Pinewoods Bird Festival - April 13-15, 2007

Pinewoods Bird Festival Field Trip Descriptions and Fees

The special field trips offered at the Pinewoods Bird Festival are all $10.00 (Except for Birdwatching 101 - $5.00) and require preregistration.  All trips leave from Pebble Hill Plantation at the times listed. Trips off-site will utilize vans provided by the Georgia Ornithological Society. Confirmation letters will be sent on or before March 25, 2006 after preregistration forms are received and will include passes for field trips. Field trip requests are processed in the order they are received. Events are space limited.
Field Trip Equipment Recommendations: Bring binoculars, pocket magnifiers, field guides, insect spray, sun protection

Friday, April 7 - 5:00 p.m.

Evening Century Forest Tour - Leader: Jim Cox, Tall Timbers Research Station
Experience the forests that greeted Hernando DeSoto when he passed through this region more than 400 years ago.  Participants will visit one of the only virgin tracts of longleaf pine forests left anywhere in the world and have a chance to see towering, 400-year old pine trees. Enjoy a sunset on this spectacular tract and see special birds such as Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Bachman's and Henslow's sparrows, and Brown-headed Nuthatch. This field trip also is offered on Saturday.
Trip Rigor: moderate walking, some off paths and roads

Evening Woodyard Hammock Tour - Leader: Kevin Robertson, Tall Timbers Research Station
In the cool surroundings of towering trees, you'll learn about the complex interplay between hurricanes and beech trees, migratory birds and southern magnolias, and shade and spruce pines in this intricate and rich forest. Woodyard Hammock is a special old-growth beech-magnolia forest found on Tall Timbers Research Station. The hammock has been the subject of several long-term research projects involving southern trees, and special birds of interest include Louisiana Waterthrush (breeding), Hooded and Kentucky Warbler, and Broad-winged Hawk.  This field trip also is offered on Saturday.
Trip Rigor: moderate walking, some off paths and roads

Friday, April 7 - 5:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m.

Bats and Other Night Creatures - Leaders: Jim Ozier, Georgia DNR, and Clark Jones, Tall Timbers Research Station
Visit one of the many caves in southwest Georgia to witness the emergence of scores of bats.  As you wait for these fast-flying mammals, youll be treated to the sounds of Barred Owls, cackling Chuck-wills-widows, and other nocturnal birds.  Trip returns late, so be sure to bring a snack.
Trip Rigor: moderate walking

Saturday, April 8 - 6:15 a.m.

Banding Red-cockaded Woodpeckers - Leaders: Jim Cox, Tall Timbers Research Station, and Phil Spivey, Georgia DNR
Want to see someone be pecked by an endangered species? Join these wildlife biologists as they net this rare woodpecker on Pebble Hill Plantation. You'll be out before dawn to catch the woodpeckers as they leave their cavity trees. The banding is part of an on-going study of woodpecker survival and productivity in the region. Other species of interest include Bachman's Sparrow, Brown-headed Nuthatch, and Red-headed Woodpecker.
Trip Rigor: moderate walking, some off paths and roads

Saturday, April 8 - 8:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m.

Bird Watching 101 - Leader: Sandy Beck, St. Francis Wildlife Association
Open to ages 7 adult
Most wild creatures are secretive, but birds seem to be everywhere: soaring through the clouds, hopping on the sidewalk, singing from the trees and bushes and visiting our feeders. Learning how to identify our bird neighbors is the first step toward understanding and appreciating the amazing lives they lead.

Part I:  Classroom
Using live birds, a slide presentation and field guide, participants will learn how to look for and use clues to identify common birds. Adults will receive a Bird Watching Basics booklet, and children will receive a Bird Detective Activity Guide. 

Part II:  Field Trip
Participants will learn the proper way to use binoculars then break into small groups to try out their new skills with an easy walk around Pebble Hill Plantation led by an experienced birder.
Trip Rigor:  Easy walking

Saturday, April 8 - 9:00 a.m.

