The Acton Nature Center (ANC) is kicking off 2022 with a number of birding events — good for nature lovers and hen watchers.
The first Saturday of each month, starting on Jan. 1, ANC will host its month-to-month hen stroll from 7-9 a.m. The group will collect within the ANC car parking zone and stroll by the tallgrass prairie habitat earlier than stopping on the hen blind to watch birds on the feeders and water function.
“At the water feature, you have the chance to see really anything from common birds such as northern cardinals and Carolina chickadees to highlights like spotted towhees,” mentioned Jake Balmuth, frequent birder at ANC and Rio Brazos Master Naturalist. “The walk continues through an open field habitat, then into a juniper scrub where you might see many kinds of sparrows in the fence rows and grasses. The juniper berries provide an important food source this time of year for cedar waxwings and American robins. Walking down into the woods, you might see woodpeckers and yellow-rumped warblers. The walk concludes back at the bird blind around 9 a.m., looking for birds that are late risers.”
Balmuth mentioned the winter is the proper season to go on a hen stroll on the ANC. Attendees can see as much as 27 totally different species of birds and Balmuth mentioned there’s a “good chance of seeing something special.”
“Last winter, a flock of mountain bluebirds, which are quite rare for this area, were seen on the bird walk as well as LeConte’s sparrows, which are also uncommon to see and quite secretive,” he mentioned.
On Sunday, Jan 2, at 4 p.m., ANC will host a group lecture, “The Amazing World of Birds,” taught by Dave Moore.
The lecture will discover how birds developed, how they’ve survived greater than 150 million years, in addition to what threatens them in the present day.
“Birds are very interesting creatures,” Moore mentioned. “They are the only members of the dinosaur family to survive the mass extinction event 66 million years ago.”
On Feb. 19-20, the three-hour-long occasion, the Great Backyard Bird Count will happen, starting at 7 a.m. on each mornings. On Saturday, Feb. 19, Dr. Billy Teels will give a chat at 10 a.m. on the ANC Education Center on, “What’s in a Name: Changes to the Checklist.”
On March 26, attendees can be part of the Rio Brazos Master Naturalists for the fifth annual Feather Fest, a “celebration of birds” occasion, which is able to embody reside raptors, demonstrations, hen talks, nature walks, crafts and lots of actions for youngsters.
From March 1 by June 15, the venture, Lights Out Texas Spring Migration will happen, the place people shall be requested to show off non-essential lights at night time between the hours of 11 p.m. to six a.m. to cut back migratory hen mortality.
“Every spring one of every three birds migrating through the U.S. passes through Texas. This is around 1 billion birds,” mentioned Malea Balmuth, volunteer, homeschool coordinator and buddy of the ACN. “Birds migrate at night and are at risk due to bright lights from homes and businesses leading to disorientation and collision with buildings and structures. By turning off unnecessary lights, we help the birds navigate safely through the dark skies. It’s so helpful to let the public know — the residential public as well as the businesses — how important it is to turn out the lights and to help the migratory birds.”
For extra info on upcoming events, observe the ANC Instagram @actonnaturecenter.
“It’s just a spectacular place — the Acton Nature Center,” Malea added. “It’s a great place for families. My children were raised out there. It’s a great way for people to connect with nature. We’re really expanding our events and offerings in order to get people outdoors and get them connected to the natural world. I’m happy every time I leave. The beauty, the tranquility, it’s seasonal and every season has its own special moments.”