PRESS RELEASE, U.S. Forest Service:
The Cradle of Forestry invites kids of all ages to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day on Saturday, May 12, with guided bird walks, birding tips, bird watching and a live bird program.
Forests and fields around the Cradle are alive with song as migratory birds arrive at their summer habitats, so there’s no better place to view and learn about these melodious travelers.
Activities for the day include:
8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. – Family birding walks offer beginning and intermediate birders an in-depth look at local and migratory songbird species. After a chat about binocular use, bird characteristics and habitat preferences, the group will look and listen for birds by the Forest Discovery Center and along paved trails to identify species present.
1:30 p.m. – Enjoy a live raptor program with Wild for Life Wildlife Rehabilitation Center staff. Meet the center’s rescued birds and learn their stories. Learn more about the center at www.wildforlife.org. This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Cradle of Forestry.
2:30 p.m. – During the Backyard Birding program, gain tips and inspiration for observing and conserving birds that live around our homes.
3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Ongoing activities at the Forest Discovery Center show the wonder of birds and teach how we can all do our part for their conservation. Pretend to be a migrating bird in the game Migration: Risky Business. Make a craft to take home to remind you of these tiny creatures that enrich our lives and play important roles in nature.
A variety of migratory birds rest and feed at the Cradle of Forestry on their way to breeding grounds further north. Others stay to nest and raise their young. Here birders often see and hear black-throated blue warblers, hooded warblers, black and white warblers, northern parulas and blue headed vireos. Occasionally, a bright Blackburnian warbler or scarlet tanager can be spotted.
Started in 1993, International Migratory Bird Day is an educational program that highlights and celebrates bird migration, an important and spectacular event in the Americas. Almost 350 bird species journey from non-breeding grounds in Latin America, Mexico and the Caribbean to nesting habitats in North America, while resting and feeding along the way. The USDA Forest Service is a sponsor of International Migratory Bird Day.
Admission to the Cradle of Forestry is $5 for adults and free for youth under 16 years of age and those with America the Beautiful passes and federal Golden Passports. Admission includes a 30-minute film titled There’s Magic at the Cradle, the Forest Discovery Center with hands-on exhibits, a scavenger hunt, a firefighting helicopter simulator, historic cabins and antique equipment on two paved trails. It also includes the Adventure Zone, an activity designed to reach children with autism and engage young families.
The Cradle of Forestry is located on Hwy. 276 in the Pisgah National Forest along the Forest Heritage National Scenic Byway, six miles north of Looking Glass Falls and four miles south of the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 412. For more information, call 828-877-3130.