Austin to be given title of Bird City Minnesota Saturday

Published 6:46 am Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Austin will soon have a new title bestowed upon it.

On Saturday, Austin will be designated as a Bird City Minnesota by Audubon Minnesota during an all-day celebration at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center. This will mark the third city to receive such a distinction behind St. Paul and Red Wing.

“I think the one thing it shows is the educational aspects of what we’re doing,” said Austin Audubon member Larry Dolphin. “It regards learning more about birds, identifying birds and understanding they are a part of our planet.”

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The Bird City program works to increase wildlife habitat, reduce threats and engage citizens by recognizing cities that create great places for birds to feed, live and nest.

Through this work, cities recognized as Bird Cities work to enact bird-friendly solutions, which can then be implemented elsewhere in the state.

“We try to reach out to the community,” Dolphin said. “We try to emphasize education and habitat.”

It’s a continuing effort to get people thinking about what birds mean to us as well as the planet.

“It’s helping people understand and start thinking of what would the world be like without birds,” Dolphin said.

The designation event on Saturday takes place on International Migratory Bird Day and will feature events throughout the day.

International Migratory Bird Day event schedule

• 9 a.m. — Seed sale begins (sponsored by Jim and Merlene Stiles of Super Fresh)

• 9:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. — How to Feed Birds (Pete Mattson and Terry Dorsey)

• 9:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. — How to Talk Like an Owl and a Black-capped Chickadee (Larry Dolphin)

• 10 a.m. — Austin Bird City Declaration by Minnesota Audubon

• 10:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. — Al Batt, bird stories for seniors and family.

• 2:30 p.m. — Bird survival game and self learning station bird hike for the family and fifth grade.

• 4:45 p.m. — Prizes for completion of survival bird game and bird hike.

• 5 p.m. — Seed sale concludes