The Potomac Valley Audubon Society (PVAS) has teamed up with other organizations to put together a special series of local events in May to mark the 21st anniversary of International Migratory Bird Day.
The IMBD is an international program that aims to promote greater understanding and appreciation of the importance of migratory birds in North, Central and South America.
It was initiated in 1993 by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.
All but one of the local events will be free, and anyone with an interest is invited to participate.
Fuller details are available on the PVAS website at www.potomacaudubon.org, and online registration is available there for events that require it.
For more information about specific events, contact Sandy Sagalkin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 240-291-6465 unless otherwise noted.
The schedule of these events includes:
Saturday, May 4: Antietam Battlefield/Snavely Ford bird walk. Meet at 7:30 a.m. at the Burnside Bridge parking area. Free and no pre-registration required. Co-sponsored by PVAS and the Washington County Bird Club. For more info contact Nancy Kirschbaum at 240-347-7751 or email@example.com.
Saturday, May 4: Introduction to Birding. A brief (3-hour), PVAS-sponsored overview of the subject for non-birders, people who would like to become birders, or for those who simply don't have the time to commit to PVAS's full "Birding 101" course. Will include classroom time at Shepherd University and field experience along the C&O Canal across from Shepherdstown. Begins at 8 a.m. in Room 108 of Shepherd's Byrd Science Center. Free but participation is limited to 20 people and pre-registration is essential.
Monday, May 6: Bird Walk on the C&O Canal, across from Shepherdstown. Meet at 7:30 a.m. at the large C&O Canal parking lot on River Road, just south of the railroad bridge. Free and no pre-registration required.
Tuesday, May 7: Birding at the Sleepy Creek Wildlife Management Area, in Berkeley and Morgan counties. Meet at 7:30 a.m. at the Eagle Mart Plaza parking lot, south of Hedgesville on Route 9. Free and no pre-registration required.
Wednesday, May 8: Bird walk at Stauffer's Marsh, in Berkeley County's Back Creek Valley. Meet at 7:30 a.m. at the marsh, which is located on one-half mile south of Shanghai, on the east side of Back Creek Valley Road (County Route 7). Free and no pre-registration required.
Wednesday, May 8: PVAS program at the National Conservation Training Center. 7 p.m. in Room 105, Instructional East Building. The speaker will be Katie Fallon, author of the non-fiction book Cerulean Blues: A Personal Search for a Vanishing Songbird. Free and open to the public.
Thursday, May 9: Bird walk at the Eidolon Nature Preserve in Morgan County. Walk will begin at 8:00 a.m. and be joined by author Katie Fallon. The focus will be on the Preserve's warblers, particularly its Cerulean warblers. Free and no pre-registration required.
Friday, May 10: Evening reception and talk in Shepherdstown with Dr. Eric Dinerstein, Vice President and Lead Scientist of the World Wildlife Fund's Conservation Science Program. Reception will be held at the Bistro 112 restaurant on German Street from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and will feature a cash bar and heavy hors d'oeuvres. Admission to the reception will be $15 for the general public and $5 for students. Reception tickets can be purchased at www.potomacaudubon.org/IMBD.html. Talk will follow at 7 p.m. at Reynolds Hall on King Street. Admission to the talk will be free. Co-sponsored by PVAS and Shepherd University.
Saturday and Sunday, May 11-12: Fourth Annual Ruth Ann Dean Memorial Birdathon. Teams and individuals will compete to identify the highest numbers of bird species they find in the area within any 24-consecutive-hour-period during the weekend. Free and open to anyone who is interested, but all must pre-register. This year, those who participate are encouraged to seek pledges from neighbors and friends to help raise funds for PVAS's new Grassland Birds Initiative.
Saturday, May 11: "Big Sit" at Shepherdstown's Rumsey Memorial Park. 8 a.m. to 12 noon. An adjunct to the Birdathon, this will be a friendly gathering to see how many bird species can be identified from a 50-foot diameter circle in the Park. A great family activity and an easy way to learn about birds in our area. Free and no pre-registration required. Binoculars will be available. The park is located at the end of Mill Street, overlooking the Potomac River.
Sunday, May 12: Mother's Day Bird walk at Shannondale Springs Wildlife Management Area. Meet at 1 p.m. at the parking area near the Area's boat launch site off Mission Road. Free and no pre-registration required.