News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
FRIDAY, MAY 5, 2006


Make some feathered friends this weekend

So, you've moved to Decatur from a larger city and can't find enough activities to fill your weekend.

Or, you're tired of loading up the children and heading to Huntsville and Birmingham to give them a first-class, out-of-classroom learning experience.

Maybe you've lived here all of your life but have never really appreciated the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge.

But, you might be one of those people who see this weekend's first North Alabama Birding Festival as another great, wholesome activity taking place in Decatur.

Whatever category you fit in, plan to spend a good portion of today, Saturday or Sunday with the birds and be involved in one of the many field trips or events at Rhodes Ferry Park and the Holiday Inn and Suites.

Bird watching is a growing tourist attraction which the Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau means to use to bring thousands of people to town.

This weekend's festival is also an introduction of local residents to the many colorful and interesting birds of this area. Many of us are undeclared bird watchers who fumble our way along in appreciating the color, voices and activities of birds. But most of our knowledge is limited to recognizing a redbird, bluebird, robin and mockingbird.

The Birding 101 seminar at the Holiday Inn at 9 Saturday morning will give people the basics of birding and deepen their knowledge of the activity.

If you're interested in one of the field trips or other activities, call the visitor's bureau at 350-2028 or visit www.Decaturcvb

.org. The Tennessee River and the surrounding wildlife refuge make this region ideal for watching birds.

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