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Contact: Kathleen O'Grady, 803-647-3978
Congaree National Park and the Friends of Congaree Swamp will host two birding programs in December. The programs are aimed at engaging visitors - including first time beginners - in observing, identifying, and counting winter birds at the park. Visitors will have the opportunity to assist as "citizen scientists", collecting real scientific data.
Birds and Branches Guided Hike: Sunday, December 4, 2011; 8:30 am-11:30 am
Fly into the Visitor Center and meet a ranger for a guided hike along the boardwalk. Bring your binoculars and be on the lookout for some of the common winter birds found in Congaree National Park, as well as more rare occurrences including rusty blackbirds. This is a "warm-up" for the Christmas Bird Count program.
Christmas Bird Count: Sunday, December 18, 2011; 7:00 am to dusk
Meet at the Harry Hampton Visitor Center to explore several different trails and habitats as we look for birds in Congaree National Park. Participants will be split into groups and will work in various habitats throughout the day - reporting data back to the team leader. Registration is required.
No prior experience is required to participate in these free programs, which are open to all visitors. Children under 12 should be accompanied by an adult. Please register in advance by calling Kathleen O'Grady, 803-647-3978 or by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org. Participants should meet at the Harry Hampton Visitor Center fifteen minutes prior to the start of each program. Wear comfortable, closed-toed shoes and weather-appropriate clothing. Binoculars, water, snacks and lunch are also recommended. The park has a limited number of binoculars available for use on a first-come, first-served basis.