This week, March 15 – 21, is National Wildlife Week, sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation. As one activity to get you outside, NWF suggests birdwatching. There are lots of great places in or near Atlanta to go birdwatching from afar or see birds up close. There are also several guided bird hikes around town. Here are five places to get you started. If you know others, please leave a comment for everyone.
- Piedmont Park Bird Walks – Held the first Saturday of every month from 8 – 9 am, birders meet at the Community Center located at 1071 Piedmont Ave. near the 12th St. entrance. The hikes are FREE and last one hour. When you’re done, enjoy all the other fabulous activities at Piedmont Park.
- Atlanta Audubon Society – The society sponsors bird walks in a number of places including the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, Fernbank Forest and Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. For those of you on the Southside, there is also a walk originating at the Newnan Wetlands Center. Kennesaw Mountain is one of the best places in the Eastern US to see spring (mid-April – early May) and fall (early Sept. – mid-Oct) bird migrations. The walks are free, but there may be a nominal parking fee at some locations. For a complete list of walk locations, dates, times and the types of birds you are likely to see, visit the Atlanta Audubon Society website.
- Dauset Trails Nature Preserve – If you aren’t an early riser, or would rather see your birds close up, Dauset Trails has several birds of prey on display. The birds were injured and cannot go back to the wild. You’ll see hawks, eagles and lots of other animals too. The nature preserve is free, but they do accept donations.
- Dunwoody Nature Center – Reserve a Birds I-Spy Backpack at Dunwoody Nature Center. The packs are $10, but admission to the center is FREE. Inside the pack you’ll find everything you need to take your own bird hike including: a notebook of information and activities, Peterson Guide to birds, Audubon Pocket Guide, bird song identifier, Professor Noggin’s Bird Game, Bird Bingo, Wild Bird Bandana Bingo, binoculars and more!
- Chattahoochee Nature Center – On March 27 from 8 – 10 am, introduce your kids to birding with Master Birder and wildlife volunteer Zelia Lebeau. It’s a great class for the beginner birder. When you are done, you can visit the many birds of prey that live at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. These activities are free with admission to the Center. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $5 for children.