Calendar of Events, September - October 2016
      Birdsong will be closed from 
 Tuesday, August 16 to Tuesday, September 6
    and reopen Wednesday, September 7

Thursday Sept. 1   Butterfly Garden Work Days
Saturday Sept. 10  Volunteer Orientation
Saturday Sept. 17  Take a Child Outside
Saturday Sept. 24  Project WILD for
                    Children’s Program Leaders

Saturday Oct.  1   Ephemeral Wetland Walk
Thursday Oct.  6   Butterfly Garden Work Days
Sunday   Oct.  9   Birdsong’s 30th Anniversary Party
Saturday Oct.  15  Coastal Birding Trip to John Phipps
                    Preserve at Alligator Point
Sunday   Oct.  16  Wildflower Walk

Saturday Nov.  5   Wild Neighbors of the Red Hills
~ Program Descriptions ~

Saturday, September 10
9:30AM to Noon

You can play a major role in Birdsong’s Next Thirty Years by volunteering your time, energy, and expertise. Birdsong has a very small paid staff that has its hands a little too full! Your involvement can make a big difference to Birdsong’s day-to-day operations and help us move ahead to exciting things!

There are many volunteer job opportunities available: Expertise-based opportunities include: fundraising, teaching educational programs, marketing, technology support, artwork, photography and community outreach, among others.

For ongoing operational support year-round we need your help with: The Bird Window - greeting visitors and helping them learn about birds and Birdsong
The Butterfly Garden and Bluebird Trail
Gardening around the house
Event support – event planning, parking, registration, set-up, tear-down, etc.
Hospitality – setting up/decorating for programs, holidays, greeting, baking, serving
Clerical support – stuffing envelopes, etc.
Building and equipment repairs, carpentry
Land management projects: invasive plant removal, trail maintenance, and prescribed burning.

Right now, support of all kinds is needed and very welcome. We particularly need land management volunteers, program specialists/leaders (for adult and children’s programs) and folks who can help us with our upcoming events on October 9th and the Winter Solstice on December 17th.

If you have fundraising experience, we’d like to talk to you: please call or email Executive Director Kathleen Brady at (800)953-2473 or

Please join us for a Volunteer Orientation session that will start with a discussion of Birdsong’s history, mission, and legacy; its organizational structure; and its educational and land management philosophies. We will then tour the property by trailer to acquaint participants with our reason for being: the land, its plant communities and the wildlife they support. We will conclude with a tour of the Bird Window, gardens, and historic buildings. We ask that participants make appointments that day for an interview with Director Kathleen Brady, so we may learn more about your interests in order to place you. We are happy to offer training for any volunteer position and our staff and many veteran volunteers are available for ongoing training and support. You need not start out as an expert.

We can guarantee that as a Birdsong volunteer, you will get to meet some wonderful people, you will be making a big difference, you will learn something new every time you come out, you will be appreciated and honored for your contribution, and most important: it will be fun!

No charge. RESERVATIONS, PLEASE. Please call or email the office to sign up by Friday, September 9th. Class limit: 15 people. Continental breakfast included. Dress for the weather.

Thursdays, September 1 and October 6
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. For more information call Donna Legare at (850)386-1148 or Birdsong at (229)377-4408.

Saturday, September 17

If you are a parent, grandparent, or friend of a child please join leader Sandra Sallee in anticipation of Take A Child Outside Week and take a child on a natural adventure at Birdsong. We will walk the trails where we may find evidence of deer, coyote, or other wildlife; see butterflies face-to-face; search for doodlebugs; and watch birds go about their daily activities at the Bird Window. We will practice using all our senses a we explore what nature has to offer. Sandra will then assist the children in making a nature-related craft to take home, possibly using any natural materials they have collected. This program is geared for children and accompanying adults who want to learn how to better share the wonders of nature with their favorite children. Resource material on outdoor activities will be provided.

$4 Friends, $8 nonmembers, children half-price. RESERVATIONS PLEASE: we ask that you register by phone or email by Friday noon on September 16 so we know how many people to prepare for. All memberships and renewals are $5 off today - you may want to join or re-up so you can come back and enjoy more of Birdsong with your favorite child during Take a Child Outside Week or the rest of the year!

A Training Program for Volunteer Children’s Program Leaders

This is a 3-part training to be held in September, October, and November of 2016.
Part 1: A Project WILD Workshop, provided by Georgia Department of Natural Resources staff, see below.
Part 2: A 3-hour session at Birdsong Nature Center, including How to Lead a Guided Nature Walk for Children, and in-struction on using Birdsong’s trails, Bird Window, Butterfly Garden and Bluebird Trail. Educational materials provided. Date to be announced.
Part 3: A 3-hour plant and wildlife ID session onsite at Birdsong so volunteers may learn to identify our most common plants, birds, etc. Date to be announced.

