Blue Springs, Mo. -- Birds are diverse and resourceful creatures, which is why people can become obsessed with watching them. The Missouri Department of Conservation's (MDC) Burr Oak Woods Nature Center at 1401 N.W. Park Road in Blue Springs is holding a kickoff event for a year dedicated to birds on Saturday, Jan. 12.
Special programs will be held throughout the day for “The Big Year 2013: A Celebration of Birds at Burr Oak Woods.” The theme is borrowed from the book The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature and Fowl Obsession, by Mark Obmascik. The story is about three obsessed birders who travel far and wide to spot species of North American birds. A 2011 Hollywood movie was also based on the book.
The program at Burr Oak Woods will include guided bird watching hikes at 7 and 8:45 a.m. Information about a Burr Oak Big Year birding competition will be provided at 9 a.m. Bird banding demonstrations will be given in the solarium from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Keynote speaker will be Timothy Barksdale, with presentations at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Barksdale is a birding expert and a videographer who served as a consultant for “The Big Year” movie. The movie will be shown at 3 p.m.
Workshops will also include how to attract birds to your yard and how to identify birds.
All events at Burr Oak Woods Nature Center are free. For information, call 816-228-3766 or go to mdc.mo.gov/node/280.