Georgia Bird Fest delights Atlanta birders while raising money for conservation

Published: May. 10, 2023 at 7:30 AM EDT|Updated: May. 10, 2023 at 7:50 AM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The Georgia Bird Festival is rounding out its 2023 season in the next few weeks. The event raises critical funds for the environmental nonprofit, which works to educate the public about bird conservation.

The art of birding is having its moment. A hobby that was once seen as an activity for older adults is now gaining popularity among 20-somethings.

“Younger people are doing it, taking it up more. A lot of kind of Instagram influencers who are big and birdwatching and stuff. So, it’s kind of become cool, which is, if you’ve been birdwatching for a while, that’s exciting,” said Dottie Head, Georgia Audubon.

A short stroll down the much quieter west end of the Beltline is a perfect location to spot a variety of birds, including robins, Carolina wrens, and barn swallows.

Georgia is home to more than 250 bird species at any given time. Springtime is the peak migration season for birds. That’s why the nonprofit holds its flagship fundraiser Georgia Bird Fest this time of year.

While many older people take up birding in retirement, the pandemic changed a typical birder demographic.

“Well, we laugh, we say everybody’s a birder, or they just don’t know it yet. Our membership includes people who just enjoy watching the birds and their feeders outside their window and they’re just as much a birder in my opinion, as the people who go out and chase birds, and go find the rare birds that are lurking in the mountains, or along the coast or somewhere.”

You can download the Merlin Bird ID app. You’ll find it in the Apple app store or Google Play. It’s free through the Cornell Lab Ornithology.

What makes this app so fun and helpful is that you can instruct it to listen to the bird chirping near you and it’ll identify them. The app also helps Cornell track birds all around the world.

There are several events planned through May 21 for the Georgia Bird Fest 2023. Click here for a link to the Georgia Audubon events page.