Georgia Mountain BirdFest at Unicoi State Park
Helen, Ga., February 17, 2011
-- When Georgia Mountain BirdFest kicks off this spring at Unicoi State Park, it will be northern Georgia’s only major birding festival. With more than 60 field trips, programs and hands-on activities to choose from, it is open to birders of all ages and skill levels. Ornithologist Marshall Iliff of Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Giff Beaton, author of Birding Georgia, will be among the many guest speakers.
Running April 28 through May 1, the festival includes more than 20 guided field trips to locations such as Ivy Log Gap Road, Brasstown Bald, Smithgall Woods, Anna Ruby Falls, Sosebee Cove and the normally restricted Buck Shoals. More than 60 seminar topics cover bats and butterflies as well as birds, with titles such as Binoculars 101, Warbler Identification, Bat Conservation in Georgia, Nature Photography, Tree Identification and Birding by Ear.
On Saturday, April 30, more than a dozen events will be open to the public as well, such as guided bird walks, crafts and hayrides. Most Saturday events are free.
The fee for the four-day conference is $110 per person, and Unicoi Lodge room rates are $59. Unicoi State Park also offers fully equipped cottages for $105-$150 and modern campsites for $25-$53. With 1,050 acres of forest, streams and a lake, as well as eight miles of hiking trails, Unicoi State Park is known for exceptional wildlife viewing. During spring, visitors may see Golden-winged Warblers, Cerulean Warblers, Scarlet Tanagers, Indigo Buntings and numerous other species. The park is two hours north of Atlanta, just outside Bavarian-themed Helen.
Georgia Mountain BirdFest is sponsored by Friends of Unicoi State Park. To learn more, visit www.gamtnbirdfest.com or call 706-878-2201 ext. 305.
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