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Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA Gardens to host backyard birding seminar

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin State University Pineywoods Native Plant Center will host a two-part garden seminar, "How to Identify and Attract Backyard Birds," from 6:30 to 8 p.m. March 25 and from 8 to 11 a.m. March 26.

Participants will enjoy a Friday evening lecture with Cliff Shackelford, ornithologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife, regarding identification of common local birds. On Saturday, Shackelford will lead a birding stroll through the plant center property and to the nearby Shackelford home to visit the family's backyard made "for the birds."

Shackelford is a fifth-generation Texan and began bird watching at age 9. He holds both a bachelor's degree and master's degree in biology, with an emphasis in avian ecology, from SFA and has authored more than 50 publications on birds and birding. He is lead author of the book "Hummingbirds of Texas" that was published in 2005 by Texas A&M University Press.

Participants will meet for both sessions at the plant center, 2900 Raguet St. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended, and binoculars are available for first-time participants, if needed.

Cost is $20 for members of SFA Gardens Friends and $25 for non-members. To register, call the SFA Gardens Education Office at (936) 468-1832 or e-mail erodewald@sfasu.edu.