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 22nd annual observance 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.
This year's IMBD theme is "Why Birds Matter."
All the local events will be free, and anyone with an interest is invited to participate. Pre-registration is required for the Birdathon event; it is encouraged but not required for all the other events.
To register and get more details go to the PVAS website at www.potomacaudubon.org,
For additional information about specific events contact the individual(s) mentioned in the event description(s) or contact Sandy Sagalkin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 240-291-6465.
In addition to PVAS, this year's local IMBD sponsors include: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Black Dog Coffee; the Washington County Bird Club; the Wild Bird Garden, in Frederick, Md.; and Progressive Printing, in Martinsburg.
The schedule of events includes:
Tuesday, April 29: Children's birding workshop and birdwalk at the Wind Dance Farm and Home School in Morgan County. 8:00-11:00 a.m. For more info see the School website at http//winddancefarm.org or contact Leslie Milbourne at 304-258-4672.
Saturday May 3: Fifth Annual Ruth Ann Dean Memorial Birdathon (rain date May 4). 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 a project to improve wild bird habitat at PVAS's Stauffer's Marsh preserve.
Saturday, May 3: "Big Sits" at three area locations. An adjunct to the Birdathon, these will be friendly gatherings, hosted by local birding experts, to see how many bird species can be identified from a 50-foot diameter circle. A great family activity and an easy way to learn about birds in our area. Go to the PVAS website for details.
Sunday, May 4: Bird Walk at the Eidolon Nature Preserve, in Morgan County. To be let by local birders Jon Boone and Janet Ardem. A good opportunity to see the rare Cerulean Warbler, which nests here. Meet at the preserve at 7:30 a.m. For more info, contact the Nature Niche store in Berkeley Springs at 304-258-0992 or email@example.com.
Monday, May 5: 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. For more info, contact walk leader Lynne Wiseman at 304-676-2725.
Tuesday, May 6: Bird Walk at Sideling Hill in Maryland. Co-sponsored by PVAS and the Washington County Bird Club. Meet at 7 a.m. in the upper parking lot of the Maryland MVA at 18306 Col. Henry K. Douglas Drive, Hagerstown (off Route 65, just south of U.S. 70). For more info contact trip leaders Sandy Sagalkin at 240-291-6465, firstname.lastname@example.org or Anna Hutzell at 301-797-8454 or email@example.com.
Wednesday, May 7: 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). For more info contact trip leader Jim Farley at 540-686-2056.
Thursday, May 8: Bird walk at Murphy's Farm at the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Meet at 7:30 a.m. at the park's visitor's center off Route 340. For more info contact trip leader Deb Hale at 304-535-2346.
Friday, May 9: Bird walk at the Claymont Mansion Property outside Charles Town. Meet at 7:30 a.m. at the entrance road to the mansion. For more info contact trip leader Joette Borzik at 240-440-4221.
Saturday, May 10: "Birding Through History Walk" with Nick Lund at Antietam National Battlefield. Sponsored by the Washington County Bird Club. Meet at 8 a.m. at the Battlefield visitors center. For more info contact Anna Hutzell at 301-797-8454 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, May 14: PVAS program at the National Conservation Training Center outside Shepherdstown. 7 p.m. in Room 105, Instructional East Building. The speaker will be naturalist and author Katie Fallon, of Morgantown. Her topic will be: The Vulture: Invaluable Friend; Unfortunate Underdog."