a photo of Cliff Shackelford looks for birds with young bird watchers

Cliff Shackelford, TPWD non-game ornithologist, looks for birds with young bird watchers. Shackelford will be leading guided hikes along the trails of Tucker Woods during the Great Backyard Bird Count Saturday, Feb. 13.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin State University's SFA Gardens and Nacogdoches Naturally are sponsoring the Great Backyard Bird Count from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 13, at the Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet St.

This free, outdoor event will have activities designed to increase knowledge and appreciation of birds for youth and adults. A variety of family-friendly, hands-on learning activities will be set up, including using binoculars, learning bird identification skills, playing bird games and making bird-related crafts.

In addition, there will be opportunities to participate in the national Great Backyard Bird Count as participants count birds for science with assistance from the Pineywoods Audubon Association and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department non-game ornithologist, Cliff Shackelford.

Shackelford will lead guided hikes along the trails of Tucker Woods at the Pineywoods Native Plant Center. Also, Julie Shackelford will present a walk and short talk titled, "Creating Backyard Bird Habitats."

Winter is the ideal time for bird watching and the Pineywoods Native Plant Center is a haven for local birds. Participants should wear comfortable walking shoes and weather-appropriate clothing.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, National Audubon Society, Bird Studies Canada and many international partners are leading the Great Backyard Bird Count. The Great Backyard Bird Count is powered by eBird, and the count is made possible in part by founding sponsor Wild Birds Unlimited.

For more information, contact Kerry Lemon, SFA Gardens assistant educational coordinator, at (936) 468-5586 or lemonkb@sfasu.edu.