OMSP holds National Bird Day event

Published 10:46 am Thursday, January 6, 2022

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By MICHELLE LOVE | Staff Writer 

PELHAM – On Wednesday, Jan. 5, Oak Mountain State Park’s Alabama Wildlife Center held a special event for National Bird Day.

The event began at the Oak Mountain Interpretive Center, where attendees began by learning the basics of bird watching and tips for pointing out Alabama’s native birds.

The temperature was around 50 degrees that Wednesday, but quite a few people showed up with binoculars in hand to see the park’s various winged residents. Attendees were taken through a tour of the Treetop Nature Trail to see the birds of prey that live in the surrounding area. After the tour, they were treated to a special education session with Acer the Screech owl.

OMSP is home to hundreds of different birds, including Coosa, the famous education ambassador barred owl, and other wildlife such as bobcats, deer and fox squirrels. With over 11,000 miles of land, OMSP is the largest park in the state of Alabama.

Over the years, the Wildlife Center has held several events to the public that provide conservation education that gives people the opportunity to see these majestic creatures up close. Its staff cares annually for close to 2,000 wild bird patients from over 100 species.

“The Alabama Wildlife Center is excited to continue delivering conservation education programs across Alabama in 2022, beginning with Lake Guntersville State Park’s Eagle Awareness weekends at the end of January,” said Andrew Arnold, the director of education outreach at AWC.

In December 2021, AWC suffered a tremendous loss after their executive director  Doug Adair died unexpectedly. An avid lover of birds and everything outdoors, Adair loved engaging the community with Alabama’s wildlife, and National Bird Day was no exception.

“Doug loved National Bird Day as it offered the chance for him to educate and inform others about avian conservation, a topic he was passionate about year-round,” Arnold said.

Arnold said despite the loss of Adair, the Wildlife Center will continue to hold its various educational programs throughout the year to help further the cause Adair was so passionate about.

“All of these birds of prey, they play such a huge role in our ecosystem,” Adair said at AWC’s Owl-o-Ween event in October. “We’re happy to educate people and share how special and important are. Birds like Coosa are instrumental in helping educate people.”