Little River Canyon

Little River Canyon National Preserve will host a free Beginning Birding Walk at the Little River Canyon Center on Saturday, December 14 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Park Ranger Larry Beane will lead the easy walk through several habitats and teach techniques to identify birds.

Beane said “The last two bird walks attracted people with cameras and binoculars. We spotted several birds in just a few minutes and some took amazing pictures. The woodpeckers were stars for a while. If you would like to learn how to recognize common birds or just get out for a short walk, join us."

Russell Cave National Monument in Bridgeport, Alabama has a similar bird walk on Saturday, December 14 from 8 to 10 a.m. to bring attention to the Audubon Christmas Bird Count. Both programs coincide with the beginning of the Audubon Christmas Bird Count, held at other places. The Christmas Bird Count is a concerted effort by thousands of volunteers to locate birds to document migration habits, bird health, and population sizes in controlled studies from December 14 to January 5.

The nearest places holding the official Christmas Bird Count are Lake Guntersville State Park; Rome, Georgia; Cullman, Alabama; and Chattanooga, Tennessee. This tradition of counting birds for the Christmas Bird Count came about as many species dwindled 114 years ago. It is the longest Citizen Science survey in the world. For more information on the Christmas Bird Count or to register, check out the Audubon Society website.

The Preserve has recorded 145 species of birds that use the park. The park has increased the number of known species of birds by 6 since 2009. You may register your count at the front desk of the Canyon Center. The park would like to know if any unusual species is discovered during your visit. Bird lists are available at the Canyon Center and online.

Park Superintendent Gail Bishop and Canyon Center Director Pete Conroy invite the public to come out and enjoy the day at the Little River Canyon Center for this free special event. People are encouraged to bring water, good hiking shoes, field guidebooks, binoculars and a snack if they are planning on hiking. Dress for the weather.

For more information call (256)845-9605. You can follow our updates and find park pictures on Facebook at “lirinps.”