Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA Gardens to host weekend events celebrating birds

November 9, 2012 - SFA Public Affairs

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin State University Pineywoods Native Plant Center will offer two birding programs the weekend of Nov. 16-17.

"Feathered Friends," a family outdoor event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 17, at the Jim and Beth Kingham Children's Garden, located at the pavilion on East College. The "Feathered Friends" event, sponsored by Nacogdoches Naturally, will feature activities appropriate for all ages designed to increase knowledge and appreciation of our feathered friends. A variety of booths will be set up in the garden for families to practice using binoculars, develop their bird identification skills, go on bird hikes, engage in a bird Olympics and make bird-related crafts. The Pineywoods Audubon Society will be on site offering their knowledge and support. Stations will be set up so families may come and go throughout the morning.

The cost for the event is $10 per family. For information, call (936) 468-5586 or email lemonkb@sfasu.edu. Nacogdoches Naturally Family Outdoor Adventures is sponsored by SFA Gardens and funded through a "More Kids in the Woods" grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture U.S. Forest Service.

The same weekend, the Pineywoods Native Plant Center also will host a two-part garden seminar for adults, "How to Identify and Attract Backyard Birds," from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Friday Nov. 16, and from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17. On Friday, participants will meet at the Pineywoods Native Plant Center, located at 2900 Raguet St., and 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 seventh-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 60 publications on birds and birding. He is lead author of the book "Hummingbirds of Texas (2005, Texas A&M University Press)."

The cost for this event 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 email erodewald@sfasu.edu.

For all events participants should wear comfortable walking shoes and weather-appropriate clothing.