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Third annual Black Belt Birding Festival set for August 4-5

Alabama Audubon is pleased to announce the third annual Black Belt Birding Festival in Greensboro, Alabama on August 4 & 5, 2023. Highlighting the birds, history, and heritage of Alabama’s Black Belt region, the festival is a popular offering from the conservation nonprofit’s Black Belt Birding Initiative, a program committed to bringing the economic benefits of birdbased ecotourism to this unique stretch of rural Alabama.

Featuring a mix of habitats, from open prairie to forests to bottomland swamps, visitors have the rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of many species of birds in a natural environment.

The Black Belt Birding Festival aims to increase accessibility, and to provide entertainment and learning experiences, for all members of the community and new visitors to the area. It showcases the area’s diverse birdlife and attracts many visitors that support local businesses both downtown and in surrounding cities.

“Alabama Audubon’s Black Belt Birding Festival is a very exciting time for Greensboro and our surrounding communities. The festival gives us an opportunity to showcase our region’s natural beauty while also providing great places to eat, shop, and learn while the birders are visiting,” says Buzzy Barnette, President of the Greensboro Alabama Business and Tourism Association.

The 2023 festival will provide many of the popular offerings from previous years alongside new opportunities thanks to the continued investment of Alabama Audubon partners. It will kick off on Friday evening, August 4 with a free partner expo at Project Horseshoe Farm—an area nonprofit focused on building community— and will feature live music and food trucks.

On the morning of Saturday, August 5, the festival continues with a curated selection of birding excursions throughout the Black Belt that include: Perry Lakes Park; the M.Barnett Lawley Forever Wild Trial Area (State Cattle Ranch); Old Cahawba: Prairie Tract and Archaeological Site; Payne Lake Recreation Area; Talladega National Forest; and Connecting with Birds and Nature Tours, LLC at The Joe Farm. The swarming of the Swallow-tailed and Mississippi Kites at The Joe Farm is a spectacle that should not be missed, nor should the opportunity to catch a glimpse of Redcockaded Woodpeckers later in the day at the Talladega National Forest.

In the afternoon on Saturday, in Downtown Greensboro, the Alabama Wildlife Center will present their Birds of Prey showcase with appearances by many of their rehabilitated resident bird ambassadors—live owls, hawks, kites, and falcons.

Immediately following, Alabama Audubon will host a keynote address at the Greensboro Opera House by special guest Dr. James Lamb, The Black Belt Museum’s Curator of Paleontology from the University of West Alabama, wherein the correlations between avian dinosaurs and modern birds will be explored.

A new offering this year is convenient event bundles through which visitors can purchase a pre-selected festival experience by theme for a limited time: Land-to- River, Birds & History, and Swamp-to-Prairie.

Visitors may alternately self-curate their own birding experience by registering for each event individually. An event guide is available and tickets can be found at: alaudubon.org/event/blackbeltfestival2023

The Alabama Audubon Black Belt Birding Initiative is a commitment to attract economic and environmental benefits of bird-based ecotourism to one of the country’s most economically- challenged rural areas. As such, the initiative furthers the mission of Alabama Audubon to promote conservation and a greater knowledge of birds, their habitats, and the natural world.