We know the birds are out there, but what kind are they? That is one of the questions people are looking to address this weekend as local efforts of the Great Backyard Bird Count get underway.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the international event that launched thanks to the collaboration of the National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Lydia Thompson, of the Coastal Georgia Audubon Society, said their event Saturday will take place in Woodbine beginning at 9 a.m. at the Riverwalk gazebo for the bird walk.
“At 10 o’clock, I’m inviting children of all ages — you can be anywhere from birth to death — to come out, and we’ll have binoculars for you and we’ll do a little birding, but we’ll also do ‘Draw a Bird,’” Thompson said. “Kids can craw birds — we’ll have paper and crayons — and that should run from 10 to noon.”
Sunday, the action moves over to the Morgan Center in the historic district, beginning at 8:30 a.m.
“And again, I’ll have several leaders out, we’ll divide up the island, and depending on the number of people we have, we will spend some time birdwatching in various habitats,” Thompson said. “So, we’ll do beach and marsh and river, freshwater and maritime forest, looking for birds. And then we come back at noon to the Morgan Center, where the Tidelands Nature Center will be doing their annual ‘Art for Nature’ show.”
She noted the CGAS will have a booth at the Morgan Center where members will help people record birds seen during the event.
Tim Keyes, head of most things bird-related for the state Department of Natural Resources’ Coastal Resources Division, said CRD does not have anything planned, but that he may take his own children to events in the area this weekend.
“It’s certainly a great program, and one of the programs I run for kids birding — called the Youth Birding Competition — for quite a few of those kids, it’s sort of their first intro into birds and birding,” Keyes said.
Last year, according to the GBBC folks at Cornell, people in more than 100 countries counted more than 6,200 species.