Banding Bachman's Sparrows - Leader: Clark Jones, Tall Timbers Research Station
Get up close and personal with one of the "little brown jobs" of southern pine forests. This excursion is part of a research project concerning the effects of prescribed burning on Bachman's Sparrow populations on Pebble Hill Plantation. Birds will be netted and banded to help follow their movements.
Trip Rigor: moderate walking, some off paths and roads

Century Forest Tour II - Leader: Jim Cox, Tall Timbers Research Station
See Friday Century Forest Tour (above).  Special birds include Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Blue Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, Bachman's and Henslow's sparrows, and Brown-headed Nuthatch. 
Trip Rigor: moderate walking, some off paths and roads

Gamebird Banding & Radio Telemetry Study - Leader: Shane Wellendorf, Tall Timbers Research Station
Help band and track one of the most popular game species of the Red Hills - the Bobwhite Quail. This important game species is the main reason so many fine pine forests still remain in the region, and quail are the subjects of special research projects at Pebble Hill Plantation.
Trip Rigor: moderate hiking

Woodyard Hammock Tour II - Leader: Kevin Robertson, Tall Timbers Research Station
See Friday Woodyard Hammock Tour (above).  Special birds of interest include Louisiana Waterthrush (breeding), Hooded and Kentucky Warbler, and Broad-winged Hawk.
Trip Rigor: moderate hiking, some off paths and roads

Spring Wildflowers and Trees - Leader: Tom Ostertag, Tall Timbers Research Station
Enjoy the color of spring in this trip off-site to some of the spectacular outdoor "nurseries" of the Red Hills. See the spring flowers in upland pine forests and transition zones where pitcher plants, orchids, and many other species thrive. Don't know the difference between beech and black gum? Here's a chance to hone your tree identification skills using the >50 species found on Pebble Hill.
Trip Rigor: moderate hiking, some off paths and roads
 
Saturday, April 8 - 1:30 p.m.

Century Forest Tour III - Leader: Jim Cox, Tall Timbers Research Station
See Friday Century Forest Tour (above).  Special birds include Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Blue Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, Bachman's and Henslow's sparrows, and Brown-headed Nuthatch. 
Trip Rigor: moderate walking, some off paths and roads

Fire Ecology & Prescribed Burn Demonstration - Leaders: Kevin Robertson, Eric Staller, & Chuck Martin, Tall Timbers Research St.
Help set fire to some pinewoods as you participate in a prescribed burn on Pebble Hill Plantation. You'll also learn about the important role that fire plays in southern pine ecosystems and visit research plots where the impacts of fire on plants are being monitored.
Trip Rigor: moderate walking, some off paths and roads; clothes may be marked with soot and definitely will be very smokey afterwards

Herp Tour - Leaders: Chris Borg, Tall Timbers Research Station and Phil Spivey, Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Join this foot-soaking trip to explore the ephemeral wetlands on Pebble Hill Plantation. You'll help collect and sort out tadpoles, sirens, and other creepy crawlies collected by dip-nets. Who knows, you may help discovery of a new species for the Red Hills region.
Trip Rigor: moderate walking

Jones Tenant Farm House Tour - Leaders: Ross Morrel and Juanita Whiddon, Tall Timbers Research Station
Learn about the life of sharecroppers at the turn of the century on this visit to a restored tenant farmhouse. The house sits on Tall Timbers Research Station and has been restored thanks to a special grant from the State of Florida. Archaeological digs at the site coupled with an oral history project have created a unique look at rural life in the early 1900's.
Trip Rigor: easy.

Sink Holes and Geology of the Red Hills - Leader: Neil Fleckenstein, Tall Timbers Research Station
Take a look at your drinking water before it reaches your faucet. The sinks of the Red Hills feed the Floridian aquifer, which supplies our region with most of our drinking water needs. This trip explores some of the more prominent sink holes in the region and provides a unique look at our water resources and the importance of protecting sinks from contamination. You'll also peer at the many geological layers that lie just beneath the soil and learn about the ancient history of the Red Hills region.
Trip Rigor: easy

For more information, contact:

Pinewoods Bird Festival
Pebble Hill Plantation
P.O. Box 830, Thomasville, GA 31799
www.pinewoodsbirdfestival.com ~ (229) 226-2344


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