Part 1: Project WILD
Saturday, September 24, 9am to 4pm

Led by Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources Education Staff This award winning and nationally recognized environmental education workshop is a day-long outdoor immersion in teaching natural principles through the use of environmental games and activities. An excellent instruction manual is in-cluded. This is an extraordinary program and it is a lot of fun for participants. Volunteers will come away inspired and energized, with some new friends and with all the tools they need to give children an appreciation and awareness of na-ture.

You may be a retired school teacher, or you may never have taken a child outdoors to learn, but this class and the sub-sequent sessions will give you the confidence and knowledge to lead a great kids’ program. If you have been looking for a way to change the world for the better, you can start right here! RESERVATIONS REQUIRED by Thursday, September 15th. Call (800)953-2473 or email Executive Director Kathleen Brady at to sign up and schedule your screening interview or to request more information.

Saturday, October 1st
9:30AM to noon or so

Join ecologists Rebecca and Ryan Means of 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 hike to a few 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 involved. 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, September 30 to reserve your space. Be prepared for walking several miles; wear shoes you can get wet; bring sun protection, water, and your lunch or a snack.

$6 members adults, $10 non-members, children half-price.

Birdsong’s 30th Anniversary Party
Sunday, October 9th, 4 – 7pm or so

We still have details to work out, but we want to invite you to our 30th Anniversary Celebration on October 9th at 4pm, behind the Barn. There will be music by The Adventures of Annabelle Lyn, nature walks, trailer rides, and old-fashioned games for the children. We are looking for a food truck to provide a meal, or you may bring a picnic and your favorite drinks. We will hear comments or stories from some of our prominent members over the years, and let you know about some of our plans for the Next Thirty Years. Members will receive an invitation with all the details in late September – we just wanted you to save the date!

At Alligator Point
Saturday, October 15
9am or 10am (see directions) until noon

Fall is a good time for coastal birding: the migration is in full swing and many species that were not here in the summer are either passing through or here to stay for the winter. We’re likely to see Shorebirds (sandpipers, plovers, godwits, etc.), Seabirds (pelicans, terns, gulls), Raptors (ospreys, eagles, falcons), and some upland species. We will be birding along the shore of John Phipps Preserve, seasonal home to a number of imperiled bird species. Our leader is Mike Miller, who works with nesting and migratory shorebirds in Franklin County. Wear comfortable shoes that can get wet, comfortable clothes and a functional hat. Binoculars, water bottle are a must; snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, spotting scope, camera and field guide at your discretion. This is a walking tour on uneven sand; total distance about 1 ½-2 miles. Geared for adults. Meet at 9:00AM at the Well’s Fargo Bank parking lot at the intersection of South Monroe Street and Paul Russell Road, across the street from the Florida Fair Grounds entrance. You may carpool from there if there are other willing participants, or you can meet at the Phihpps Preserve gate 10:00AM. Directions below. This birding expedition will last till around noon. You can bring a lunch, or stop at Angelo’s by the bridge or other good seafood restaurants in Panacea on the way home.

RESERVATIONS, PLEASE. Call or email to reserve your spot by noon on Friday,October 14th. There is a class limit of 12 adults. Bring cash for lunch, and to help with carpooling.

$6.00 Friends, $10.00 nonmembers.

DIRECTIONS: US 98 to Ochlockonee Bay, cross Ochlockonee River, to first paved road on left (Route 370), turn left and follow the road (Alligator Drive) to the end, just past the marina.

Sunday, October 16
2 – 4PM

Join native plant enthusiast Beth Grant on a leisurely walk to enjoy Birdsong’s fall wildflower display. Beth was inspired many years ago by our friend Don Hill, who first fell in love with Birdsong when he came out every few days in the fall to observe the progression of blooming. If you attend the October 9th Anniversary Celebration, you can go on a nature walk with Beth and see the flowers, then come back the following week to see how the flowering has progressed. Beth is a knowledgeable leader and will take you to the most colorful spots on Birdsong. This time of year our fields erupt in gold and purple, and Beth can help you identify these beautiful native wildflowers. $4 members, $8 non-members, children half-price. Dress for the weather and bring your camera!

Saturday, November 5,
10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Live, native hawks and owls, a turtle and a snake — St. Francis Wildlife Association’s wildlife ambassadors — will help education director Sandy Beck explain the unique adaptations that enable each to hunt and survive, the important roles they play in our Red Hills ecosystem, and what we can all do to help them. Your heart will be touched by their personal stories and inspired by their unique power and beauty. This 1 1/2 hour program includes hands-on teaching tools such as feathers, talons, skins and shells and interactive questioning and is suitable for families with school-aged children.

RESERVATIONS PLEASE: we ask that you register by phone or email by Friday noon on November 4 . Dress for the weather. Bring a picnic if you would like to stay for lunch and explore Birdsong $4 member adults, $8 non-members, children half-price.

The events calendar and program descriptions can also be found in the Birdsong Newsletter and on our Events section on Facebook, which is open for all to view (login to Facebook is not required).

Please call 229-377-4408 or email for more information.