The AWC hosts Chirps and Chips

The Alabama Wildlife Center hosted the third annual Chirps and Chips fundraiser on Aug. 22. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

The Alabama Wildlife Center hosted the third annual Chirps and Chips fundraiser on Aug. 22. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

BIRMINGHAM—The Alabama Wildlife Center held the third annual Chirps and Chips fundraising event at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens on Aug. 22 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

“It’s always fun for everyone,” AWC Executive Director Doug Adair said of the casino-night themed event, which featured games such as black jack, roulette, craps, poker and slot machines, all using play money.

There were also prize drawings, food and a silent auction and, of course, birds. Educational birds Coosa, a barred owl, and Legacy, an American kestrel, posed for pictures and mingled with guests throughout the night.

Chirps and Chips is organized and planned by the AWC’s junior board, Raptor Force. The 10-member board works to generate support and awareness for the AWC through fundraising events, such as the Aug. 22 event.

“(Chirps and Chips) is still a new fundraising event for the wildlife center,” Adair said. “This fundraiser went hand-in-hand with (the creation of Raptor Force) as something they wanted to take on.”

The AWC has two main fundraising events each year, Chirps and Chips in the fall and Wild about Chocolate in the spring.

As a nonprofit, the organization relies on donations and volunteers to carry out its work, and although housed in Oak Mountain State Park, the AWC is not supported by park admission fees.

“This is one of our two most significant fundraising events for the year,” Adair said. “(Chirps and Chips) is certainly a significant force in raising funds.”

The AWC treats nearly 2,000 birds from more than 100 species each year at the clinic located in Oak Mountain State Park.

Additionally, the AWC maintains Treetop Nature Trail, which houses birds that have been rehabilitated but, due to their injuries, cannot be fully released into the wild. The AWC is also home to four educational birds and hosts programs for schools and visitors.

For more information about the AWC and upcoming events, visit the Alabama Wildlife Center Facebook page or Awrc.org.