Birdwatchers of any skill level are invited to gather at Fair Bluff Feb. 18 to participate in a national effort.
The Southeastern Swamp Stewards, a new local chapter of the N.C. Wildlife Federation, is hosting the Great Backyard Bird Count along the riverwalk in Fair Bluff Feb. 18. The event is free and open to anyone interested in birdwatching or learning about the hobby.
Birdwatching, also called “birding,” has been on the rise as a pastime since the pandemic. Birding has gained popularity in part because no special skills, training or equipment are needed. The beginning birder just needs a printed guide, a telephone app such as Merlin eBird, or an experience mentor. Some birders combine walking and hiking with their birdwatching, while others count and document species from the comfort of their own backyards by using feeders.
More than 200 species of birds are considered common in Columbus County, according to the Wildlife Resources Commission, including migratory and resident species. Cornell Ornithology Labs organizes the Great Backyard Bird Count each year as a way to monitor changes in species.
Members of the Southeastern Swamp Stewards will lead the birding event in Fair Bluff starting at 8 a.m. Dress for the weather, and wear sturdy shoes.
Space is limited, and free preregistration is required. Go to
https://bit.ly/4aVqTh7, and visit the Southeastern Swamp Stewards Facebook page for more information.