Feathered Friends event continues big birding year at Cape Nature Center

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center will host Feathered Friends, a spring program complementing the yearlong “Our Big Year” theme.  The nature center designated 2017 as a big year for birding at the center, featuring events throughout the year that teach birding techniques and a yearlong contest between nature center staff, local media celebrities and community members.

The Feathered Friends event is Saturday, April 29, from 1 to 4 p.m. with live bird presentations by Dickerson Park Zoo. Presentations are scheduled for 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. with bird walks and craft activities in between presentations.

“We’ll also have displays and activities with tips on improving birding skills,” Brostoski said. “We’ll also help you improve your binocular and bird identification skills.”

Brostoski said the nature center decided to focus on birds in 2017 because they can be seen anywhere at any time.

“We wanted to challenge the public to join us in getting out there to see and learn more about birds because it’s one of the easiest ways to broaden an appreciation of nature,” she said.

It’s not too late to starting building a bird list for the year. Birding lists are available for pick up at the nature center, free to anyone interested in joining the bird count. Local media and community celebrities participating in the big year include radio host Kirby Ray of Real Rock 99.3, Faune Riggin KZIM/KSIM morning host, Ivas Dubraskas of the Ivas John Band, and Dr. Allen Gathman, Dean of Online Learning at Southeast Missouri State University.

For each bird program attended, participants receive a special sticker and after attending five events they can enter a drawing for an end of the year prize.

“Birding is wonderful because anyone can do it. No matter your physical ability, your age, your location, you can bird,” said Brostoski.

For more information on this and other events at the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center go online to mdc.mo.gov/CapeNatureCenter.