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Cradle of Forestry celebrates migratory birds

The Cradle of Forestry will host progams for Migratory Bird Day on Saturday including a guided bird walk, live raptor program and family-oriented activities.

Forests and fields around the Cradle are alive with song as migratory birds arrive at their summer habitats. The Cradle of Forestry is along the North Carolina Birding Trail and is an excellent place to view and learn about these melodious travelers.

Activities include:

  • A morning of birding begins at 8:30 with naturalist Bill Sanderson. Look and listen for birds by the Forest Discovery Center and along paved, wheelchair accessible trails. Identify species and learn about bird characteristics and habitat preferences along the way. Appropriate for beginning and intermediate birders.
  • On-going from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Experience the incredible journeys birds make by playing Migration: Risky Business. Will you survive? Learn how we can do our part for bird conservation.
  • 3 p.m. - Enjoy a live bird program with Wild For Life: Center for Rehabilitation of Wildlife from Asheville and learn about their work caring for injured and orphaned wildlife.

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 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. Lunch is available for purchase from Hobnob at the Cradle.