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Water Authority to host birdwatching field trip

Photo by Heather Middleton

Photo by Heather Middleton

By M.J. Subiria Arauz

marauz@news-daily.com

Locals will get a chance to watch nature soar through the sky, as they learn about the feathered creatures in their own habitats.

Carol Lambert, senior conservationist for the Clayton County Water Authority, said there will be a free "Atlanta Audubon Society Birdwatching Field Trip," hosted by the Authority's Newman Wetlands Center, on Sunday, April 10, from 8 a.m., to 11 a.m. It will take place at the Wetlands Center, located at 2755 Freeman Road, in Hampton.

Lambert said she and her husband Jeff Sewell, will lead groups through the Wetlands Center and the Huie Holding Ponds, 10051 Dixon Industrial Blvd., Jonesboro. She said participants should bring binoculars, although binoculars will be provided for those who do not bring them.

She added that children must be at least 9 years of age.

"The Clayton County Water Authority has been a hot-spot for [birdwatchers] throughout the year," she said. "There is a very healthy population here."

She said the both the Wetlands Center and Huie Holding Ponds have resident and migratory birds on site.

The field trip is open to anyone interested in watching birds, and participants will trek through the half-mile-long Wetlands trail at the Wetlands Center, said Lambert. People will be able to see bird species such as songbirds, raptors, hawks and owls.

"We have a lot of open sky, so we don't know what will be flying through," she said.

The groups will then carpool to the Huie Holding Ponds, in Jonesboro, said the senior conservationist. The ponds, which contain treated wastewater, attract birds such as hawks, egrets, ducks and swallows, she said.

Resident birds that may be seen during the field trip include cardinals, nuthatches and blue birds, said senior conservationist Carol Lambert. The migratory birds include humming birds, which come from Central America; the Louisiana water thrush, from the Gulf Coast and the northern parula from south Florida.

"They are such beautiful little creatures that do well no matter what," said Lambert.

She explained that when birds migrate they have many dangers ahead of them from natural and unnatural factors, which include weather, and crashing into cell phone towers and reflective windows from buildings.

"The more we educate people, the more we help the birds," said Lambert.