Please call the office or email by 4pm Friday, January 27th to reserve a space. We have a class limit of 12. $6 Friends, $10 non-members.
 

TAKE A CHILD OUTSIDE IN THE WINTERTIME!
Saturday, February 11
9:30AM - Noon

Bring your favorite child to Birdsong and let them lead you on a natural adventure in the winter woods with Sandra Sallee. Give an ongoing gift to your child: an appreciation of nature, a better understanding of where they live, and use of all their senses. We will walk the trails to search for evidence of animal homes, sign, and winter behavior. Enjoy the fresh air, some exercise, and time with your child in the great outdoors. We will collect natural materials along the way and create a craft upon returning to the Barn.

$4 Friends, $6 nonmembers, children half- price. RESERVATIONS PLEASE by Friday February 10th, so we know how many to prepare for. Includes a handout and resource list for year-round outdoor activities with children.
 

EPHEMERAL WETLAND WALK
Saturday, February 11
2 - 5PM or so (might run long)

Join ecologists Rebecca and Ryan Means of the Coastal Plains Institute for a Birdsong Ephemeral Wetland Walk! Rebecca and Ryan have over 20 years experience studying ephemeral wetlands in our area and will begin the program with a slideshow to share some of their pictures and knowledge. We will then head out to the wetlands and experience them first hand! We will learn amphibian larvae identification and sampling techniques as well as general natural history of wetland plants, reptiles, invertebrates and much more!

This program is geared towards citizens of all ages, including young ones, but there will be walking and possibly wading involved. Because we get excited about what we are discovering, the program might run long. All equipment will be provided. Plan to get wet!

RESERVATIONS, PLEASE. There is a class limit of 20 people. Please contact us by noon on Friday, February 10th to reserve your space. Dress warmly and be prepared for walking; wear shoes you can get wet; bring water and a snack. You may want to bring dry clothes and shoes for the ride home. $6 members adults, $10 non-members, children half-price.
 

20th ANNUAL GREAT BACKYARD BIRD COUNT
Friday through Sunday at Birdsong
February 17 – 19
Self-guided or join a scheduled guided group led by Nancy Thomas.

The 2017 Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), one of Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology’s Citizen Science projects, will be held February 17-19, 2016. Please have a look at the GBBC event description on their web page at www.birdsource.org for detailed instructions to create a free GBBC account for entering your observations. You are invited to count birds at bird feeders, in your yard, local parks or other outdoor locations, and then report your findings online at www.birdcount.org or at eBird.

Guided GBBC counts will be led by Nancy Thomas on Friday, February 17th, and Sunday, February 19th from 8:30AM to noon. If interested, please contact Birdsong to sign up and plan to meet Nancy in the Birdsong parking lot at 8:15AM.

If you prefer doing your own survey, come out and observe birds anywhere at Birdsong, including the Bird Window, for a minimum of 15 minutes and up to as long as you want, on any or all days of the bird count, and as many times as you want. (Birdsong is open 9 to 5, Friday and Saturday and 1 to 5 on Sunday, closed on Monday.) You can turn in your own results online at www.birdcount.org or pick up a tally sheet at the registration desk, go bird watching, fill the sheet out and leave it here at Birdsong and we will submit your results.

This is a chance for you to participate in what is now a worldwide citizen science bird count and you can help us by listing observations from Birdsong!
 

BIRDING HIKE AT LAKE JACKSON ARCHEOLOGICAL MOUNDS STATE PARK
Saturday, February 25, 9 – Noon

Lake Jackson’s Mounds State Park is not only a fasci-nating place to visit for its archeological significance - it also has a wonderful variety of excellent bird habitat to explore. Join experienced birder Mike Miller for a winter birding hike through this interesting park. We will be looking forest birds in the wooded areas, including the old orchard where Mike has found Ovenbirds, Louisiana Wa-ter Thrush, and Golden-crowned Kinglets; and aquatic birds in the marsh along the shore of Lake Jackson.

Dress for the weather. Bring binoculars and spotting scopes. Bring raingear in case of rain, and rubber boots or waterproof footwear for walking through the marsh and wet undergrowth. This field trip will be a great opportunity for birding newcomers to learn new skills, and for experi-enced birders to fine-tune their birding abilities, so bring a notepad and pen for taking notes. Mike will offer a review of some of his favorite birding books.

RESERVATIONS, PLEASE. Contact us by Friday, February 24th to let us know you are coming. The park is located off US 27, North Monroe Street. Turn east on Crowder Road two miles north of I-10 and go to Lake Jackson Road. Bring cash for the park fee. We will meet in the parking lot.
 

The events calendar and program descriptions can also be found in the Birdsong Newsletter, and on our Events section on Facebook.


Please call 229-377-4408 or email birdsong@birdsongnaturecenter.org for more information.